One family’s campaign to mark a historical tragedy pays off
MEMORIAL: Betty, Olivia and Michael Blanch have the flag that will be presented in a ceremony in Battery Park, New York.
From The Echo Newspaper – http://www.echo.ie
By Patrick McCarry
A LONG campaign by a Tallaght family to have a Famine Commemoration Day marked in Ireland and abroad has finally paid off. The Blanch family from Raheen lobbied public representatives, national bodies and government officials for over a decade to have the special day to mark Ireland’s Famine in the 19th century. Husband and wife Michael and Betty Blanch will be joined by their daughter, Olivia, relatives and friends in Dublin city centre on Sunday to celebrate the 7th annual commemoration of The Great Famine. The commemoration walk will begin at the Garden of Remembrance on Parnell Square at 2pm and continue on to the Famine sculptures at Custom House Quay. The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Labour councillor Emer Costello, will take part in the walk and lay a wreath at the sculptures. The day of remembrance will also be held in Perth, Australia, which was the twin city for this year ’s event, and in New York. The day also was marked recently in Scotland when Celtic played their final game of the season against Hearts. Michael is hoping the memorial day will build each year and is delighted that it has received international support, however his campaigning is not finished. He said: “There is no mention of the Famine in the National Museum of Ireland and I have contacted all the TDs and Senators asking them to comment on whether this is right or not. “I have had 15 positive responses already but am waiting to hear back from over 100 others. “I will not let this drop.” For further details on the event and related topics, check the website www.irishfaminevictims.com