National commemoration day for the Great Famine to be held in May 2019
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National commemoration day for the Great Famine to be held in May 2019

A NATIONAL COMMEMORATION day for the Great Irish Famine is set to be held on the third weekend in May every year from next year on.

A Sinn Féin Bill which aims to hold a Famine memorial day every year will go before the government this week.

Fine Gael’s Colm Brophy made a similar proposal last year which was never confirmed.

The day is likely to be held over the third weekend in May to ensure it does not clash with any other events.

The first memorial day is due to be held next year.

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“We have a fixed date to commemorate Easter 1916 and one to commemorate all those who died in other wars on behalf of our county. However, when it comes to what is, perhaps, our country’s greatest tragedy; it is somehow deemed not important enough to be marked by a permanent date in our calendar. This is no longer acceptable,” said Fine Gael TD Colm Brophy said when he launched his Bill last year.

"We need a fixed date for a number of reasons. It will allow everyone to work towards the commemoration, on a yearly basis, and allows schools to make it part of the school curriculum."

The day will not be classed as a bank holiday.

It will mark the first every day dedicated to the event in which over one million people died of hunger and related diseases, while another two million fled the country.