In 1861, Young Irelander John Mitchel wrote a pamphlet. In it, he stated that, 'Ireland was actually producing sufficient food, wool and flax, to feed and clothe not nine but eighteen millions of people'.
Furthermore, he contended that every ship bringing a cargo of food relief for the starving masses, would meet another six ships packed with food exports on the way out of the same harbours.
His most famous line was his conclusion: 'The Almighty, indeed, sent the potato blight, but the English created the Famine.'
For this, John Mitchel was first charged with sedition. When that looked set to fail, the prosecution hurriedly changed it to Treason Felony. Mitchel was found guilty by an English jury and deported to Australia.
However, it wasn't only the Irish who were levelling charges of genocide at the English government. Its own prime minister, Robert Peel, felt the same way. He was forced to resign, when he was out-voted and out-manoeuvred on the Repeal of the Corn Laws.
Entering the legislate on June 26th 1846, these measures allowed 'money crops' to be taken out of Ireland without incurring any taxation at all.
Peel's closing speech railed against his profiteering peers, as he demanded, "Good God, are you to sit in cabinet and consider and calculate how much diarrhoea, and bloody flux, and dysentery a people can bear before it becomes necessary for you to provide them with food?"
His successor, Lord John Russell, openly reassured the business community that his government would no longer interfere with the grain market. By the following winter, prices on maize alone had 'virtually tripled'.
It was not an issue which was only determined by hindsight. In March 1847, the leader of the Conservative Party, Lord George Bentinck, was moved to question the ruling Whigs.
He spoke accusingly in Parliament, saying, "They know the people have been dying by their thousands and I dare them to inquire what has been the number of those who have died through their mismanagement, by their principles of free trade. Yes, free trade in the lives of the Irish people!"
During the same month, Queen Victoria herself was leading a Day of Atonement. The idea was for Christian people to have a day of fasting, as penance for the situation in Ireland. With such a patron, English congregations flocked to join her, but not to petition their government to do anything about it.
No doubt those Irish who heard about the gesture found it to be very cold comfort. But it is extremely telling that even the monarch judged that they had something about which to feel penitent.
Occasionally, a prominent member of parliament let slip their real motivation. Writing to an Irish landowner, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Charles Wood actually stated, "I am not at all appalled by your tenantry going. That seems to be a necessary part of the process... We must not complain of what we really want to obtain."
Those representing the interests of the British government, actually inside Ireland, sometimes found the 'process' too much to bear. Edward Twisleton, an officer of the Poor Law Commission, resigned in 1849. He claimed that he was an 'unfit agent for a policy that must be one of extermination'.
His words were echoed a few months later, when Lord Claredon, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, wrote to his prime minister. He did not mince his words, raging, "I don't think there is another legislature in Europe that would disregard such suffering as now exists in the west of Ireland, or coldly persist in a policy of extermination."
His appeal for aid, like so many others before him, was solidly ignored.