Williamstown, Melbourne 2018

International Famine Commemoration
28th October 2018
Famine Rock, Williamstown,

Minister of State O’Donovan represents the Government at the 2018 International Famine Commemoration, Williamstown, Melbourne

The International Famine Commemoration for 2018 takes place at the Famine Rock in Williamstown, Melbourne on Sunday 28th October.  Over 4,000 young Irish women and girls travelled from the workhouses of Ireland between 1848 and 1850 under the Earl Grey Scheme, in search of hope and a new beginning. The Famine Rock commemorates their arrival.

Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan T.D. – who is representing the Government on behalf of the Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan T.D. – said: “At this year’s event, we focus on the plight of those young women and girls who came to Melbourne fleeing the worse ravages of the Great Famine. One can only admire the courage and fortitude of these young women. They were coming to an uncertain future in a strange and distant land. This simple but solid monument – the Famine Rock – conveys a simple but solid message. We have not and we will not forget those who suffered and died, and those who struggled and survived through the Great Famine.”

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude, on behalf of the Irish Government’s National Famine Committee, to the organisers of the official Commemoration in Williamstown and all others who have contributed to all the events I’ve attended this week. Your commitment has ensured that the catastrophic events of the Great Famine – An Gorta Mór – are being so appropriately remembered.

While in Australia, Minister O’Donovan will also meet with Irish community groups and Australian Government representatives.