Posted by: irishhungercomm | April 8, 2014

Minister launches new project to commemorate the Great Irish Famine

From: Press Office DAHG <>
Date: 8 April 2014 12:28:51 IST
Subject: PR: Minister launches new project to commemorate the Great Irish Famine / Seolann an tAire tionscadal nua chun comóradh a dhéanamh ar Ghorta Mór na    hÉireann

Minister launches new project to commemorate the Great Irish Famine

Tuesday, 8th April, 2014: Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee, today launched a new project called “Heroes of the Great Irish Famine” which will provide an opportunity to pay tribute to the individuals and communities whose compassion and generosity sustained the lives of those who suffered during the famine when they were most in need.

The Minister also took the opportunity to launch a new website dedicated to providing information about the Great Irish Famine and also to provide up-to-date information on events in the run up to the National and International Famine Commemorations –

A section on the Department’s new website will be dedicated to those who showed kindness and humanity to the Irish people in response to the Great Irish Famine.  Members of the public will be invited to provide brief accounts of those individuals and communities at home and abroad who they feel should be recognised for their generosity.  At each location of the National and International Famine Commemoration, local communities will be encouraged to provide accounts of local ‘heroes’ to coincide with the planned events.  Schools will also be invited to provide information and material on people local to their area who helped those during the Great Irish Famine.

Speaking today Minister Deenihan said:

“I am delighted to launch both the new website which will be an excellent resource for those interested in commemorating the Great Irish Famine and also the new project “Heroes of the Great Irish Famine.

“It is anticipated that this project will provide people of all ages with a different perspective on the Great Irish Famine and will capture the interest of those who may not have previously engaged with the National Famine Commemoration programme.  It is intended that, over time, it will become a valuable information resource for adults and young people alike and will inspire them to learn more about this tragic period in our history.  It may encourage us all to be mindful of those suffering from hunger and disease in the modern world and to show similar empathy and generosity of spirit to those less fortunate then ourselves”.

“To start this project I have submitted a piece on the work of the Quakers who did so much to help victims of the Great Irish Famine by setting up soup kitchens and distributing aid to those in some of the worst affected areas in Ireland. Many of those in receipt of this aid would otherwise have starved and we should be thankful to those brave men and women who stood up for the impoverished during this terrible time in our history.

“It is fascinating to learn that groups such as the Chocataw Indians, the Jewish Community in New York, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and the Committee of Colored Citizens in Philadelphia were all affected by the plight of the Irish people during this time.  I would urge members of the public to delve into this part of our history and take part in this project”.

Note to Editors

Members of the public can submit short narratives and any primary resources or illustrations to  All submissions will be reviewed by the National Famine Commemoration Committee before being uploaded to the website.  The NFCC has full authority to upload or remove material at its discretion. Contributions are intended as an information resource only and to stimulate discussion and debate and are not necessarily the views of the National Famine Commemoration Committee or the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Some notable contributors to relief efforts include:

<!–[if !supportLists]–>·         <!–[endif]–>On March 23, 1847 the Indians of the Choctaw nation took up a collection of $170 for Irish      Famine relief – an incredible sum at the time.  This was particularly poignant given their own history of enduring deprivation themselves. In 1831 the Choctaw Indians were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands in Mississippi to what is now known as Oklahoma. The Choctaws were the first of several tribes to make this difficult trek or Trail of Tears as it became known. The years during and immediately following this journey, were very difficult for the tribal people. Many of the Choctaws did not survive the trip, and those that did faced hardships establishing new homes, schools, and churches.  Only 16 years after this journey, the Choctaws learned of the famine in Ireland.  As the Choctaws themselves had faced hunger and death on the first Trail of Tears, they felt a great empathy with the Irish people.  These Choctaw people, who had such meagre resources, gave all they could on behalf of others in greater need.
<!–[if !supportLists]–>·         <!–[endif]–>In addition, Abdul Mejid Khan was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire became involved in Famine relief for the Irish and donated one thousand pounds and it is also said that he sent three ships with food supplies to Drogheda!
<!–[if !supportLists]–>·         <!–[endif]–>The Jewish community in New York raised hundreds of dollars for famine relief in Ireland.
<!–[if !supportLists]–>·         <!–[endif]–>Committee of Colored Citizens in Philadelphia.  All money raised by the Committee was given to leading anti-slavery campaigner Frederick Douglass to give to Irish relief when he got to Ireland.  Also surprisingly Abraham Lincoln who had just been elected to the House of Representatives donated £5!
<!–[if !supportLists]–>·         <!–[endif]–>In 1847, Sir Paul Edmund Strzelecki, a Polish explorer, geologist and philanthropist arrived in Ireland as a volunteer at a time when millions were dying of starvation and disease and helped many children escape starvation.

The National Famine Commemoration 2014 will take place in Strokestown, Co. Roscommon on 11th May 2014 and An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D. will lead the official representation.  The International Famine Commemoration will take place in New Orleans between 7-9th November 2014 and Minister Deenihan will lead the official representation.


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Seolann an tAire tionscadal nua chun comóradh a dhéanamh ar Ghorta Mór na hÉireann

Dé Máirt, 8 Aibreán, 2014: Sheol Jimmy Deenihan T.D., an tAire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta agus Cathaoirleach ar Choiste Cuimhneacháin Náisiúnta an Ghorta Mhóir, tionscadal nua inniu dar teideal “Laochra Ghorta Mór na hÉireann” a thabharfaidh deis do dhaoine ómós a léiriú do dhaoine agus do phobail ar choinnigh a gcineáltas agus a bhflaithiúlacht daoine beo nuair a bhí siad ag fulaingt de bharr an ghorta.

Thapaigh an tAire an deis freisin chun suíomh nua gréasáin a sheoladh.  Tá an suíomh seo tiomnaithe d’eolas a chur ar fáil faoi Ghorta Mór na hÉireann agus chun eolas chun dáta a chur ar fáil maidir le himeachtaí a bhíonn ar bun roimh na Cuimhneacháin Náisiúnta agus Idirnáisiúnta ar an nGorta Mór –

Beidh cuid de shuíomh gréasáin nua na Roinne tiomnaithe dóibh siúd a léirigh cineáltas agus daonnacht do mhuintir na hÉireann mar thoradh ar an nGorta Mór.  Iarrfar ar an bpobal cuntais ghairide a chur ar fáil faoi na daoine agus na pobail sin sa bhaile agus thar lear a mheasann siad gur chóir aitheantas a thabhairt dóibh as a bhflaithiúlacht.  Ag gach ceann de láithreacha na gCuimhneachán Náisiúnta agus Idirnáisiúnta ar an nGorta Mór, áiteofar ar phobail áitiúla cuntas a chur ar fáil de na ‘laochra’ áitiúla i gcomhthráth leis na himeachtaí pleanáilte.  Iarrfar ar scoileanna freisin eolas agus ábhar a chur ar fáil faoi dhaoine áitiúla ina gceantar a chuidigh le daoine a bhí ag fulaingt le linn Ghorta Mór na hÉireann.

Dúirt an tAire Deenihan an méid seo inniu:

Tá an-áthas orm an suíomh nua gréasáin, a bheidh ina áis iontach do dhaoine a bhfuil suim acu comóradh a dhéanamh ar an nGorta Mór, a sheoladh, chomh maith leis an tionscadal nua “Laochra Ghorta Mór na hÉireann.

Meastar go dtabharfaidh an tionscadal seo dearcadh nua do dhaoine i ngach aoisghrúpa ar an nGorta Mór agus go spreagfaidh sé suim na ndaoine sin nach raibh aon bhaint acu le clár Cuimhneacháin Náisiúnta an Ghorta Mhóir roimhe seo.  Tá sé i gceist, in am is i dtráth, go mbeidh se ina acmhainn luachmhar eolais do dhaoine fásta agus do dhaoine óga araon agus go spreagfaidh sé iad chun tuilleadh a fhoghlaim faoin tréimhse thragóideach seo i stair na hÉireann.  B’fhéidir go spreagfaidh sé muid uile chun a bheith níos airdeallaí faoin ocras agus faoi ghalair i saol an lae inniu agus ionbhá agus flaithiúlacht a léiriú dóibh siúd nach bhfuil chomh maith as is atá muid féin.”

“Chun tús a chur leis an tionscadal seo, tá píosa curtha isteach agam faoin obair a rinne baill de Chumann na gCarad chun cuidiú le híospartaigh an Ghorta Mhóir nuair a bhunaigh siad tithe anraith agus nuair a chuir siad cúnamh ar fáil do na daoine a bhí sna ceantair ba mheasa a bhí buailte in Éirinn. Murach iad, chaillfí mórán de na daoine sin leis an ocras agus tá buíochas mór ag dul do na fir agus na mná cróga sin a sheas leis na bochtáin le linn an ama uafásaigh sin i stair na tíre.”

Tá sé thar a bheith spéisiúil go raibh éifeacht ag cruachás mhuintir na hÉireann ag an am sin ar ghrúpaí ar nós na hIndiaigh Choctaw, Pobal Giúdach Nua-Eabhrac, Sabhdán Impireacht na nOtamánach agus Coiste na Saoránach Daite i Philadelphia.  Áitím ar an bpobal breathnú ar an gcuid seo dár stair agus páirt a ghlacadh sa tionscadal seo.”

Nóta don eagarthóir

Is féidir leis an bpobal scéalta gearra agus léaráidí nó acmhainní príomha ar bith a sheoladh chuig  Déanfaidh Coiste Cuimhneacháin Náisiúnta an Ghorta Mhóir (CCNGM) athbhreithniú ar an ábhar sula n-uaslódálfar é chuig an suíomh gréasáin.  Tá údarás iomlán ag an CCNGM ábhar a uaslódáil nó a bhaint den suíomh, de réir a rogha féin. Tá sé i gceist go mbeadh an t-ábhar a chuirfí ar fáil ina acmhainn eolais amháin agus ina ábhar a spreagfaidh plé agus díospóireacht agus ní gá gur ionann an t-ábhar agus tuairimí Choiste Cuimhneacháin Náisiúnta an Ghorta Mhóir nó na Roinne Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta.

Ar roinnt de na ranníocóirí suntasacha bhí:

<!–[if !supportLists]–>·         <!–[endif]–>Ar an 23 Márta 1847, bhailigh na hIndiaigh Choctaw $170 do chiste fóirithinte an Ghorta Mhóir – méid airgid a bhí thar a bheith suntasach ag an am.  Bhogfadh seo do chroí mar gheall ar an gcruachás a d’fhulaing siad féin san am atá caite. In 1831 díbríodh na hIndiaigh Choctaw ó thailte a sinsear i Mississippi go dtí an áit ar a dtugtar Oklahoma sa lá atá inniu ann. Bhí na Choctaws ar cheann de na chéad treibheanna a rinne an t-aistear dúshlánach sin, nó an ‘Trail of Tears’ mar a thugtar air anois. Bhí na blianta sin an-chrua ar dhream na dtreibheanna sin. Ba iomaí Choctaw nár mhair an turas agus bhí cruatan i ndán dóibh siúd ar éirigh leo agus iad ag iarraidh bailte, scoileanna agus eaglaisí nua a bhunú.  Ní raibh 16 bliana caite ó rinneadh an turas sin go bhfuair na Choctaws amach faoi chruachás mhuintir na hÉireann.  Ó tharla gur fhulaing siad féin ocras agus bás le linn an chéad ‘Trail of Tears’, bhí an-trua acu do mhuintir na tíre seo.  Thug na Choctaws, nach raibh mórán acmhainní acu féin, gach a raibh siad in ann dóibh siúd a bhí ag fulaingt.
<!–[if !supportLists]–>·         <!–[endif]–>Ina theannta sin, bhí baint ag Abdul Mejid Khan, Sabhdán Impireacht na nOtamánach, le fóirithint an Ghorta agus bhronn sé míle punt ar mhuintir na hÉireann.  Tá sé ráite freisin gur chuir sé trí long go Droichead Átha agus iad luchtaithe le bia!
<!–[if !supportLists]–>·         <!–[endif]–>Bhailigh pobal Giúdach Nua-Eabhrac na céadta dollar d’fhóirithint ghorta na hÉireann.
<!–[if !supportLists]–>·         <!–[endif]–>Coiste na Saoránach Daite i Philadelphia.  Tugadh an t-airgead ar fad a bhailigh an Coiste don fhear feachtais i gcoinne na sclábhaíochta, Frederick Douglass, chun tabhairt do chiste fóirithinte an Ghorta nuair a shroichfeadh sé Éire.  Chomh maith leis sin, thug Abraham Lincoln, a bhí díreach tofa i dTeach na nIonadaithe, £5!
<!–[if !supportLists]–>·         <!–[endif]–>In 1847, shroich Sior Paul Edmund Strzelecki, taiscéalaí, geolaí agus daonchara as an bPolainn, Éire mar oibrí deonach nuair a bhí na milliúin ag fáil bháis leis an ocras agus le galair agus shábháil sé mórán leanaí ón ngorta.

Beidh Cuimhneachán Náisiúnta an Ghorta Mhóir 2014 ar siúl i mBéal na mBuillí, Co. Ros Comáin, ar an 11ú Bealtaine 2014 agus is é an Taoiseach, Éanna Ó Coinnigh T.D., a bheidh i gceannas ar an ionadaíocht oifigiúil.  Beidh Cuimhneachán Idirnáisiúnta an Ghorta Mhóir ar siúl i New Orleans idir an 7-9ú Samhain 2014 agus beidh an tAire Deenihan i gceannas ar an ionadaíocht oifigiúil.


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