Posted by: irishhungercomm | August 31, 2011

Clones prepares to remember Famine victims

Clones prepares to remember Famine victims.
The first public meeting for the National Famine Commemoration took place in the Cassandra Hand centre on Monday night last (15th August 2011).  The numbers that turned up on the night were a testament of the enthusiasm held within the local community towards this National event.
With events commencing on the 29th of August and leading up to the National Commemoration Day   on the 10th September, which will be attended by the President Mary Mc Aleese and a number of other foreign Ambassadors. This year, we are privileged to the have President Mc Aleese in attendance as she has never been present at the Famine Commemoration before. This year’s events hold particular importance to President Mc Aleese as a native of Ulster.  This Famine Commemoration promises to be a great success and will provide a wonderful insight into what life was like during the Famine years.
Over the course of the two weeks, a wide variety of events will take place throughout the Clones Poor Law Union. This is quite evenly split between counties Monaghan and Fermanagh which includes areas such as Roslea, Killeevan, Aghabog, Scotshouse, Newtownbutler and Clones. Some of the highlights of the two week programme include various talks such as “Famine in Clones Poor Law Union” by Brian Mc Donald on Monday 29th August at 7.30pm in the Canal Stores, Clones. In Newtownbutler on Friday 2nd September, there will be a talk on “South Fermanagh during the Famine” by Michael Mc Phillips.  Dr Eamon O Ciardha from University of Ulster will be speaking in Scotshouse Community Centre about “Ireland Pre-Famine Times” on Monday 5th September at 8pm.
The organisers of the National Famine Commemoration are grateful to all those who have volunteered their free time in order to enhance this event for the general public. Groups included in this are the Largy College debating team, a host of primary schools throughout the Clones Poor Law Union and other members of the public who have agreed to part-take in the events.
On the 10th of September which is the National Day of Commemoration for victims of the Famine, President Mc Aleese will be unveiling a plaque which is to be made from salvaged stone collected from the old Famine Workhouse in Clones. This plaque will be positioned on the wall of the old Market house on the Diamond.
Another part of the National Famine Commemoration includes a walk from the main areas of the Clones poor law union which follows the footsteps of those affected by the famine on their horrific journey to the workhouse.  Anybody interested in taking part as a lead walker can contact the Cassandra Hand Centre. The lead walkers will be expected to complete the full walk. Other enthusiastic walkers can join the walk at any stage along the various routes.
There will be no cover charge for any of the events taking place from the 29th August to the 10th September; however Donation boxes will be located at each of the venues.  All donations will be going to ease the unnecessary suffering of Famine victims in Africa.
Further information regarding how the Commemoration will affect local businesses will be made available at the next meeting on Monday 22nd August at 8pm in the Cassandra Hand centre.  Everybody is welcome to attend the meeting and volunteers willing to give their free time would be greatly appreciated. Queries in relation to the National Famine commemoration can be made to the Cassandra Hand centre on 047-52997.
Louise Crothers.


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