On May 5, the County Mayo Foundation will host a special event at Battery Park City’s Irish Hunger Memorial in New York City to celebrate “Mayo Day,” a worldwide event dedicated to County Mayo’s art and culture, its vibrant communities and its unquenchable spirit.
The event will also honor the resilience of all those who left Mayo during the Great Irish Hunger, as well as celebrating the many generations of the Mayo diaspora who made New York their home.
Mayo was one of the counties worst affected by Ireland’s potato crop failure, which occurred between 1845 and 1850, starving millions and forcing mass emigration.
The celebration in New York is just one of many taking place across Mayo and around the world. The initiative was established four years ago by the Mayo County Council.
Below are details of the event:
What: “New York – Made of Mayo”
When: Saturday, May 5, 2018, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (speakers to begin at 11:30 a.m. and will include CMF President Jim Waldron, CMF Vice President Siobhan Carney and Eileen Flannelly Mackell, President, Irish Institute of New York)
Where: Battery Park City (Vesey Street and North End Avenue)
Foundation President Jim Waldron, who will lay a wreath at the memorial to honor the Mayo diaspora in New York, said the event is an opportunity for reflection.
“This will be a chance to reflect on our heroic past, celebrate our present and connect our Mayo Diaspora with the many wonderful non-profit organizations that receive assistance through the County Mayo Foundation,” he added.
A lone piper will play a tribute to Mayo’s diaspora, and Broadway/TV and film actress Maria Deasy will read the Doolough tragedy episode from “Worlds,” a novel by John Kearns, in addition to singing “The Green and Red of Mayo.”
The memorial, which has been a part of the downtown New York City landscape since 2002, features an abandoned stone cottage taken from a village in County Mayo, stone walls taken from Ireland’s 32 counties, fallow potato fields and flora from the West of Ireland.