14/01/2013 – NATIONAL FAMINE COMMEMORATION IN 2013 TO BE HELD IN KILRUSH, COUNTY CLARE
2013 NATIONAL FAMINE COMMEMORATION TO BE HELD IN
KILRUSH, COUNTY CLARE
Jimmy Deenihan T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht today (14th January 2013) announced the National Famine Commemoration Committee’s plan for the 2013 National Famine Commemoration.
The National Famine Commemoration will take place in Kilrush, County Clare in 2013;
An International Famine Commemoration will be held in Sydney, Australia on 25th August 2013;
Communities nationwide will be encouraged to hold their own local events to commemorate the Great Irish Famine;
Schools around the country will be invited to hold a minute of silent reflection on the Friday preceding the National Famine Commemoration in memory of those who perished or suffered loss during the famine; and
Sporting organisations will be invited to observe a minute of silent reflection at sporting and public events taking place on the day of the National Famine Commemoration.
Minister Deenihan said:
‘This will be the 6th consecutive year in which the National Famine Commemoration is taking place. I am delighted that Kilrush, County Clare, is to be the location for the National Famine Commemoration in 2013 and to learn of the immense commitment and support in the community in Kilrush and wider county area. It confirms the deep regard still held today for all those who perished, suffered and emigrated during this catastrophic period in our history.’
The choice of Kilrush as host town for the 2013 National Famine Commemoration is particularly significant given the strength of its historic links with the Great Irish Famine. Kilrush and its environs were among the areas worst hit by famine during that tragic time in our nation’s history. Evictions, fever and cholera reduced the population of south-west Clare to such an extent that it has never since attained its pre-famine numbers. It is estimated that Kilrush Union lost 50% of its population between 1846 and 1851. Over 20,000 were evicted in the Kilrush area and the Kilrush workhouse greatly exceeded its capacity of 800 and overflowed with skeletal, desolate and damaged people. It witnessed deprivation and death on a cataclysmic scale.
Minister Deenihan said:
‘The National Famine Commemoration Committee looks forward to working closely with the community in Kilrush to ensure that the 2013 National Famine Commemoration will be a fitting tribute all those who perished, suffered and emigrated ‘.
Minister Deenihan expressed his gratitude to the members of the National Famine Commemoration Committee for their commitment in ensuring that the catastrophic events of the Great Famine are appropriately remembered and that the extraordinary contributions of those who emigrated, and of their many descendants abroad, are justly celebrated.