Irish Canadian Famine Research

Irish Canadian Famine Research

Category: National Famine Commemoration Committee

Ambassador Kevin Vickers announces Montreal Grey Nuns Famine Exhibit is Coming to Dublin and Ireland and Congratulates Michael Collins for Famine Run and new Novel.

Kevin Vickers and Jason King 1

Dr. Jason King presents a signed copy of Michael Collins’s critically acclaimed new novel The Death of All Things Seen to Ambassador Kevin Vickers in Canadian Embassy, Dublin.

Statement by Canadian Ambassador to Ireland Kevin Vickers on Michael Collins’ Irish Famine Diaspora Run 2016, novel The Death of All Things Seen, and “Saving the Famine Irish: The Grey Nuns and the Great Hunger”’ Exhibit curated by Professor Christine Kinealy and Dr. Jason King:

I would like to congratulate the Booker-nominated novelist and ultra-runner Michael Collins on the completion of his Irish Diaspora Run 2016. This past June and July he ran a marathon a day from Grosse Ilê in Quebec to Ireland Park in Toronto following in the footsteps of tens of thousands of Irish emigrants who fled the Great Famine for Canada in 1847. Next year he will continue this run along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way west coast trail.

I would also like to thank Michael Collins for giving me a signed copy of his new novel, The Death of All Things Seen, which has already been acclaimed as a “driven, virtuoso” work and “a formidable, demanding achievement”.  In both his novel and during the Irish Diaspora Run, Collins has sought to discover and retell some of the most powerful stories of the Famine Irish in Canada. He was particularly inspired by the “Saving the Famine Irish: The Grey Nuns and the Great Hunger” exhibit and Digital Irish Famine Archive (http://faminearchive.nuigalway.ie/) which he describes as “nothing short of genius”.

It gives me great pleasure to announce that the “Saving the Famine Irish: The Grey Nuns and the Great Hunger” exhibit, curated by Dr. Jason King and Professor Christine Kinealy of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University, is coming to Dublin for the Irish National Famine Commemoration in September, and then will travel around the country. Next year marks the 170th anniversary of the Irish Famine migration and the 150th anniversary of the founding of Canada. It is only fitting that we pay tribute to these Canadian caregivers of the Famine Irish who express our values and the enduring ties between our two countries.

Kevin Vickers with Michael Collins Novel 1

Ambassador Kevin Vickers with signed copy of Michael Collins’ critically acclaimed new novel The Death of All Things Seen.

Michael Collins and Jason King

Michael Collins and Jason King at Dublin Famine Memorial.  Michael Collins announces a new Famine Run along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way in 2017.

Michael Collins Toronto 13.jpg Michael Collins completes Irish Diaspora Run 2016 at Ireland Park in Toronto.

 

 

 

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Michael Collins Announces new Irish Famine Run Along Wild Atlantic Way in 2017

From Michael Collins:

At Irish memorial with the esteemed, Dr. Jason King. We are planning a run through rural Ireland along the wild Atlantic way in winter of 2017.

Michael Collins and Jason King

2016 National Famine Commemoration to take place in September in Glasnevin, Dublin

Irish_Famine_victims_grave

Minister Humphreys announces date of National Famine Commemoration 2016

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee, Heather Humphreys TD, has today (Wednesday) announced that this year’s National Famine Commemoration will take place on Sunday, 11th September at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin.

The State commemoration at Glasnevin will be enriched by the participation of the local community and local schools. The ceremony will involve National flag and military honours before culminating in a solemn wreath-laying.

Speaking today, Minister Humphreys said:

“This will be the 9th consecutive year in which the National Famine Commemoration has taken place and each commemoration has afforded us an excellent opportunity to pay tribute to the memory of those of our forebears who perished, emigrated and suffered during the Famine, which had such a profound impact on the island of Ireland.

“I am particularly pleased that the ceremony will take place in Glasnevin Cemetery, the resting place of so many of our national heroes, during this most important of centenary years. Glasnevin has been the location for a number of very respectful commemoration ceremonies throughout 2016, and I have no doubt it will serve as a fitting location for this year’s famine commemoration.

“I would like to thank the National Famine Commemoration Committee for their work and Glasnevin Trust for agreeing to stage the commemoration at the iconic Dublin cemetery.  My Department and I look forward to working with the Trust and the local community in the area, as well as with our colleagues in the Office of Public Works, to deliver a fitting commemoration of the Famine at this hallowed site.”

The decision to hold the National Famine Commemoration in Glasnevin was largely inspired by Michael Blanch, who had been campaigning for recognition of its historical significance as a mass burial site of famine victims.

https://echo.ie/tallaght/article/family-strive-to-get-memorial-to-all-the-irish-famine-victims  April 18, 2016

By Mary Dennehy

A TALLAGHT family is the driving force behind a campaign for a memorial to the victims of An Gorta Mor in Glasnevin Cemetery, which is the biggest mass grave of Irish Famine victims.

Lobbied for by the Committee for the Commemoration of Irish Famine Victims (CCIFV), the memorial will represent all of the unmarked Famine graves in Glasnevin Cemetery, across Ireland and overseas.

Raheen resident Micheal Blanch, who founded CCIFV with his family, and was instrumental in the development of a National Famine Commemoration Day, told The Echo: “Dublin was the epicentre of the Famine people flocking to the city for work, food, emigration and, sadly, dying when they got here.

“That’s how Glasnevin Cemetery holds the most victims of An Gorta Mor in the world, and it’s important the victims are remembered with a fitting memorial – after more than 170 years of national amnesia.

“The memorial will symbolise all the victims of the Great Hunger who lie in unmarked grass on the island of Ireland, at the bottom of the sea in a watery grave and those overseas in unmarked graves – they will all be remembered in our national cemetery in Glasnevin.”

Speaking to The Echo, Micheal expressed his frustration over the delay in getting approval for the memorial, which he has designed with the support of Tallaght business, Craft Monuments.

As part of the memorial, CCIFV has contacted county and city councils across the island of Ireland inviting them to donate a flagstone with the county’s name inscribed on it – with each local authority paying for their own flagstone.

CCIFV is also willing to pay for the memorial, so is not seeking funding.

“This memorial will cost the Government or Glasnevin very little, so there really is no excuse,” Micheal said.
“However, the memorial will only happen when the Government and Glasnevin are given a little hoosh by bringing it to the public’s attention, bringing it out for discussion.

“It is hard to defend the biggest mass graves of Famine victims in the world and no memorial to them, what sort of society are we to allow this to go on.

“The computer image of the memorial has been shown to many independent people and they have all said it is a fitting memorial, let the people decide.”

A spokesman for Glasnevin Trust told The Echo: “Glasnevin Trust has had correspondence with Michael Blanch in which it has expressed its view that any famine memorial placed in Glasnevin Cemetery must be at the behest of the Irish Government and has advised that any application for such a memorial should have the full approval of the relevant government department together with agreed funding for the monument and its future upkeep.”