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Minister Madigan announces the date and location of this year’s National Famine Commemoration

Josepha Madigan TD, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee has today (Friday) announced that this year's National Famine Commemoration will take place on Sunday 19 May 2019 in Sligo City. 


This is the third time the State Commemoration has taken place in Connacht. The ceremony will provide an opportunity for the people of Sligo to honour the memory of those who perished or sought escape for a new life from its port and will feature National flag and military honours before culminating in a solemn wreath-laying ceremony.


Schools around the country will be invited to hold a minute of silent reflection on Friday 17May in memory of those who perished or suffered loss during the famine while sporting organisations will be invited to observe a minute of silent reflection at sporting and public events taking place on the day of the Commemoration.


Speaking today Minister Madigan said:


“This will be the 12th consecutive year in which the National Famine Commemoration has taken place and each commemoration has afforded us an opportunity to pay tribute to the memory of those who perished and suffered during that desolate time."


She continued,


"The choice of Sligo as host for the 2019 National Famine Commemoration is particularly significant given the strength of its historic links with An Gorta Mór. The population of County Sligo fell by one-third between 1841 and 1851, those who did not die of hunger and disease, emigrating. The Commemoration will honour the lost generation who died or emigrated during this time. My Department and I look forward to working with Sligo County Council and the local community, to deliver a fitting commemoration of the Famine."


Minister Madigan also expressed her appreciation for the work of 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. 


The Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Councillor Martin Baker said ‘It is an honour for Sligo to have the privilege of hosting the National Famine Commemoration ceremony.  We will liaise closely with the Minister’s department and engage with our local community to ensure the ceremony is a fitting reflection on this tragic period in our history.’