30/03/2014 : Minister Deenihan launches the National Famine Commemoration Local Community programme of events 2014 in Strokestown, Co Roscommon

Today, (30th March 2014), Jimmy Deenihan T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee, launched this year’s National Famine Commemoration programme of events in the Percy French Hotel in Strokestown, County Roscommon.   He was accompanied by the Mayor of County Roscommon Cllr. Martin Connaughton and Roscommon County Officials.

Speaking today, Minister Deenihan said: I am delighted to launch this year’s National Famine Commemoration local programme of community events from May 2nd to 11th.   The local community of Strokestown has many links to the famine, especially Strokestown Park House which was formally the Mahon estate. Many sought refuge here but were evicted due to the estates financial difficulties which in turn ended in tragic consequences for the Mahon family.  This year the community events and the official commemoration will remember all those locally and nationally who perished, emigrated and suffered loss during this desolate time. The community in Strokestown will greatly appreciate An Taoiseach’s participation in this year’s commemoration, which will be the 7th consecutive year in which the National Famine Commemoration has taken place in honour of those who suffered during An Górta Mór.

10 day programme of events – Strokestown, County Roscommon

A ten-day programme of events will begin in Strokestown on Friday May 2nd and will continue until Sunday May 11th culminating in the formal state commemoration ceremony.  The events include a series of lectures, musical pieces, walks, bus tours, theatre, music, exhibitions and local commemoration ceremonies, all of which are free of charge.  The Irish Famine Museum will remain open throughout the week with a rare display of famine documents.  A Strokestown poetry festival featuring famine poetry and a lecture on the Irish lumper potato will feature alongside bus tours of famine sites in the county and a famine art exhibition from a local primary school.  On Friday May 9th wreath laying ceremonies will take place throughout the county at famine sites and a traditional Irish wake will be held.  A special exhibition entitled ‘The Famine Irish: Faces from county’ will be opened by Dr Ciaran Reilly, NUI Maynooth.

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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