Published on Saturday 10th September 2011
Dr. Martin McAleese, President Mary McAleese and Minister Jimmy Deenihan at the National Famine Memorial Day, Clones, Co. Monaghan
Minister Deenihan had asked schools across the country to support the memorial by holding a minute’s silence on Friday, 9th September, as a mark of respect for those who died or suffered loss during the great Irish famine. Students in primary and secondary schools across Ireland were asked to pause at noon to reflect on the victims of the great Irish famine and to consider the effects of famine in a worldwide context.
Commenting in advance of the memorial day, Minister Deenihan said:
“I have written to all schools to ask them to take part in a minute’s silence to reflect on the losses suffered as a result of the great Irish famine. Unfortunately famine is still a reality in some parts of the world and I hope that this gesture of respect will also serve to remind us of the plight of those suffering in Somalia and throughout East Africa. It is a testament to the Irish people that funding through Irish Aid allocated towards the relief effort in the Horn of Africa currently stands at some €9.1 million. In per capita terms, Ireland is one of the most committed and generous donors to the region. It is, therefore, vital that we as a nation use our own experience and empathy with those suffering the effects of famine to continue to highlight their plight.”