I wouldn't be here if it wasnt for the famine in Ireland. The starvation created in Ireland by the Government in London in the 1840's caused thousands to die and thousands more to emigrate including my ancestors, who came to England to work as a charwoman and stonemason before they met and married.
A defining moment in the history of both countries with impact across the world as emigre populations established themselves in America, Australia, Canada and even further afield. The image is of the memorial to this period which stands in a Dublin street today.
The excellent Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith has a free, and very moving exhibition on this period which you should go and see if you can. It forged the shape of our part of west London - and you cant possibly understand the present without understanding the past.