Newry.ie

Newry, Mourne and Down Council have unveiled a programme of events leading up to the Annual Famine Commemoration on Saturday the 26th of September.  

The events have been put together to explore further the social, cultural, linguistic, economic and political legacy of the famine.  A media launch on Saturday was attended by Councillor Naomi Bailie, Chairperson Newry, Mourne and Down District Council , Heather Humphreys, TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and by Mr Dennis Mc Mahon, Permanent Secretary, to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

At the launch of the 2015  Famine Commemoration ,  Heather Humphreys, TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Naomi Baillie. Chairperson, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council  and DCAL Permanent Secretary Denis McMahon, who represented Minister Ni Chuilin. . view the original Famine Ship poster from 1847  which describes the  departure of the  Famine Ship 'Lady Caroline' from Warrenpoint Harbour where thousands of emigrants left for Canada in mid 1840s..
At the launch of the 2015 Famine Commemoration , Heather Humphreys, TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Naomi Baillie. Chairperson, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and DCAL Permanent Secretary Denis McMahon, who represented Minister Ni Chuilin. . view the original Famine Ship poster from 1847 which describes the departure of the Famine Ship 'Lady Caroline' from Warrenpoint Harbour where thousands of emigrants left for Canada in mid 1840s. Photograph: NewRayPics

Speaking at the launch Councillor Bailie said “Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is honoured to host the Annual Famine Commemoration 2015.  The remembrance of those who died or had to leave these shores is an important element in fostering an appreciation of the impact the famine has had and continues to have in modern Ireland today.  The Council is delighted that Newry City has been chosen as the location for the first time that the Annual Famine Commemoration has been held north of the border.  The Council has formed partnerships with cultural, community, and educational agencies and groups in order to ensure as wide an audience as possible attends the events and gains a greater understanding of the impact the Great Famine had in this region.” 

The highlight of the Councils Famine Commemoration Programme will be the Annual Commemoration which will take place at the Albert Basin, Newry on Saturday 26 September 2015.  The official ceremony will feature musical performances, poetry readings, and an unveiling of an historical plaque as well as contributions from local school children, community representatives, and senior government representatives.  The Annual Commemoration will culminate in a wreath laying ceremony and a minute silence in remembrance of those who were lost through death and emigration.  

Heather Humphreys, TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht added "My Department is delighted to be working with our partners in Newry, Mourne & Down District Council to pay tribute to those who suffered, perished or emigrated during this tragic period in Irish history.   I believe that this varied and comprehensive programme of events will generate an important dialogue about the famine, its impact on the whole island and on the effects of hunger still endured in the world today.  I congratulate the Council and the local community for their work in putting together what promises to be a fascinating series of events which will deliver a unique perspective to this year's commemoration.  I also very much look forward to participating in the main commemoration ceremony on September 26th at Albert Basin here in Newry, when Government representatives both North and South and representatives of the international community will join with the people of Newry in  remembering  all those who suffered throughout the Island during the Famine."

Launching  the 2015  Famine Commemoration,    Heather Humphreys, TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht,
Launching the 2015 Famine Commemoration, Heather Humphreys, TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Photograph: NewRayPics

Events will run in Newry from Monday the 21st of September until Thursday the 1st of October.

DCAL Permanent Secretary Denis McMahon, who represented Minister Ni Chuilin at the launch, said “The cross-party support for the hosting of the famine commemoration in Newry this year provides us with an important opportunity to increase understanding and raise awareness of a key period in our shared history and to promote inclusive approaches to remembering our past. The famine affected people from right across the island of Ireland.  Its impact was felt for many years to come and looking back on it now some 170 years since its outbreak, it is still difficult to comprehend the sheer scale of hardship.

“It was a time that should never be forgotten; it is a time that we need to be reminded of and that is why this annual commemorative event is an important template to help us understand this terrible time and ensure that this can never happen again.

The Event Guide can be downloaded below!

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