ANNUAL FAMINE COMMEMORATION 2015 NEWRY HAILED AS A HUGE SUCCESS!
Over 2,000 people attended the Annual Famine Commemoration in Newry on Saturday 26 September 2015.Hosted by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, in partnership with the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, the Commemoration marked a very solemn and moving tribute to the many thousands who died during the Great Famine, or who left Ireland, never to return.
A further 3,400 people attended a full programme of events leading up to and during the week of the famine commemoration including lectures, educational events, exhibitions and a conference.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Naomi Bailie, who opened the Commemoration with a welcome to Newry, said, “Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, was deeply honoured to welcome the National Famine Commemoration to Newry. All who attended on Saturday were touched by the very moving tributes paid. I would commend the community of Newry, Mourne and Down, who worked so hard in the months leading up to the Commemoration to make this a most memorable occasion. I was delighted by the huge turnout not only on Saturday, but in the weeks leading up to the Commemoration.”
The Commemoration was attended by over 35 diplomats and consuls from throughout the world as well as Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Chair of the National Famine Committee, Heather Humphreys, Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness and Minister for Culture Arts and Leisure Carál Ní Chuilín.
Minister Humphreys said, “I would like to express my thanks to Newry, Mourne and Down District Council for hosting a fitting, inclusive and informative Commemoration. The Council’s team worked with my Department and the Office of Public Works to ensure that the ceremony was an appropriately solemn and moving event. The attendance at Newry was among the highest of any of the annual Commemorations to date. I was particularly pleased to see public representatives and members of the public from across the region in such numbers in Newry last Saturday."
Minister Humphreys also praised the Council for organising a programme of cultural events held at a number of venues in the weeks preceding and following the main ceremony, “Newry, Mourne and Down District Council organised a diverse and vibrant programme of events which complemented the formal Commemoration and involved local people from across the community. I would like to thank the Council, the local Famine Committee, the local community and all who gave up their time to make the programme of events and the commemoration ceremony itself such an outstanding success.”
Several hundred people attended a re-enactment and unveiling of a monument in Warrenpoint on Sunday to commemorate those who left Ireland to sail to New Brunswick in Canada. The monolith plaque was unveiled by Minister Humphreys and was attended by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Vice Chairperson, Councillor Gillian Fitzpatrick and the Honorary Consul for Canada, Kenneth Brundel.Back