22/03/2012: Minister Deenihan announces plans for Boston & Drogheda Famine Commemorations in May 2012

Jimmy Deenihan T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee, today (22nd March, 2012) welcomed the news that President Michael D. Higgins will lead the official representation at this year’s overseas Famine Commemoration, which takes place in Boston on Saturday, 5th May 2012.


“I am delighted that President Higgins is leading the official representation at the Famine Commemoration in Boston this year.  Many Irish emigrants during the Great Famine, and indeed after that period, have settled in Boston and on the eastern coast of the United States of America and I know that the community in Boston are working hard to ensure that the Commemoration will be a dignified and fitting tribute to the victims of the Great Irish Famine”.


Minister Deenihan also commented, “The National Famine Commemoration ceremony is taking place in Drogheda in May this year.  Drogheda was the second largest port of departure for over one million people who were forced to emigrate. Some travelled only as far as Britain while others travelled onwards from the UK to North America.  Many of these people arrived in Boston, hoping for a more prosperous life.  We know from the evidence of Irish heritage in Boston that many settled and prospered in that city.  I would like to thank the community in Boston for their ongoing work to ensure that the victims of the famine are remembered and respected in a dignified manner”.


There have been three international commemorations of the Great Irish Famine to date.  These overseas events coincide with the annual National Famine Commemoration, which rotates around the four provinces of Ireland.  Previous overseas events have taken place in Canada (2009), New York (2010) and Liverpool (2011).


The 2012 National Famine Commemoration will take place in Drogheda, Co. Louth on Sunday, 13th May 2012.  An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D. will lead the official representation at this event.



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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