From Michael Blanch
We had a great day and our Commemoration went very well. You can see the pictures on facebook. As you can see we were banned from starting our Commemoration from the Garden of Remembrance which we have done so for the previous seven years.
Here is the letter I sent to President McAleese:
Date: 16 May 2011
Subject: Irish “Famine” Victims & Emigrants Memorial Day – An Gorta Mór
Dear President McAleese,
The Committee for the Commemoration of Irish Famine Victims would like to bring to your attention the banning by the Irish Government of our 8th Irish Famine Victims and Emigrants Memorial Day – An Gorta Mór from starting at the Garden of Remembrance which it has done for the previous seven years in the month of May.
We requested a two man party to carry the CCIFV Irish “Famine” Victims and Emigrants Memorial Day banner and Pat the Piper to lead us to the Parnell monument where the rest of our group would fall in behind the banner and the Piper – this request was refused by the Gardai at the barrier. The “Famine” Victims, men, women and children were scarified by a Government whose care they were in at the time and today 2011 the memory of their lives and the suffering they endured was violated by a Government who denied them access to the Garden of Remembrance.
Is mise le meas
cc Taoiseach Enda Kenny & Tanaiste Eamonn Gilmore