The world remembers sufferers of the Great Irish Famine
The first annual Irish Famine Memorial Day is Sunday, May 17
This past Sunday, Irish around the world observed the first ever Famine Memorial Day in commemoration of The Great Irish Famine, or “An Gorta Mor” (The Great Hunger).
The Irish government declared Sunday, May 17 “National Famine Memorial Day,” which this year was officially held in Skibbereen, County Cork and on Grosse Ile, Canada’s Ellis Island. The government is also encouraging Irish communities worldwide to host local ceremonies and events to commemorate the day.
Skibbereen hosted a variety of commemorative events last week, including lectures, historical walks and concerts.
“The Skibbereen area was one of the worst affected by the Great Famine,” said Ireland’s Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Éamon Ó Cuív.
“The mass graves of between 8,000 and 10,000 famine victims at Abbeystrewery near Skibbereen are testament to the tragic consequences of the catastrophic failure of the potato crop in the area during the 1840s.”
All of Ireland observed National Famine Memorial Day, and all public and sporting events took a minute of silence on Sunday.
The Irish government plans to rotate the location of the annual event between the four provinces of Ireland. It is expected that next year, the official ceremony will be held in County Mayo, another area greatly affected by the Great Hunger.
Meanwhile, a parallel international event will be held each year to represent the Irish abroad whose ancestors were Famine refugees. This year’s overseas commemoration was held on Grosse Ile in Canada, which thousands of Irish immigrants ravaged by hunger and disease passed through between 1845 and 1855 in search of a new home.
Grosse Ille honored the 100th anniversary of the erection of their forty-foot Celtic Cross, which pays tribute to the 7,000 Irish men, women, and children who are buried on the island. The Canadian location was a quarantine station during the Famine years, and became known by locals as ‘L’Ile des Irlandais’ – the Island of the Irish.
The likely choice for the next international Famine Memorial Day is the U.S., where 40 million people of Irish heritage reside.
This year, Americans are answering Ireland’s call to commemorate their Irish ancestors on and around May 17.
In Chicago, the Galway Committee of the Sister Cities International Program, the American Ireland Fund and Old St. Pat's Parish in cooperation with the Consulate General of Ireland hosted a wreath laying on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at the Grainne statue, a figure of an Irish woman which evokes the courage and faith of Chicago’s Irish ancestors and Famine survivors. The city also held a reception and presentation by singer Catherine O’Connell and writer Mary Pat Kelly, a frequent Irish America magazine contributor and author of “Galway Bay,” an historical novel based on the life of her great-great grandmother, Honora Kelly, who survived the Famine and emigrated to Chicago.
- Gay teacher fired from Catholic school after...
- Nelson Mandela once considered a terrorist...
- Racist incidents in Ireland up by 85 percent...
- Nelson Mandela was against IRA decommissioning.
- Unionists regret US envoy Haass’ call for...
- Irish radio presenter suspended after anti-Isra
- Hollywood star Gabriel Byrne brands new Pope...
- Top ten negative terms used to describe Irish...
- Irish students told “No Irish Need Apply”...
- Website attracts 80,000 Irish people ready...
As I said, "Green, white and orange would be perfect".Racist incidents in Ireland up by 85 percent says Immigrant Council
Seanmor - Yes indeed.Bill O’Reilly slams Nelson Mandela as an unrepentant “communist”
Miceal: one defintion of communism is socialism with a rejection of Jesus. I don't know if Mandela fit that bill, but I do know that Obama does.Racist incidents in Ireland up by 85 percent says Immigrant Council
It is quite apparent that many of the posts on this article strongly favor foreigners, legal and illegal, over the natives whose ancestors have lived