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Thursday, 12 December 2013

Strokestown to host National Famine Commemoration

Strokestown in County Roscommon is to be the location for the 2014 National Famine Commemoration.

Making the announcement yesterday, Jimmy Deenihan T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee said: "The ceremony will take place at Strokestown Park House and Gardens, host to the Irish National Famine Museum. The people of Strokestown have worked tirelessly over the last 20 years to ensure that the victims of the Great Irish Famine are remembered in a dignified and respectful way and that the people of Ireland have a rich collection of material which helps us to examine the themes of the famine such as blight, eviction and emigration."

County Roscommon was one of the worst affected areas during the Great Irish Famine, with some 32% of its population lost. The Strokestown estate of Major Denis Mahon was by far the worst affected area; Mahon initiated large-scale emigration from the area to Canada and many perished on the journey.

Minister Deenihan said that the local organisers of the National Famine Commemoration have proposed a full programme of events in the run up to the Commemoration. The date of the event will be announced in due course.

Strokestown was chosen for the 2014 location following an open application process whereby all counties in Connacht were invited to submit applications through the relevant local authority.