11/12/2013 – Minister Deenihan announces location for the 2014 National Famine Commemoration
Today, Wednesday, 11 December, 2013, Jimmy Deenihan T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee announced Strokestown, Co. Roscommon as the location for the 2014 National Famine Commemoration.
Speaking today Minister Deenihan said: “I am delighted to announce Strokestown as the location for the 2014 National Famine Commemoration. The ceremony will take place at Strokestown Park House and Gardens, host to the Irish National Famine Museum. The people of Strokestown have worked tirelessly over the last 20 years to ensure that the victims of the Great Irish Famine are remembered in a dignified and respectful way and that the people of Ireland have a rich collection of material which helps us to examine the themes of the famine such as blight, eviction and emigration.”
Minister Deenihan continued: “Roscommon was one of the worst affected areas during the Great Irish Famine. In fact, 32% of the population was lost during this time. The Strokestown estate of Major Denis Mahon was by far the worst affected area within the County. In fact Denis Mahon initiated large-scale emigration from the area to Canada and many perished on the journey. It is fitting, therefore, that we will host the 2014 commemoration here.”
Strokestown was chosen for the 2014 location following an open application process whereby all counties in Connacht were invited to submit applications through the relevant local authority. Minister Deenihan thanked all applicants for their efforts during this process:
“I would like to thank all of the other local authorities who submitted applications. Your interest in the Great Irish Famine is welcome and I hope that you continue in your work in to remember the victims of this terrible time in our history.”
He concluded: “I would like to wish the community in Strokestown and the wider Roscommon area the very best in their planning for this event. I understand that they have proposed a full programme of events planned in the run up to the Commemoration and I would urge the community to take part in these activities and fully support this very special event.”
The date of the event will be announced in due course.