09/05/12 – Minister Deenihan thanks schools across the country for holding a minute’s silence in tribute to those who suffered loss during the Great Famine

Today (Wednesday 9th May 2012), Jimmy Deenihan T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee thanked all the schools around the country who plan to hold one minute’s silent reflection on Friday, 11th May 2012, as a gesture of respect for and acknowledgement of those who died or suffered loss in the Great Famine.

Students in all primary and secondary schools have been asked to pause for one minute at noon on Friday May 11th 2012 to reflect on the loss of the Great Famine and contemplate famine and hunger worldwide.

Minister Deenihan said: “I am delighted that schools have been so supportive of this initiative in previous years and continue to show their respect for those who suffered during the Great Famine. In pausing to remembering the past, we also remain aware of world hunger and the issues around the shortage of food which affect so many parts of our world today. There is no doubt that the experience of the Great Famine has shaped Irish attitudes to famine today and Ireland remains deeply committed to tackling world hunger, and providing humanitarian aid and relief around the world”
The 2012 National Famine Commemoration is being held on Sunday, 13th May in Drogheda, Co. Louth with An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD officiating at this formal State Commemoration. An international event led by President Michael D Higgins also took place in Boston on the 5th of May 2012.  “Drogheda, during the Famine years was the second largest port of departure for over one million people who were forced to emigrate. In recognition of this, a series of commemorative events are taking place in Drogheda including commemorative walks, recreating the Soup Kitchen of 1847 and exhibiting archival material from Strokestown Estate at the Drogheda Library, are just some of the events which are open to the public and all are free of charge.” said Minister Deenihan.

Link to details of programme of events taking place in Drogheda to commemorate the Great Famine.



Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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