UCC hosts President Michael D. Higgins today for the National Famine Commemoration Day 2018.

President Michael D. Higgins and Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Simon Coveney will today travel to University College Cork (UCC) to officiate at the National Famine Commemoration Day 2018.

During the ceremony, Tánaiste Coveney will launch the Great Irish Famine Online in the Aula Maxima, UCC, a new digital resource that charts in detailed information the changes in the social, political and economic landscape of pre- and post-Famine Ireland.

“The development of the Great Irish Famine Online represents the culmination of a work over a period of years and will represent a major resource for all students of the Great Famine,” Coveney said of the launch.  

Read more: Ireland getting an official Famine Commemoration day

“For the first time, people will be able to view and analyze information charting changes in the social, political and economic landscape of pre- and post-famine Ireland.”

Performances during the official ceremony will include Karan Casey and Iarla Ó Lionáird who will sing with a massed Choir composed of the Cork Penny Dinners/ High Hopes Choir, Crosshaven Community Choir and UCC Choral Society.

Pieces performed will also include two musical compositions by Seán Doherty, both of which - “Professor Boole’s Farewell” and “Fr McCarthy’s Lament, 1847” - were commissioned specially for the occasion by UCC.

Read more: National Famine Commemoration Day - Irish Great Hunger memorials to visit

UCC marking the National Famine Commemoration 2018, we hear about an online project that allows people to see how the famine affected their locality #RTENationwide Friday 11th May @RTEOne 7pm & RTE+1 8pm @rte @DeptAHG @irishexaminer @CorkChamber @History_Ireland @HistIreHedge RT pic.twitter.com/V1KKMlgYB7

— RTÉ Nationwide (@RTENationwide) May 11, 2018

“The commissioning by UCC of music composed by Seán Doherty will form part of the legacy of today’s events and is but another example of the College’s longstanding commitment to the commemoration of the Famine,” said Irish Minister of Culture Josepha Madigan ahead of today’s ceremony.

After the official ceremony, the President will visit An Bothán, a replica of a 4th class dwelling (categorized in the census of 1841 as “a single room cabin built of organic material”), reflecting the horrible and all too common living conditions of the time.

The third Sunday in May has been formally designated by the Government as the National #Commemoration Day to officially mark the #Irish #Famine. It should be commensurate with the sheer amount of people lost to death & emigration. Speaking in #Dáil today: pic.twitter.com/I8eCinuM4b

— ⚖️Josepha Madigan (@josephamadigan) May 3, 2018

From 2019 onward, the annual National Famine Commemoration Day will be held annually on the same weekend; the third weekend in May. Although the commemoration has now been in existence for a decade, the date has varied from year to year as other commemorations, such as the Easter Rising Centenary, were avoided.

In May 2018, however, the Irish government decided on a fixed weekend after years of calls for the event to be held on a specific day. The commemoration will continue to move from place to place each year.

Are you marking the National Famine Commemoration Day 2018? If so, let us know how you are honoring it in the comments section, below.

Read more: Cork witness recorded shock at poverty and death during the Great Hunger