Saturday 29 February 2020

Co. Donegal to host National Famine Commemoration

This year’s National Famine Commemoration will take place on Sunday, 24 May 2020 in Buncrana, County Donegal. Announcing the venue, which is different each year and rotates around the four provinces over each four-year period, Josepha Madigan, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee said this would be the third time the State Commemoration has taken place in Ulster, and will provide an opportunity for the people of Donegal to honour the memory of those who perished or sought escape for a new life from its ports.

“The choice of Donegal as host for the 2020 National Famine Commemoration is particularly significant given the impact of poverty and emigration on the people of the County throughout the 19th century," the Minister said.

"With many people living in small, one-room houses and increasingly reliant on their potato crops, the Famine swept through Donegal causing disease, death, family fragmentation and emigration. The Commemoration will reflect on this momentous event in Irish history and remember all those who suffered and died as a result of An Gorta Mór.”

Minister Madigan also expressed her appreciation for the work of the members of the National Famine Commemoration Committee for their commitment in ensuring that the catastrophic events of the Great Famine are appropriately remembered and that the extraordinary contributions of those who emigrated, and of their many descendants abroad, are justly celebrated.

The Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr Nicholas Crossan said: “We are honoured that Donegal will have the privilege of hosting the National Famine Commemoration ceremony. We look forward to liaising closely with the Minister’s department and together, while engaging with our local community, we will ensure the ceremony is a fitting commemoration on this tragic period in our history.”

The formal event will feature National flag and military honours before culminating in a solemn wreath-laying ceremony. Schools around the country will be invited to hold a minute of silent reflection on Friday 22 May in memory of those who perished or suffered loss during the famine while sporting organisations will be invited to observe a minute of silent reflection at sporting and public events taking place on the weekend of the Commemoration.