The 2017 National Famine Commemoration will take place at 3pm on Saturday next, 30th September 2017 at the Famine Warhouse 1848 in Ballingarry, County Tipperary.
The Warhouse has been recognised as a National Monument and has a unique place in Irish history especially the dark years of An Gorta Mór.
The Commemoration will be hosted by the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys T.D. in her role as Chairperson of the National Famine Commemoration Committee. The Guest of Honour will be An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar T.D. who will also lay a wreath on behalf of the Irish People.
The formal State ceremonial event, which includes and wreath laying ceremonies will be preceded by a community programme culminating in an address by An Taoiseach.
The community programme will feature performances by Mícheál Ó’Súileabháin, Michael Coady the Cecilian Choir from the Ursuline School, Thurles and Banna Cluain Meala. It will also feature members of the local community including Dr Thomas Mc Grath, Carmel O Brien and Aiden Mullally and Abaigeal Maher from the Presentation Secondary School Ballingarry. A series of local events including a Schools Art programme will also take place during the coming week.
On Thursday 28 September the local primary schools project will be launched at the Community Hall in Ballingarry. Local artist Katy Goodhue has produced a series of 5 pieces of art reflecting the Famine in the local area. Based on her research over the summer for these pieces she has also gone to the 6 local schools and worked with the children to create an artistic response to the Famine in the area. These works will be on display in the community hall and at the Famine Warhouse 1848 for the Commemoration itself. A short film by local filmmaker David Quin was also commissioned as part of the Creative Ireland programme by the Arts Office and Heritage Office, again as an artistic response to Famine in the local area. This will also be screened on Thursday evening. This event begins at 7pm.
This event is open to the public. Shuttle Buses will be available from Ballingarry Village (from 12 pm to 1.30pm) and the Commons (12.30 pm to 1.30pm) to transport those wishing to attend to the historic site, returning following the conclusion of the event at approximately 4.30pm.
Speaking earlier this week, Minister Humphreys said:
“I am very much looking forward to this year’s National Famine Commemoration. The Famine Warhouse 1848 is a unique venue for the Commemoration, and the local community and our colleagues in Tipperary County Council have prepared a powerful artistic programme to honour the memory of An Gorta Mór and its victims”.