On Saturday 26 September the National Famine Commemoration took place in Newry, County Down. As part of the Famine Commemoration, an international conference on the the theme of “John Mitchel: The Legacy of the Great Irish Famine” was organized by Anthony Russell, Tommy Fegan, and Paddy Fitzgerald. This is the first time the event will be held in Northern Ireland and follows on from a successful hosting in Strokestown, county Roscommon in May 2014.
Full details of the conference programme below:
Wednesday 23 Sept 7.00pm Official Opening of the Conference 7.00pm A Hedge School Event Ulster and the Legacy of the Great Famine Chair: Tommy Graham (History Ireland) Panellists: Professor Mary Daly, Professor Christine Kinealy, Professor Peter Gray and Dr Ruan O’Donnell
Thursday 24 Sept
10.00am Anthony Russell, Mitchel’s Town and The Famine in Two Ulsters
10:45am Professor William Smyth – Reflecting on the Atlas of the Great Irish Famine
11:15am Dr James Quinn – John Mitchel, the Irish Peasant and the American Slave
2.00pm Pechakuchas – 7 Presenters, 7 Slides, 7 Topics in 7 Minutes 1. Slavery, A Biblical Perspective – Nigel Agnew 2. Seven Famines – Dr Paddy Fitzgerald 3. Belfast Famine– Eamon Phoenix 4. Newry Workhouse – Hugh McShane 5. Famine Commemoration– Michael Blanch 6. A Famine Family – Lynn McAreavey 7. Strokestown – John O’Driscoll
Friday 25 September
10.00am Christine Kinealy, The wee-men of Belfast. Female Philanthropy and the Great Famine
10.45 am Dr Laurence Geary, The Great Famine and Medicine 11:15am
Cathal Porteir, What folklore can tell us about the Great Famine that the documents cannot
11.45 am Dr Jason King, Irish Famine migration to Montreal, Toronto and New Brunswick
2:00pm Dr Ciarán Reilly – ‘Famine has made sad savages among its poor’: the world of the Ulster cottier in the 1840s.
2.30pm Dr John Nelson – Like Father, Unlike Son: The Rev. John Mitchel
3.00pm Cormac O’Grada – Eating People is wrong:Thoughts on Famine
3:30pm Reflections on the Conference – Professor Christine Kinealy
Saturday 26 September
10am ‘The Famine Plot – A discussion on the Great Famine and Culpability’ Chair: Robert Kearns – Ireland Park Toronto; Panellists: Tim Pat Coogan, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Professor Liam Kennedy, Brian Patterson.
From Irish Times (April 24, 2015):
Kevin Michael Vickers, Canadian ambassador of Canada to Ireland; Noel Creedon, chief executive of iNua Partnership; and Robert Kearns, chairman of Ireland Park Foundation. Photograph: Naoise Culhane
Irish emigré Robert G Kearns has prospered in his adopted home of Toronto, building an insurance business over the 35 years since departing Ireland. Kearns was back in Ireland last week to promote the Ireland Park Foundation, a charitable nonprofit organisation he set up to celebrate the story of the Irish in Canada.
The foundation raised 3.7 million Canadian dollars (about €2.8 million) to build Ireland Park on Toronto’s waterfront – the successful realisation of Kearns’s ambition to create inspiring spaces in Canada that both celebrate and commemorate Ireland’s presence in Canada, where about 4.4 million Canadians – 13 per cent of the population – trace their ancestry to Ireland
Kearns was home for an event at the Canadian embassyto announce that investment group iNua Partnership has signed up as a corporate partner and fundraising affiliate the foundation. While he may be a long time out of Ireland, his family is well known here. Robert is brother to president of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns.
The Ireland Park Foundation iNua Partnership supports commemorative activities and academic research on the Famine Irish in Canada:
So much of the extraordinary journey that carried our Irish ancestors to Canada can be told through storytelling. As a Partner to the Foundation, iNua Partnership is committed to keeping those stories alive and ensuring that we pass memories through stories to the next generation. To this end, iNua Partnership has commissioned NUI Galway’s Dr. Jason King to conduct new research to help uncover the remarkable and deeply personal stories of some of the thousands of Irish men, women and children who left from Cork and Limerick for Canada during the Famine years.
Ireland Park Foundation has recently embarked on the creation of a second park in Toronto City Centre, commemorating the medical and clerical staff who sacrificed their lives assisting the Irish migrants in 1847. iNua Partnership will work with Ireland Park to maximise awareness for this ambitious new commemorative space, both in Canada and Ireland. The ultimate aim of course is to generate significant new streams of fundraising revenue to put towards the development of the Park and achieve its goal of being completed by June 21st 2016.
The tradition of storytelling is an acclaimed part of Ireland’s culture that has positively influenced our reputation around the world.
So much of the extraordinary journey that carried our Irish ancestors to Canada can be told through storytelling. As a Partner to the Foundation, iNua Partnership is committed to keeping those stories alive and ensuring that we pass memories through stories to the next generation. To this end, iNua Partnership has commissioned NUI Galway’s Dr. Jason King to conduct new research to help uncover the remarkable and deeply personal stories of some of the thousands of Irish men, women and children who left from Cork and Limerick for Canada during the Famine years. These stories, in time, will be shared with you all.