Famine commemoration to be held in Drogheda

Sat, Dec 31, 2011, 00:00

DROGHEDA IN Co Louth has been selected to host the National Famine Commemoration in May 2012. The announcement was made yesterday by Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan.

“The choice of Drogheda as host town is particularly significant as during the Famine years, the town was the second largest port of departure for over one million people who were forced to emigrate,” said Mr Deenihan.

Ireland was ravaged by the Famine from 1845 to 1852. Many of the rural poor in Co Louth died from hunger and disease or emigrated during the period as relief committees were unable to feed the starving masses.

“This will be the fifth consecutive year in which the National Famine Commemoration has taken place. Communities working in partnership with the businesses and local authorities of Skibbereen, Co Cork, Murrisk, Co Mayo, and Clones, Co Monaghan, all created a programme of events which honoured and respected the earlier generation who had perished in the great hunger,” said the Minister.

“I know that the selection of Drogheda will also have widespread support from Drogheda Borough Council, the Old Drogheda Society, the Drogheda Harbour Board, all the churches and Louth County Council,” he said.

“The Famine commemoration committee looks forward to working closely with these groups to ensure that the commemoration for 2012 will be a fitting and dignified tribute to our ancestors.”

The Minister also expressed his gratitude to the members of the National Famine Commemoration committee for their commitment to ensuring that the commemoration programme would continue to honour those who suffered and recognise the efforts of those exceptional people who tried to help.