2017 marks not just the centenary of Finnish independence but also the sesquicentenary of the Finnish famine of 1866-68. Several years of cold summers and bitterly cold winters caused successive poor harvests and mass hunger.
Finns were accustomed to a hard life, but from 1866 they began to experience want on a bigger scale than ever before. People left the countryside to find work, beg or even steal as they lost the means to feed themselves.
Despite the widespread devastation, the famine is not remembered in quite the same way as the great famine in Ireland. Memorials can be out of the way and forgotten, and Irish researcher Andrew Newby is trying to visit as many as possible.