I’ve been reading the book ‘The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-1849 by Cecil Woodham-Smith’. It’s a very interesting and on the ground account of the famine in Ireland. Not that I’ve read the whole book yet, but one of the problems of the famine was said to be landlords exacting rents from tenants at high prices, often being absent and using middlemen to get their wages, whatever means possible. Cecil Woodham-Smith comments: ‘there were, of course, good landlords in Ireland…the Duke of Leinster at Carton…farm buildings were erected by the landlord, cabins were tidy, and the people contented’. I know the famine was said to affect the people of Kildare much less than other parts of Ireland, whether due to good landlords, or more pastoral farming , trades rather than simply relying on the potato crop. It will be good to find out more.
Sources: The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-1849 by Cecil Woodham-Smith