Gorta to Hold Commemorative Famine Walk in Ballina
23rd April 2012
Gorta is to hold a remembrance Famine Walk in Ballina on 7th May 2012. The walk coincides with the National Famine Commemoration – which is due to take place in Drogheda the following weekend.
Gorta encourages everyone – both young and old – to take part in this walk, which is sure to be a fun, healthy and enjoyable way to spend your Bank Holiday Monday.
The family walk, through Belleek Woods, is to honor the journey made by a Mayo family during the Great Famine. The family left Ballina in 1847 and made their way to Drogheda in an attempt to get to England in search of a better life. The journey symbolizes the exodus from Mayo as a result of An Gorta Mór, which caused widespread devastation in the county.
In an article from local newspaper ‘The Nation’ in Drogheda, it stated that:
“They had been three weeks on the road, and had but 7½ day starting: when this was expended, they begged their way onwards… On arriving here [Drogheda] they discovered that the man’s brother had tired waiting for them and departed for England. The wretched family had no means of going further, and in passing down Shop Street, the woman fell exhausted by her sufferings….”
Speaking about the walk, Brian Hanratty, Gorta CEO said, “This event is important as it commemorates a very difficult period in Ireland’s history. Gorta is an organisation which is committed to ensuring that famine does not happen in the communities where we work in sub-Saharan Africa – in Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Uganda.”
“We would encourage everyone – both young and old – to take part in this walk, which is sure to be a fun, healthy and enjoyable way to spend your Bank Holiday Monday. The walk will also include an interesting talk at the Famine Wall in Belleek Woods, which details some of the history of the experiences of the Great Famine” he added.
The walk will take place on Bank Holiday Monday, the 7th May, at 2pm and all are welcome to attend. While registration isn’t essential, it’s important to gauge numbers. To register, call (096) 77613, email email@example.com or drop into 19 Pearse Street, Ballina.