THE VICTIMS of the famine in Ireland will this weekend be remembered in a sombre event presided over by Michael D Higgins.
The President of Ireland will lay a wreath at Glasnevin Cemetery this Sunday, 16th May, with military honours, to remember all those who suffered and died during the Great Hunger of 1845 - 1852.
As part of the National Famine Commemoration 2021, President Higgins will give a keynote address in remembrance of the atrocity and all its victims.
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 will also lay wreaths at the historic cemetery to pay tribute to the million lives lost and to remember the millions more who suffered.
While the ceremony will not be open to the public due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the event will be livestreamed and televised across Ireland and beyond, available on the RTÉ News Channel, RTE.ie and across social media, as well as on Youtube.
Announcing the event, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee, Catherine Martin, said she was "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. "
She added that public interest in the Great Famine has increased in recent months following the broadcast of the RTÉ's “The Hunger” documentary series which attracted record viewing figures, and follow-up articles published on the RTÉ history website which attracted over 250,000 views.
She continued: "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."
The full feature-length version of the RTÉ documentary “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.
You can read more about the documentary here.