irishtimes.com – Last Updated: Friday, April 30, 2010
Call for famine commemoration
Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, Pat Carey today called for a minute’s silence at sports events across the country to mark National Famine Memorial Day.
The minister’s department has written to all sporting organisations urging them to take a moment during matches on next month’s annual day of commemoration to remember those who died during the famine.
Last year saw a minute’s reflection at hundreds of schools, public and sporting events.
“I understand that this was a great success last year and had a real impact on both participants and spectators alike,” Mr Carey said.
“Sport holds such a strong and respected position in Irish society and I would encourage all sporting organisations to use their influence to pay tribute and acknowledge the losses suffered in Ireland as a result of the famine.”
The national memorial event will take place on Sunday, May 16th in Murrisk, Co Mayo – home to the National Famine Monument.
A parallel international commemoration will be held in New York.
More than 150 years after Ireland’s devastating potato blight, Mr Carey said many famine-struck countries still need help.
“It is important that in acknowledging our own history we continue to raise awareness of the plight of these people,” he added.