Monday, 10 May, 2021
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Catherine Martin T.D., Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee has announced arrangements for this year's National Famine Commemoration, which will take place on the third Sunday in May.


 National Famine Commemoration 2021

The ceremony, which will be led by President Michael D. Higgins, will take place in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin at 12pm on Sunday 16th May and will include military honours and a wreath laying ceremony in remembrance of all those who suffered or perished during the Famine.  President Michael D. Higgins will give the keynote address at the ceremony. Wreaths will also be laid by H.E. Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu, and the Chairman of Dublin Cemeteries Trust, Mr. David Bunworth.

The ceremony will be conducted in line with health and safety guidelines and, as in 2020, will not be open to the public. The ceremony will be broadcast on the RTÉ News channel, and on RTÉ News across social media. It will also be available on the Department’s YouTube channel.

Minister Martin said:

“As Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee, I am very pleased that President Michael D. Higgins had agreed to lead this year’s ceremony.  President Higgins’ participation reflects the resilience and optimism of the Irish people as we emerge from the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Public interest in the Great Famine has increased in recent months following the broadcast of the landmark “The Hunger” documentary series last December which attracted record viewing figures.  The associated materials published on the RTÉ history website has attracted over 250,000 views. The feature-length version of “The Hunger - The Story of the Great Irish Famine” is being released internationally this year and recently won the audience award at the Washington Film Festival.

I also note that this will be the second time that the commemoration has been held in Glasnevin Cemetery. This is especially appropriate as the commemoration takes place on the weekend of the anniversary of the death of the cemetery’s founder, Daniel O’Connell.”

Did you know that every county in Ireland was described in exquisite detail by Lewis in 1837? Whether your ancestors emigrated or lived in the same place for generations, you can see what life was like there just before the Great Famine. Read More.