Tuesday 1 April 2014

National Famine Commemoration 2014 programme launched

Click image to download programme (pdf 3.1Mb)
This year's National Famine Commemoration programme of events was launched at the weekend at the Percy French Hotel in Strokestown, County Roscommon. The ten-day programme takes place Friday 2 May to Sunday 11 May.

Some highlights from the schedule:
  • A series of lectures, musical pieces, walks, bus tours, theatre, music, exhibitions and local commemoration ceremonies, all of which are free of charge. 
  • The Irish Famine Museum will remain open throughout the week with a rare display of famine documents.
  • A Strokestown poetry festival featuring famine poetry and a lecture on the Irish lumper potato
  • Bus tours of famine sites in the county
  • A famine art exhibition from a local primary school.
  • On Friday May 9th wreath laying ceremonies will take place throughout the county at famine sites and a traditional Irish wake will be held.
  • A special exhibition entitled ‘The Famine Irish: Faces from county’ will be opened by Dr Ciaran Reilly, NUI Maynooth.

Launching the programme, Jimmy Deenihan, TD, Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, said: "The local community of Strokestown has many links to the famine, especially Strokestown Park House which was formerly the Mahon estate. Many sought refuge here but were evicted due to the estate's financial difficulties, which in turn ended in tragic consequences for the Mahon family.

"This year the community events and the official commemoration will remember all those locally and nationally who perished, emigrated and suffered loss during this desolate time. The community in Strokestown will greatly appreciate An Taoiseach's participation in this year's commemoration, which will be the seventh consecutive year in which the National Famine Commemoration has taken place in honour of those who suffered during An Górta Mór."