Fundraisers complete poignant Famine walk from Ireland to England

Fundraisers complete poignant Famine walk from Ireland to England

FUNDRAISERS have completed a poignant pilgrimage between Ireland and Britain which saw them trace the steps of hundreds of people forced to leave their homeland due to the Famine.

Three Liverpool-based walkers took on the Walk of the Bronze Shoes, where they transported a pair of bronze shoes from Strokestown in Co. Roscommon to Liverpool.

There are bronze shoes found along the National Fmaine Way in Ireland

They walked along Ireland’s National Famine Way which is marked at regular intervals with commemorative bronze shoes which were cast from a real pair of 19th century children’s shoes found on Strokestown Estate.

It was from Strokestown that some 1,490 men, women and children were forced to leave Ireland at the height of An Gorta Mór – or The Great Hunger – in 1847.

Evicted from their homes, and guided by a landlord’s land agent, those migrants left the Roscommon town and were bound for Canada.

The walk followed Ireland's National Famine Way

The walk took them to Dublin and on to Liverpool, before making their way to the other side of the world, although half of them would perish along the way.

Liverpool-based historian John Maguire, of the ArtsGroupie CIC organisation, and Greg Quiery and Emma Smith, of the Liverpool Irish Festival, took on the challenge this month and completed the entire journey from Roscommon to Liverpool in nine days.

During that time, they walked alongside the Irish Ambassador to Canada Dr Eamonn McKee and Caroilin Callery, daughter of the Strokestown Park and Museum and The National Famine Way founder, Jim Callery.

The shoes pictured at the Famine memorial in Liverpool

The shoes that they brought with them mark a “reconnection between Ireland’s Famine emigrants and the Liverpool Irish Famine Trail” the event organisers said.

As custodian of the Trail, the Liverpool Irish Festival shares and preserves the Trail sites and their stories for future generations.

Through their Famine walk they have raised vital cash to support the Liverpool Irish Festival’s ongoing conservation, digitisation and upgrades to the Liverpool Irish Famine Trail.