An Gorta Mor - 150 years later
May 10, 2009 7:05 PM Subscribe
Today marks the first National Famine Memorial Day in Skibbereen, Co. Cork.
posted by dbmcd (3 comments total)
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Actually the first day in a week of activities (.pdf
), Skibbereen was one of many areas in western Ireland hard-hit by the famine (or Great Hunger).
Wikipedia does an excellent job explaining the many complexities - it was caused not just by a fungus
, but by political will
on the part of an oppressive government (as are most modern famines).
Many physical memorials have been erected, including the haunting Coffin Ship
in Westport, Co. Mayo
, and a simple plaque honoring the dead on the Famine Road near Doo Lough
, erected in 1994. The main inscription reads: "To commemorate the hungry poor who walked here in 1849 and walk the third world today.", inscribed on the north side is a quote from Mahatma Ghandi: "How can men feel themselves honoured by the humiliation of their fellow beings?", and on the west: "In 1991 we walked AFRI's great famine walk at Doolough and soon afterwards we walked the road to freedom in South Africa" by Desmond Tutu.
The always-excellent RTE1 program, Sunday Miscellany featured writing about Skibbereen in its May 10th show - not sure when the podcast
will show up.