Thursday 23 May 2019

Sligo to hold 12th National Famine Commemoration

Ciara Galvin

During the Great Famine Sligo's population fell by one third as a result of mortality and emigration.

Now, over 170 years after the historic tragedy, Sligo Town will host this year's National Famine Commemoration on May 17th next with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in attendance.

Announcing Sligo as the location for this year's commemoration events, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Joseph Madigan T.D., noted that the choice was 'particularly significant' given the town and county's historic links with 'An Gorta Mór'.

"The Commemoration will honour the lost generation who died or emigrated during this time," said the Minister.

Previously welcoming Sligo as this year's location for remembrance events, Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Councillor Martin Baker said 'It is an honour for Sligo to have the privilege of hosting the National Famine Commemoration ceremony.

Speaking about marking the 150th anniversary of what some refer to as 'Ireland's Holacaust', historian and member of the Co Sligo Famine Commemoration Committee, Joe McGowan welcomed the decision for this year's commemorations to take place in the county.

"I'm over the moon it's coming to Sligo, it's an affirmation for supporters of our efforts anf for the people of Sligo," Mr McGowan told The Sligo Champion.

"It's appropriate and essential to commemorate this.

"On the 100th anniversary there was no mention of the famine, it was almost like a great shame. "

McGowan acknowledged that in 1947 people did not have much in order to mark significant times.

"In 1947 on the 100th anniversary there wasn't famine times but people didn't have much."

Sligo Champion