The National Famine Commemoration Committee was first established in July 2008, following a Government decision to commemorate the Great Irish Famine with an annual memorial day.

The main objective of the National Famine Commemoration Committee is to consider the most appropriate arrangements for an annual national commemoration of the Great Famine. The committee is now in its third term of office and the members of the committee will serve for a period of two years, at which point the terms of reference and membership of the committee may be reviewed.

The general legacy of emigration, cultural loss and the decline of the Irish language, together with the specific issues of food security and the strong commitment of the Irish people to humanitarian aid and relief, are particular themes that have been explored by the committee during its work to date. The committee’s work programme for the current term comprises four key strands:

  • Community, local and youth participation in the National Famine Commemoration;
  • Historical perspective;
  • Famine, hunger, food security and aid in the modern world; and
  • Annual International Famine Commemoration and involvement of Diaspora communities.

The Committee is supported in its work by and also includes representatives of:

  • The Department of the Taoiseach
  • The Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht
  • The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Irish Aid
  • The Department of Education and Skills
  • The Department of Defence
  • The Defence Forces
  • The Office of Public Works (OPW)

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