Ireland’s minister for diaspora affairs visits Quinnipiac to view ‘Saving the Famine Irish’

by irishcanadianfamineresearcher

Irish Minister for Diaspora Affairs visits “Saving the Famine Irish” Exhibit

Christine Kinealy and Jimmy Deenihan

From left: Christine Kinealy, founding director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University, and Jimmy Deenihan, Ireland’s minister for diaspora affairs.

May 8, 2015 – Jimmy Deenihan, Ireland’s minister for diaspora affairs, visited Quinnipiac on May 7, to view the University’s vast collection of visual art, artifacts and printed materials relating to the Irish Famine.

Deenihan viewed the exhibition, ‘Saving the Famine Irish: The Grey Nuns and the Great Hunger,’ in the Arnold Bernhard Library on the Mount Carmel Campus. He also toured Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University.

“Quinnipiac University is at the forefront of bringing awareness and knowledge of The Great Hunger to the wider community through the important work of the institute and the museum,” Deenihan said. “Scholars and students can avail themselves of the unique collection of resources, both written and visual. Quinnipiac is bringing the story of Ireland’s Great Famine to the diaspora in a fresh and meaningful way.”

The exhibition, hosted by Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute, tells the story of the religious orders in Montreal whose members gave selflessly to Irish immigrants during the summer of 1847 – their time of greatest need.

“The minister for diaspora affairs was very engaged,” said Christine Kinealy, a professor of history and director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute. “He knew all about the Grey Nuns and thought the museum was beautiful.”

Deenihan was accompanied by Christine Reen, private secretary for the Department of the Taoiseach (prime minister) in Ireland, Emer Rocke, director of Irish Abroad and the Global Irish Network Unit for Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs, and Fiona McCabe, Ireland’s vice consul general in New York.

“It was a fine visit,” Kinealy said. “They were very appreciative of what we do in terms of the wide impact Quinnipiac has on Irish students and forging better relationships with scholars in Ireland and with people interested in learning more about the Great Hunger.”

“It was a pleasure having Minister Jimmy Deenihan visit Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum,” added Grace Brady, executive director of the museum. “As minister for diaspora affairs, it was quite fitting for him to see the museum in an area that is home to many generations of descendants of Irish immigrants. The minister thanked us for all the work we have been doing to educate people about the Great Hunger and for showing exceptional Irish visual art.”

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