Walkers reach Kildare in move to recall Irish famine

Recalling another austerity era

Henry Bauress


Henry Bauress



Walkers reach Kildare in move to recall Irish famine

Famine walkers at Kilcock

Members of a group on a six day walk to help us remember the Irish famines were greeted in Kilcock yesterday when they stopped on the route of the National Famine Walk.

The group walked 28km from Longwood in Meath to Maynooth yesterday and will walk from Maynooth to Dublin today.

The National Famine Way is an integrated inter-county collaboration between Waterways Ireland and county councils along the route: Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath, Meath, Kildare, Fingal and Dublin.

It is being developed by Strokestown Park House, the National Famine Museum, and the Irish Heritage Trust in partnership with Waterways Ireland, the ADAPT Centre for Digital Content Technology, and EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum.

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The walk began on May 25 when Famine enthusiasts began walking  the new officially accredited 165km national heritage trail, the National Famine Way.

Members of the public have been welcome to join for a short or long stretch of the Walk.

As the Strokestown Famine walkers followed this recently completed trail they commemorate the poignant ill-fated journey of 1,490 famine emigrants who walked from Strokestown Park to ships in Dublin in 1847 at the height of the Irish Famine.

Now, 172 years later, the Strokestown Famine walkers have been re-enacting this journey and launching the new waymarked National Famine Way along rural Roscommon roads and the Royal Canal through counties Longford, Westmeath, Meath, Kildare and arriving in Dublin at the Jeannie Johnson Famine Ship and EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum  today, Thursday,  May 30, at 5.30pm.

Walkers include Cathal Póirtéir (writer, broadcaster and former RTÉ Radio1 journalist,) Professor Mark McGowan(University of Toronto, Death or Canada Docudrama) and Dr. Christine Kinealy (Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University, Connecticut, USA).

Children’s author Marita Conlan-McKenna (Under The Hawthorn Tree) will be releasing daily instalments of her new E-Book commissioned for the National Famine Way – inspired by the story of 12-year-old Daniel Tighe one of the 1,490 who survived the journey to Quebec in 1847 and whose descendants visited Strokestown Park in 2013.

The National Famine Way Launch takes place today at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum at 5.30pmwhen the walkers conclude the six-day walk.

 A free ticketed performance by Declan O’Rourke takes place as part of the launch event which is hosted by the Irish Heritage Trust and National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park in partnership with EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum. This event is supported by Dublin City Council.

It is followed by the National Famine Way Custom House Quay Symposium, more information here. All welcome, this is a free ticketed event  but booking is required.