Ireland 1849 – 1859, the famine years. The Doyle family, nearly dead from starvation move into Portumna Workhouse. The workhouse separates the family and they never see each other again after entering the buildings. In a matter of hours, they discover how difficult and isolating life will be. The oldest son, Patrick Doyle barely survives the harshness. Willie Carney, already wise to the ways of the workhouse, steps forward and offers Patrick friendship. Together they forge a dream to get out into the world again and immigrate to America. Patrick’s dream includes bringing his family together again and Willie shares that dream. Patrick’s natural musical talent, and handcrafted fife (which he managed to hold on to), provides the means to fulfill their dreams. THE HUNGRY PIPER chronicles Patrick Doyle’s time in the workhouse and his amazing life after.