Gorta Famine Walk - Drogheda - 13 May 2012
09 May 2012
Be Part of Drogheda's National Famine Commemoration
The second of two Gorta Famine Walks will take place on Sunday 13th May in Drogheda, Co. Louth. The walk marks the departure by a man, his wife and two children from Ballina in 1847 and their eventual arrival in Drogheda (en route to the port) three weeks later, where sadly both children passed away.
Walkers assemble at Oldbridge House (Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre, Oldbridge, Drogheda) and walk into Drogheda to attend the National Commemoration at Merchant’s Quay, the Gorta tree will be planted in the presence of the Mayor, attending ambassadors and local public representatives.
Address by President Michael D. Higgins in Boston
09 May 2012
Irish President Michael D. Higgins delivered an address in Boston Saturday as part of the 2012 Annual Irish Famine Commemoration.
On Saturday, 5 May 2012 President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins visited Boston. He gave a presentation on the impact if the Famine at Faneuil Hall followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the Boston Irish Famine Memorial at the corner of School and Washington Streets.
The event was part of the 2012 Annual Irish Famine Commemoration which encompasses a yearlong program of commemoration. Boston has been designated by the Irish government as the official site for overseas events in 2012.
In an address entitled: Reflecting on the Gorta Mór: the Great Famine of Ireland Some narratives, their lessons and their legacy, The President acknowledged the complex legacy of the famine, which he called Ireland’s “greatest social calamity.”
In a pointed moment, The President decried the failure of the world community to stamp out hunger.
“To international relations, governments, and the institutions which generations place their trust [in], it remains one of the great unresolved ethical challenges of our time - the daily needless loss of life to hunger and preventable diseases,” The President said.
The speech drew many members of Boston’s Irish community, who packed the hall to near capacity. They greeted The President, who has made reconnecting with emigrated Irish a priority of his presidency, with warm applause.
President's Famine speech enraptures listeners - The Irish Times, 7th May 2012
AnGortaMor.org - Gorta's microsite for the 2012 National Famine Commemoration
Gorta to Hold Commemorative Famine Walk in Ballina
23rd April 2012
Gorta is to hold a remembrance Famine Walk in Ballina on 7th May 2012. The walk coincides with the National Famine Commemoration – which is due to take place in Drogheda the following weekend.
Gorta encourages everyone – both young and old - to take part in this walk, which is sure to be a fun, healthy and enjoyable way to spend your Bank Holiday Monday.
The family walk, through Belleek Woods, is to honor the journey made by a Mayo family during the Great Famine. The family left Ballina in 1847 and made their way to Drogheda in an attempt to get to England in search of a better life. The journey symbolizes the exodus from Mayo as a result of An Gorta Mór, which caused widespread devastation in the county.
In an article from local newspaper ‘The Nation’ in Drogheda, it stated that:
“They had been three weeks on the road, and had but 7½ day starting: when this was expended, they begged their way onwards… On arriving here [Drogheda] they discovered that the man’s brother had tired waiting for them and departed for England. The wretched family had no means of going further, and in passing down Shop Street, the woman fell exhausted by her sufferings….”
Speaking about the walk, Brian Hanratty, Gorta CEO said, “This event is important as it commemorates a very difficult period in Ireland’s history. Gorta is an organisation which is committed to ensuring that famine does not happen in the communities where we work in sub-Saharan Africa – in Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Uganda.”
“We would encourage everyone – both young and old - to take part in this walk, which is sure to be a fun, healthy and enjoyable way to spend your Bank Holiday Monday. The walk will also include an interesting talk at the Famine Wall in Belleek Woods, which details some of the history of the experiences of the Great Famine” he added.
The walk will take place on Bank Holiday Monday, the 7th May, at 2pm and all are welcome to attend. While registration isn’t essential, it’s important to gauge numbers. To register, call (096) 77613, email email@example.com or drop into 19 Pearse Street, Ballina.
Opening Famine Event to Feature Many Louth Links with the World's Poor
17th April 2012
“Making Hunger History – Local Heroes in Faraway Places” will take place at the Westcourt Hotel, Drogheda at 2pm on Saturday, April 28th. All are welcome to attend and admission is free.
Pictured recently ahead of the “Making Hunger History – Local Heroes in Faraway Places” event in Drogheda was Brian Hanratty, Gorta CEO and Sister Ursula Sharpe of the Medical Missionaries of Mary (MMM), who will be speaking at the event in the Westcourt Hotel, Drogheda, on the 28th April.
Organised by Gorta – the Freedom from Hunger Council of Ireland, speakers at the event will include Louthman Brendan Rogers, Director General of Irish Aid and Mayor of Drogheda Kevin Callan along with representatives from the Medical Missionaries of Mary, Development Perspectives and Louth County Council.
“All of the groups represented are supporting community projects in developing countries and we want everyone to come along and see the wonderful work being done by them, on behalf of local people,” said Phil Conyngham, Chairperson of the Co. Louth Gorta Committee.
The event heralds the launch of Drogheda hosting the National Famine Commemoration on Sunday, May 13th, which An Taoiseach Enda Kenny will attend. A full programme of events leading up to the National Commemoration will be announced by the Mayor Kevin Callan immediately prior to the Gorta ‘Local Heroes’ event.
“The work of local heroes in faraway places is possible thanks to the generosity of local people donating to Gorta and other good causes. Alongside donors, volunteers who organise and assist with fundraising such as church gate collections are critical to our success - and with this event, we salute them,” said Gorta CEO Brian Hanratty.
Young and old alike are invited to attend this event and free places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. While registration isn’t essential (you can come along on the day), it helps to email firstname.lastname@example.org, call (01) 6615522 or register at the Local Heroes Office, West Street, Drogheda to register your attendance.