Location for 2024 National Famine Commemoration announced

The Green, Edgeworthstown

Catherine Martin T.D., Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, and Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee has today 1 March 2024 announced that this year’s National Famine Commemoration will take place in Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford on Sunday 19th May 2024.

The public ceremony, which will be broadcast on the RTÉ News Now channel, will provide an opportunity for the people of Longford and surrounding counties to honour the memory of those who perished or sought escape to a new life abroad during the Great Irish Famine.

This is the first time the State Commemoration has taken place in County Longford. As in previous years, it will include military honours before culminating in a solemn wreath-laying ceremony in remembrance of all those who suffered or perished.

Speaking today Minister Martin said:

“Each year the National Famine Commemoration gives communities a chance to gather and pay their respects to the people of our nation who faced hardship and suffering during An Ghorta Mór. As chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee I am very pleased to announce that this year’s National Famine Commemoration will be held in Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford.”

She continued,

“Edgeworthstown has a deep connection to the devastating impact of the Famine. The town was founded by the Edgeworth family, which included the renowned novelist Maria Edgeworth. The family was involved in many charitable efforts at the time to provide assistance to their locality. Maria Edgeworth in particular used her international influence to secure support for her community, using her final novel, “Orlandino”, to raise funds for the famine relief effort.”

“The community focused attitude of this admirable family will be reflected in the commemoration ceremony which will represent the culmination of a week of remembrance activities in the local area.”

Minister Martin also expressed her appreciation for the work of the members of the National Famine Commemoration Committee for their commitment in ensuring that the tragic events of the Great Famine are appropriately remembered and that the extraordinary contributions of the resulting diaspora are rightly celebrated.

The Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council, Cllr Colm Murray said:

“It is an honour that Longford will host the National Famine Commemoration ceremony in 2024. The people of Edgeworthstown and the wider community will embrace this commemoration as an opportunity to remember the victims of the Famine both locally and across the country, and to recognise the role of those who strove to alleviate the devastating impact of this disaster, such as Maria Edgeworth and her family. We look forward to working closely with the Minister’s Department to ensure a solemn and appropriate commemoration.”