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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: May 13, 2010 @ 4:01 pm

    Minute’s silence for the Great Famine

    Pól Ó Muirí

    There will be a minute’s silence in schools in the Republic at mid-day tomorrow to remember all those who died and suffered during the Great Famine. Minister for the Gaeltacht, Pat Carey, says: “I am delighted that schools are supporting this year’s National Famine Memorial Day 2010 and I would like to thank all of them for this support. The Famine had a huge impact on Irish society and was one of the greatest tragedies in our country’s history. Although famine in our own country may seem unlikely today, for others around the world it is a reality. We must, as a nation, use our experience and empathy to raise awareness of their plight”. 

    The 2010 National Famine Commemoration will be held on Sunday, 16th May in Murrisk, Co Mayo with an international event taking place in New York the following week.

    • Liam says:

      its ironic that the famine was at the tail end of a land property bubble and crash brought on by the Britain’s corn laws which inflated agricultural prices. Now our economy is in the crapper because our political masters thought it would be hoot to inflate (wait for it) land property prices. I doubt if our minister for the Gaeltacht & Grand Gestures will acknowledge same

    • Pablo says:

      Many state hospitals (mental institutions) in this country (the USA) have associated cemeteries where inmates who died in those institutions are buried. In many cases, headstones have replaced numbered markers and give the names and dates of death of those buried there. In addition to local people, there are the names of people from all over the world. However, from the middle to late 1800s, Irish name predominate (hundreds and even over a thousand). Looking at dates of birth and death on the headstones, it is obvious that most of these Irish people were also victims of the famine. Their deaths are probably not counted in the overall death total of famine victims. If you count the number of similar institutions in the US, England, Australia, Canada, etc., tens of thousands are not counted as victims of the famine. My purpose here is making sure that these people are not forgotten.

    • XXfactor says:

      The ‘silence’ in response to this post says more perhaps than any words could convey…One of the greatest atrocities in history; the Genocide of a Race justified as a natural disaster. Irish History needs to be de sanitised, there was NO Famine, the potato crop failed; other than that ,best of food was shipped to the Colonial tables whilst the indigenous POOR died of the hunger. A DISGRACE as outrageous as any in History…but no clamour of voices to be heard, ne’er a one…!

    • have to say that I am unaware of any event in the North, ie Northern Ireland, marking the event. My children are at a local Catholic school which supports Trocáire/Goal and have not heard anything about a minute’s silence. Don’t know if there is anything going on at Stormont either and given that the event predated partition I would have thought it appropriate.

    • long time ago now though says:

      There’s a little graveyard in West Cork where my ancestors come from. Many of them are buried in there. It’s all covered over with ferns and undergrowth, but you can discern little piles of shells, bleached like bone. They were dragged in there by the dying in 1845, the last bit of sustenance they had to gnaw on as they died on consecrated ground and were buried in pits where they lay.

    • kynos says:

      Would my new cab-driver friend Danny from Ethiopia who drove me last nite home from the bar have been so enthused about the Irish as he is if it weren’t for An Gorta Mór? No I doubt he’d have heard much about us at all, nor would there have been a St. Bob nor a St. Bono to help his country when She was dyin on Her feet. If it weren’t for the Irish Famine, we’d not have been able to properly understand the Horror of it for anyone else. The Choctaw too know this to be true. It’s the difference between empathy and sympathy. The first derives from shared experience. The second is best left in the dictionary.

    • CDW says:

      Oddly enough I have heard no mention of this prior to or after the event in local or national papers…. I just hope that the children understood the reality of the Famine as from what I recall from school what I was taught about the Famine differed enormously from the true facts that I educated myself on.
      Well done to the saving of the Famine letters found in the solicitors office from being auctioned.

    • XXfactor says:

      @5 :-(

    • XXfactor says:

      I think The Great Hunger (An Gorta Mor) is a more accurate description of the avoidable tragedy generally referred to as The Famine. It was good to read that Celtic FC marked National Famine Commemoration Day for the second year running, by wearing a Celtic Cross badge, that is also the emblem of the clubs charitable wing. The commemoration by CFC is particularly fitting since the club was formed to feed the poor Irish immigrant community who sought refuge from The Great Hunger and settled in the East End of Glasgow.
      Acknowledgements to Mary McGinty of the ‘Irish Post’ for this extremely interesting information which I thought your readers might find as poignant and pertinent as I did.
      Away the Bhoys…just another reason to love the Celts…!

    • Kynos says:

      Yeah it is sad XXfactor. That was me commenting @5btw. It is sad that – as it seems – we’ll never solve world hunger even though there’s enough food in the world to feed it many times over. And I’m not just talking about African countries. Food security is far from guaranteed for people even in places like here in California, where I see Second Harvest are launching a collection drive in tech companies here in San Jose and Santa Clara and Cupertino and so forth. For those not so lucky as to have received an education that entitles them to get a job; for those whose life histories have slid right off the road due to perhaps marital breakdown, mental illness, addiction, financial catastrophes brought on by the wealthy Elites who’ve destroyed this country in so many ways just as they have destroyed Ireland also. Yes it is sad. Been a long time now since Irish people died with their mouths green from eating grass; though the seas around them abounded with food and the land yielding rich harvests exported to pay for the pleasures of the London gaming tables and the handbags and the gladrags of absentee aristocrats. Realpolitick prevails today just as it did then though, and it’s not fifty years since an Irish TD stood up in the Dail and said that people may have to starve in Ireland. Yes indeed. They may yet have to again. Perhaps this time round that’ll help drive us towards something like the society those who fought and died for Ireland’s liberation might have hoped for. We can always hope. That, at least, remains free of charge and in no short supply.

    • XXfactor says:

      I realised it was you kynos, and I’m glad you’ve checked in thought you might have been kidnapped by a cult of women beach volleyball players!….In your dreams…I’m not sure I agree with your assertion about people ‘not being fortunate to receive an education that entitles them to a job’…No one is denied education in the West… it’s what they do with it that matters…and no one is ‘entitled’ to a job…
      I know also that the dice are loaded against some and where and to whom you are born determines the schools you attend.
      However Education is no longer just about formal teaching, information is more accessible than ever… access to to knowledge is accessible in the home…you don’t even need to go to a library, just open a web page…I’d say there are very few ‘kids’ who either do not have or do not know how to use a computer…
      Social Inequality is inherent in Capitalism consequently there are social casualties…otherwise it wouldn’t be Capitalism…if you want to change the consequences you have to change the causes of Social Inequality…
      Anyway I want to go out into the sunshine and I expect you’ve got some Californian pastime to attend to…If it was me I’d be watchin’ the surf dudes…Have a nice day y’alll

    • ruby tuesday says:

      Why is 16 May designated Famine Memorial Day? Genuine ask they don’t teach any Irish History in English Schools…!

    • rubyxcube/d says:

      And the answer is…??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????


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