Posted by: irishhungercomm | March 19, 2011

Letter to Rosie O’Donnell

Rosie O’Donnell recently appeared on the TV program “Who Do You Think You Are?” and part of this show featured a workhouse in Ireland from the Great Hunger period.  Rosie O’Donnell made the point that more people should know about the workhouses.  Below is a communication from Jim Gallagher who is trying to reach Rosie O’Donnell on this subject.

Irish Hunger, Workhouses, Hunger victims

This is what I sent re Rosie O’Donnell’s program.  It came back as undeliverable. I tried all  of the other suggested URL’s, e mails, etc, and this is the only one that contained a direct connection.  Or, at least I thought that it did.  I tried to keep it fairly terse.  I’ll continue the quest.  I’m wide open to suggestions.

Jim Gallagher

From: <>
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2011 13:01:44 -0400
Subject: Irish Hunger, Workhouses, Hunger victims

Rosie O’Donnell.

I saw your program on “Who Do You Think You Are”, and was impressed with
the information presented about your family search, which led to locating
Irish Workhouses in the 19th century, and, your understandable reaction
to them.  I am the Secretary of the “Committee for the Commemoration of
Victims of the Irish Hunger, 1845-51”.  Our main function is to raise
awareness about the real and factual information concerning the Irish
Hunger and to stimulate people or groups to join the Irish Diaspora in
Commemorating the Hunger each May.  Further, we work with the Irish
Government and County Committees in Ireland to identify the location of
former workhouses, create awareness about the workhouses and we are
trying to get the Catholic Church to consecrate the Mass Graves at each
of the workhouses and elsewhere in Ireland.  For more information about
our Committee I refer you to our Blog (website?) at

The purpose of my writing is to ask whether you might be interested in
helping us to get the word out – either yourself, your designee or
referred contacts?  The general public, Irish America, and maybe the
Irish themselves are woefully ignorant of the real causes of the hunger
and of the conditions in which Irish Gaelic peasants had to live during
that time.  We feel that we owe it to the victims of that tragedy to
recognize their sacrifices and to give them respect.  We remind Irish
Americans that their opportunity for the better life here in America is a
direct result of the survivors of the Hunger (Famine is not the correct
word) and of the emigres who fled to foreign countries to survive, even
though they may be several generations displaced.

I thank you for your consideration and look forward to your reply.

Jim Gallagher


  1. Rosie, I’ve been a fan for years. Thanks so much. Now I have a complaint. Why didn’t you keep Holly as your regular announcer? She was a real asset to your show.

    Mae from Salem, Oregon

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