Posted by: irishhungercomm | January 24, 2014

Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum Spring 2014 Program

Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum

Spring 2014 Program

The museum is pleased to announce its schedule of spring events.
Visit our website at:  for more information on these and other upcoming events.

Please note: all events require advance registration. New for 2014, register for events online! Or, reserve your space by calling 203-582-6500.

All events are held at Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, located at 3011 Whitney Avenue. Space is limited and is offered on a first-come first-serve basis.

January 30 Thursday 5:30 p.m.
Orphan Train Riders: A presentation by Tom Riley

From 1854 to 1929, an estimated 273,000 children were transported out of New York City on what became known as Orphan Trains. Many of these children were of Irish descent, and were sent to live with families in rural America. The Orphan Trains were also operated out of Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia. Few records were kept regarding these trains, but some estimate that 400,000 to 600,000 children were transported in the largest mass relocation of children in American history.

Tom Riley, a writer and photographer, has been speaking publicly about the Orphan Trains for 20 years, and often says that it is the greatest American story never told.  Riley stumbled across the topic while researching a book on a home for children that he grew up in. He found 26 boxes of records in a hayloft dating back as far as 1832.  He later wrote two books on the Orphan Train Riders.

This lecture is free and open to the public. Reservations are required. Reserve your seat online.

February 13 Thursday 5:30 p.m.

“… ‘It is not an everyday matter to see a nation starving’: Captain Robert Bennet Forbes and the 1847 Voyage of the USS Jamestown to Cork, Ireland.” A lecture by Professor Catherine B. Shannon

Catherine Shannon, Emerita Professor of History at Westfield State University, will present a lecture on the remarkable story of the voyage of the USS Jamestown, which left Boston on March 28, 1847, loaded with more than 800 tons of provisions and supplies for the starving people of Ireland in the darkest months of “Black 47.” Dr. Shannon’s lecture will describe Captain Forbes’ efforts to ensure that the supplies reached the Irish people in the most efficient and fastest way possible, and his reactions to what he witnessed in Ireland upon arrival there.

This lecture is free and open to the public. Reservations are required. Reserve your seat online.

March 20 Thursday 5:30 p.m.

“Famine Echoes” A one-hour dramatic reading of what ordinary men and women told their descendants about Ireland’s Great Hunger

In the 1940s, the Irish Folklore Commission conducted interviews with thousands of elderly people around Ireland who remembered what they themselves had heard from ancestors who had survived the Famine. Their stories were collected and edited by Cathal Póirtéir, social historian and RTE news producer for the book Famine Echoes in 1995.

Paul Janensch, Quinnipiac University professor emeritus in the School of Communications, gathered these stories and created the script for a dramatic reading.

Quinnipiac University professors, who are also professional actors, Brooks Appelbaum, Moira Malone, and Andrew Scott will be directed by Janensch for this dramatic reading at the museum. The dramatic reading covers all aspects of the Great Hunger – including the onslaught of the potato blight, starvation, diseases, disposition of the dead, crime, workhouses, soup kitchens, evictions and emigration.

Thank you to Cathal Póirtéir and the National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin for permission to use this material.

This performance is free and open to the public. Space is limited, and reservations are required. Reserve your seat online.

March 27 Thursday 5:30 p.m.
Musical Performance by The Kerry Boys

The Kerry Boys are Connecticut’s favorite Irish balladeers and have been performing together for more than 23 years, dazzling fans of all ages from Maine to New York. Their show will have you clapping and singing along to their wide collection of traditional and original Irish/Celtic songs. Pierce Campbell, Connecticut’s official State Troubadour for 2007/08, will be joined by Paul Neri on banjo.

Tickets for this performance are $15 and must be purchased in advance. Purchase tickets online. Tickets are sold on a first-come first serve basis.

April 5 Saturday 1 p.m.
The Magic and Music of Ireland

Join Tom and Debbie O’Carroll for a repeat performance of their show The Magic and Music of Ireland. The performance introduces children to the many different aspects of Irish culture. They use music, songs, poetry, stories, props, costumes and traditional Irish stage music to delight and captivate young audiences with the enchantments of the Emerald Isle.

This program is suitable for children aged 3 to 9. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

This performance is free and open to the public. Space is limited, reservations are required. Priority will be given to those people who were on the wait list for the original performance at the museum. Please call 203-582-6500 to register for this event.

Visit our website at:

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