09/05/2014 Minister Deenihan asks Sporting Organisations to take part in a minute’s silence in remembrance of those who suffered loss during the Great Famine

Today (09th May 2014), Jimmy Deenihan T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee has asked national sporting organisations to hold a minute of silent reflection at public events across the country on Sunday 11thMay 2014.   This gesture will be a mark of respect and acknowledgement for those that died or suffered loss in the Great Irish Famine.

Minister Deenihan said:

“I would like to sincerely thank all the sporting organisations planning to take part in a minute of silent reflection on Sunday May 11th.   This will coincide with the National Famine Commemoration which is taking place in Strokestown Park House, Co Roscommon.    The silent reflection is always a poignant tribute to those who perished during the great Irish famine and also a sign of our remembrance for those who currently suffer from hunger throughout the world.  Ireland has a strong commitment to providing humanitarian aid for countries currently experiencing hunger crisis and this reinforces our understanding and empathy for current situations worldwide. Ireland is historically intertwined with sport and our culture is embedded in team morale,    therefore I believe sporting organisations holding a minute of silent reflection at an event shows our respect and acknowledgement of the hardship people endured and currently suffer worldwide.”

The National Famine Commemoration 2014 will take place in Strokestown, Co. Roscommon on 11th May 2014 and An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D. will lead the official representation.  The International Famine Commemoration will take place in New Orleans between 7-9th November 2014 and Minister Deenihan will lead the official representation.

A full ten-day programme of events leading up to the National Famine Commemoration began in Strokestown on Friday 2nd May 2014.  This includes a series of lectures, walks, tours, re-enactments, theatre, poetry, music, exhibitions and local commemoration ceremonies.  There will be no cover charge for any of the events and the Irish Famine Museum in Strokestown Park House will remain open throughout the week with a rare display of famine documents.

Wreath laying ceremonies will take place today throughout the county at famine sites and a traditional Irish wake will be held.

Further information regarding the local programme of events and the National Famine Commemoration 2014 can be found on the following websites:





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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