IN-NOLA hosts Famine Commemoration Gala as part of the International Irish Famine Commemoration in New Orleans. Above: Historic Gallier Hall.IN-NOLA

The Irish are gathering in New Orleans, and it’s going to be an amazing night.

A highlight of the International Irish Famine Commemoration taking place in New Orleans November 6 – 9 will be the Famine Commemoration Gala hosted by the Irish Network New Orleans in the city’s historic Gallier Hall on November 8.

The annual International Irish Famine Commemoration aims to keep the memory of Ireland’s Great Hunger alive while paying tribute to the outstanding accomplishments of those Irish men, women and children who left their beloved homeland to escape certain death by starvation and illness. Past host cities include New York, Boston, Toronto, Liverpool, and Sydney, Australia.

New Orleans was selected to host the 2014 commemoration because of the thousands of Irish immigrants that made New Orleans their home in the 19 century and because of the profound influence these immigrants (and their descendants) had in shaping New Orleans.

The gala, held in New Orleans’ former City Hall, will both honor the victims of Ireland’s Great Hunger and celebrate Irish and Irish American achievements in New Orleans. Beloved Celtic rock band Black 47 will perform – their last ever appearance in the South before their farewell concert at BB Kings in New York.

Led by Irish author, and playwright, Larry Kirwan, Black 47 play a uniquely Irish form of rock 'n' roll that touches on many social and political issues but is never less than entertaining and riveting. The band, which has built a loyal and large fan base over the past 25 years, derived its name from a term for the summer of 1847, the worst year of the Great Irish Famine.

Irish American jazz powerhouse Tara O’Grady will also perform, as will local Irish musicians and Irish dancers from New Orleans.

Irish dignitaries including Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys; former Irish Ambassador Hugh Swift; and Irish Consul General Paul Gleeson, will speak at Gallier Hall along with other local dignitaries on these issues.

The great Brennan family of restauranteurs is coming together to feature their famous cuisine at the gala. Commander’s Palace, The Bourbon House, Red Fish Grill, Tableau are just some of the Brennan family restaurants that will be featured at the Gala. In addition, other popular New Orleans restaurants, including “Chopped” winner, local Irish Chef Matt Murphy’s Irish House, will provide delicious traditional food.

For information on the Gala and to purchase tickets, click here

For further details on the International Irish Famine Commemoration in New Orelans, click here