2. What does Hughes say is the real cause of the famine?
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It looks like the distribution of land was not clear. Numerous people claimed title over the same land,
"The consequence of his distribution was, from this time that every portion of the Irish soil, every estate, had two sets of owners; the one, owner by justice, hereditary title, and immemorial possession; the other, owner by assumed right of conquest, and the sign manual of Henry II. If Henry had conquered the country, he might have made these grants a reality; but as it was, they were simply as royal letters-patent, authorizing the iniquities and dis orders of all kinds which make up the history of the relations between the Irish people and what was called the English Pale."