20/08/2013: Minister Deenihan to visit Australia as part of the 2013 International Commemoration of the Great Irish Famine

Tuesday 20 August 2013:   Jimmy Deenihan T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee will later today travel to Australia to lead the ceremonies for the 2013 International Commemoration of the Great Irish Famine which is taking place in Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney, Australia on Sunday, 25th August 2013 at 12 noon.  This is the 5th International Famine Commemoration.  Previous events took place in Boston, New York, Liverpool and Canada.

During the 4 day visit Minister Deenihan will officially launch the “Atlas of the Great Irish Famine at the State Library in Sydney, and he will also speak at a Seminar on the Great Irish Famine in Parliament House.

The Minister will host a Business Networking Breakfast at the Irish Consulate in Sydney on Thursday.

While visiting the Celtic Studies Department of the University of Sydney, Minister Deenihan will meet with academics from the Department of Celtic Studies at the University of Sydney, Irish language students, some University officials and Ms Clare Dunne, President of the Celtic Studies Foundation. Sydney University offers a Modern Irish Language and Culture Course which is supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Sydney is the only university in the Southern Hemisphere where Irish studies are offered as an essential part of a university degree.

From Sydney University the Minister will travel to Parliament House, where he will meet the New South Wales Parliamentary Friends of Ireland, in the company of the Minister for the Arts, the Hon. George Souris MP.  Minister Deenihan will also be hosted by his counterpart Minister for Environment and Heritage, the Hon. Robyn Parker MP in advance of his visit to the Royal National Park.

Minister Deenihan will visit Sydney Cricket Ground and he will officially open an extension to Penrith Gaels Irish Club and will also have the opportunity to meet Irish Seniors at the Drop-in Service at the Irish Australian Welfare Bureau.

Minister Deenihan will also visit the Royal National Park which is the world’s second largest National Park where he will meet with park rangers and officials.

Commenting in advance of travelling Minister Deenihan said “My visit to Sydney marks not only the International Commemoration of the Great Irish Famine, but also celebrates the tremendous impact that Irish emigrants have made to their adopted homeland.”

“A key aim of the National Famine Commemoration Committee which I chair is also to raise awareness of famine issues all over the world.  The legacy of the famine in Ireland includes a deep compassion felt by Irish people for those who suffer from hunger in today’s world. Ireland’s historical experience of Hunger underlies the Irish Government’s strong commitment to tackling global hunger – at its roots and on a long-term basis.

Minister Deenihan added “I am also very much looking forward to hearing our native Irish language being spoken when I meet with the students of the Modern Irish Language and Culture course at Sydney University”
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Note to Editors:

Whilst in Australia for four days, Minister Deenihan will take part in a number of engagements as listed:

Thursday 22 August 2013

• Business Networking Breakfast at Consulate
• Visit to Celtic Studies Dept University of Sydney
• Meet with New South Wales Parliamentary friends of Ireland
• Meet with  The Hon George Souris, Minister for the Arts MP
• Meet with the Hon. Robyn Parker, MP NSW Minister for Environment & Heritage
• Attend Tourism Ireland Media event

Friday 23 August 2013

• Visit Royal National Park
• Visit Irish Seniors Drop-in at Irish Australian Welfare Bureau Bondi
• Visit Sydney Cricket Ground

Saturday 24 August 2013

• Address the opening seminar on Irish Famine at Parliament House
• Open extension at Penrith Gaels Irish Club
• Visit Sydney Opera House

Sunday 25 August 2013

• Meet with descendants of Irish orphan girls who travelled to Australia during the famine
• Officiate at International Famine Commemoration 2013 at Hyde Park Barracks.
• Attend New South Wales GAA Games & present cup and medals for Hurling Games Final

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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