Posted by: irishhungercomm | August 31, 2011

National Famine Commemoration Programme and Schedule of Events


Comóradh Náisiúnta an Ghorta Mhóir 2011

The National Famine Commemoration, Clones, Co. Monaghan

The 2011 National Famine Commemoration will be held on Saturday September 10, in the town of Clones. A programme of talks and events has been organised for the week leading up to the event. The programme illustrates the historical aspects of Famine in Ireland, through History, Song, Drama and Music and highlights the realities of famine prevalent today in many parts of the world.

There will be no cover charge for any of the events taking place from 29 August to 10 September. However, donation boxes will be located at each of the venues. All proceeds will be going to ease the suffering of famine victims in Africa.

Please note that all events will start on time.

Northern Standard, 8 May 1847
There is scarcely a day but there are wretches found dead,
Or dying, either in Clones town or on some of the roads that lead to it, and not to mention those who die in their huts and in the country.

Ancient Cross, The Diamond, Clones

MONDAY 29 AUGUST -Dé Luain 29 Lúnasa

Launch of Famine Commemoration Events

The Famine in Ulster: Revising the Revisionists

Talk by Dr.Gerard MacAtasney

Dr Gerard MacAtasney received his doctorate from the University of Liverpool for a thesis entitled “Poverty, Poor Law and Famine in County Armagh, 1838 52”. He has written many books on the Famine, including “This Dreadful Visitation”: The Famine in Lurgan/Portadown, The Hidden Famine: Hunger, Poverty and Sectarianism in Belfast co written with Christine Kinealy. He is currently editing the letters of Thomas J Clarke to be published by Irish Academic Press in 2012.

Famine in Clones Poor Law Union

Talk by: Brian Mac Domhnaill

In this talk, Brian Mac Domhnaill will explain why Clones was chosen as the location for the commemoration of the Famine period in Ulster, revisiting some of the contemporary documentation that illustrates the devastating impact of the catastrophe on communities in west Monaghan and south east Fermanagh. Author of a wide range of historical articles and books, including A Time of Desolation, Clones Poor Law Union 1845 1851, Brian is currently President of Clogher Historical Society/Cumann Seanchais Chlochair. As director of the Clogher Historical Society’s New Millennium Project between 1997 and 2001, he co ordinated research into Famine documentation across Counties Monaghan, Fermanagh and South Tyrone, publishing this in two volumes of the Society’s annual journal The Clogher Record 2000 & 2001.

Venue: Ulster Canal Stores, Clones

Time: 7.30 p.m.

TUESDAY 30TH AUGUST -Dé Máirt 30 Lúnasa

Scéalta ó Theach na mBocht   (Tales from the Poorhouse)

Ceithre scéal pearsanta ó uafás an Ghorta Mhóir, scriofa ag Eugene McCabe.
Four interlinked personal testimonies written by Eugene McCabe.

An Díleachta (The Orphan)  &  An Mháthair (The Mother)

Written by Eugene McCabe & produced by Louis Lentin
Venue: Lennard Arms Hotel, Clones, Co. Monaghan
Time: 8.00 p.m.
Hosted by: Clones Film Festival

Tá an taispeántas seo urraithe ag TG4/This screening is sponsored by TG4

WEDNESDAY 31 AUGUST -Dé Céadaoin 31 Lúnasa

Corranny Primary School Presents. The Famine’

A screening of the film .The Famine’, written and produced earlier this year by the children of Corranny Primary School, Co. Fermanagh

Scéalta ó Theach na mBocht (Tales from the Poorhouse )

An Tiarna Talún (The Landlord)

Written by Eugene McCabe & produced by Louis Lentin
Venue: The Lennard Arms, Clones, County Monaghan
Time: 7.00 p.m.

Tá an taispeántas seo urraithe ag TG4/This screening is sponsored by TG4

THURSDAY 1 SEPTEMBER –Déardain 1 Meán Fómhair

Pre-emption Emigration Trail

Talk by: Brian Mac Domhnaill

Venue: Cassandra Hand Centre, Clones

Time: 8.00 p.m.

A talk highlighting emigration from the Clones area in the Famine period, when hundreds of
Protestant families left for the prairies of western Illinois and Iowa

FRIDAY 2 SEPTEMBER-DéhAoine 2 Meán Fómhair

South Fermanagh during the Famine

A talk by Michael McPhillips of Newtownbutler Historical Society, author of a wide range of historical articles.

Venue: Community Centre, Newtownbutler, Co. Fermanagh

Time: 8.00 p.m.

A look at Galloon Parish and a selection of townlands during the Famine period by the secretary of one of Fermanagh’s most active historical groups.

SATURDAY 3 SEPTEMBER -Dé Sathairn 3 Meán Fómhair

Famine Walking Tour     Slí an Ghorta Mhóir

Guided by George Knight & Mary Cosgrove

Venue: Cassandra Hand Centre, Ball Alley, Clones

Time: 11.00 a.m. & 12.00 noon

George Knight, local Historian and national tour guide, will be leading an historical walking tour of Clones town, highlighting aspects of local famine history en route. Mary Cosgrove is the Genealogist at the Cassandra Hand Centre.

Language and identity – “No More the Hand of God, But the Bad Trade of Men”: Carleton’s View of Famine in “The Black Prophet”
An examination of the cultural life of south Ulster before and after the Famine

Main Speaker  Dr Tess Maguinness

Tess Maginess was born on the Tyrone-Armagh border, near The Moy. She received her BA from Trinity College, Dublin, and her MA from Queen’s University, Belfast and her PhD from York University, Toronto. She has worked in rural development, community development, the arts and in the field of disability. She is currently a Senior Teaching Fellow in the School of Education, Queen’s University. Tess has published one book of poetry, Vivarium, and another is with the publisher. She has written articles and given talks and broadcasts about literature, rural life and disability. Carleton is one of her special subjects. She had an ancestor who was a Hedge Schoolmaster in Monaghan in the 1820s.

Venue: Aghadrumsee Orange Hall, Aghadrumsee, Co. Fermanagh

Time: 7.30 p.m.

SUNDAY 4 SEPTEMBER -An Domhnach 4 Meán Fómhair

Famine Commemoration Tour

Organised by Killeevan Heritage Group

Venue: Meeting at the Heritage House Newbliss

Time: 3.00pm.

This tour will include a visit to sites associated with the Famine in the area including, the Porridge Kitchen at Rawdeerpark, the Bully Acre in Clones and the auxiliary workhouse at Killyfuddy, concluding at the Famine commemorative memorial in Killeevan graveyard. There will be readings throughout the tour relating to the Famine in the Killeevan area.

MONDAY 5  SEPTEMBER -Dé Luain 5 Meán Fómhair

Opening of Library Exhibition. An Gorta Mór: Famine in Clones Poor Law Union 1845 – 1851

This exhibition will continue until 7 October. A wide range of books on the subject of
the Famine will be available to view and borrow from the library throughout the period
Of the exhibition.
Monaghan County Library, ’98 Avenue, Clones

Ireland in pre-Famine times

Speaker: Dr Éamon Ó Ciardha

Venue:   Community Centre, Scotshouse Village

Time:      8.00 p.m.

A native of Scotshouse and currently lecturing in Germany, Dr Ó Ciardha is an
acknowledged expert on 17th and 18th century Irish history and on the evolution
of Irish society in the aftermath of the defeat of the old Gaelic order.

TUESDAY 6 SEPTEMBER -Dé Máirt 6 Meán Fómhair

Foraging for Hedgerow food & Identifying traditional cures used during the Famine period

Walk & talk led by Phelim MacGhabhainn

11.00 a.m. Starting from the Cassandra Hand Centre, Ball Alley, Clones

Selection of Famine Readings, Poems and Music

Venue: Community Centre, Roslea, Co Fermanagh

Time: 8.00 p.m.

WEDNESDAY  7 SEPTEMBER -Dé Céadaoin 7 Meán Fómhair

Linked by a Thread An Evening of Drama, Poetry, Song and Music

Guest speaker: Beatrice Killen – Speaking on her personal experience of the famine in Ethiopia

Organised By: Aghabog, Clones & Scotshouse guilds of the Irish Countrywomen’s Association

Venue: Protestant Hall, Cara Street, Clones, Co. Monaghan

Time: Starting at 8.00 p.m. Sharp

Monaghan County Library, .98 Avenue, Clones

Event: Primary School Visits.

Schedule:  Pupils will be invited to a viewing of the film of Marita Conlon McKenna’s book, “Under the Hawthorn Tree”  Pupils will then visit the library’s Famine exhibition where they will be provided with group worksheets to complete on the subject of the Famine.

Contact: Schools interested in participating in the visits should contact Laura Carey, Assistant Librarian, Clones Branch Library.
Tel: 047 74712, email:

Dates: 7th, 8th and 9th September 2011.

Time: 10.00 a.m. – 12.15 p.m.

Event: Secondary School Debate.

Schedule: Secondary Schools from the Clones Poor Law Union are invited to discuss/debate the subject of the famine. The suggested motion for the discussion/debate is .We have learned nothing since the famine of 1845′

Contact: Schools interested in participating in the visits should contact Laura Carey, Assistant Librarian, Clones Branch Library.

Tel: 047 74712, email:

THURSDAY 8 SEPTEMBER -Déardaoin 8 Meán Fómhair

Community Commemoration at the Bully Acre

A walk will take place from the main areas of what was Clones Poor Law Union following
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.
A sapling will be carried from each area and planted in the graveyard. Following this there will be a simple Commemoration of Readings & Silent Reflection for all those who perished during the Great Hunger. Children will be invited to scatter wild flowers on the unmarked graves.

Time: Arriving at the Bully Acre, Clones, 7.00 p.m.

Those wishing to walk the full route are asked to register with the Clones Community Forum who will co-ordinate with local groups throughout the Clones Erne East Area

TG4 Television Broadcast

Scéalta ó Theach na mBocht

An Máistir/The Master

To mark the upcoming National Famine Commemoration in Clones on Saturday, Tales From The Poorhouse, written by Eugene McCabe and set in south Ulster in 1848, will be shown on TG4.Originally broadcast on TnaG in 1998. With Brendan Gleeson.

Time 8.00 p.m

FRIDAY 9 SEPTEMBER- DéhAoine 9 Meán Fómhair

A Walk through Time ~ Famine Walking Tour

History relived: A Famine walk with re enactments by local primary schools: Life before the Famine, Blight sets in, Famine works, Soup Kitchen, Eviction, Emigration and the Workhouse. Meet at the Canal Stores, Clones. Walks depart at 11am, 12 noon, 1pm and 2pm and there is no charge. We can accommodate groups, including school groups, or individuals. Please ring +353 (0)47 71984 for details or check our website This event is part of the ‘Celebrating our Cultural Diversity’ project, organised by Clogher Historical Society, the Cahans Project and Knockatallon Ramblers. The project is funded by the International Fund for Ireland and is managed by the Northern Ireland Rural Development Council (RDC) under the Integrating Communities Programme

An Gorta Mor  ~ Concert featuring Traditional Music and Readings

Venue:  The Protestant Hall, Cara Street, Clones, Co. Monaghan

Time: 8.00 p.m.

Comóradh Náisiúnta an Ghorta Mhóir 2011

National Famine Commemoration 2011

SATURDAY 10 SEPTEMBER- DéSathairn10 Meán Fómhair

Beidh Comóradh Náisiúnta an Ghorta Mhóir 2011 ar siúl sa Diamant i gCluain Eois,
Contae Mhuineacháin ar an Satharn, 10 Meán Fómhair 2011 ag 2.30 i.n. Tá an tU
achtarán Máire Mhic Ghiolla Íosa tar éis glacadh le cuireadh bheith ina ceann feadhna
i mbliana ar an toscaireacht oifigiúil ag an searmanas cuimhneacháin. Cuirfear tús leis
an gclár cuimhneacháin le searmanas ina mbeidh páirt mhór ag an bpobal áitiúil sula
dtionólfar ócáid searmanais oifigiúil an Stáit a áireoidh gradaim mhíleata agus sear
manas fhleascleagain. Mar chuid de ghné pobail an chuimhneacháin beidh ceol;
sleachta léitheoireachta agus paidreacha; bronnadh comharthaí mar chuimhne ar iad
siúd a d’fhulaing agus a cailleadh le linn an ghorta; agus nóiméad machnaimh chiúin.
Tá fáilte roimh gach éinne a bheith i láthair

The 2011 National Famine Commemoration will take place in The Diamond in Clones, County Monaghan on Saturday, 10th September at 2.30 p.m. President Mary McAleese has accepted an invitation to lead the official representation at the commemoration ceremony. The commemoration programme will open with a ceremony in which the local community will be greatly involved and it will culminate in the formal State ceremonial event, which will include the National flag and military honours, and wreath laying ceremonies. The community element of the ceremony will include music; readings and prayers; a presentation of tokens in remembrance of those who suffered and perished during the famine; and a minute of silent reflection. All are very welcome to attend.


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