2024 National Famine Commemoration takes place in Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford

2024 National Famine Commemoration at Edgeworthstown

An Taoiseach, Simon Harris TD, officiated at the National Famine Commemoration in Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford on Sunday 19th May alongside Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD.

The formal State ceremony featured a keynote address by the Taoiseach, as well as military honours and a wreath-laying ceremony in remembrance of all those who died during the Famine. Minister Martin also addressed the event.

In addition to the Taoiseach, His Excellency, The Most Reverend Luis Mariano Montemayor, Apostolic Nuncio, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps; and Councillor Colm Murray, Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council, also laid a wreath.

Music at the event was provided by local band Streancán and local musicians Dr Conor Ward, Noel Carberry and Meadhbh Carberry, while Amy Rooney Maguire, Emma Mihai and Aaron Ó Míacháin from St. Mary’s National School, Edgeworthstown performed the poem An Píobaire Uillinn. The public ceremony was also broadcast on the RTÉ News channel, and is available to watch here:

An Taoiseach Simon Harris said:

The Great Irish Famine destroyed lives, destroyed families, and destroyed the hopes and dreams of so many.  It was our national tragedy, leaving scars that never fully healed.  Our national trauma, that can never be forgotten.  The tragedy was national, but the lessons are global, and they compel us to honour the memory of the dead, by doing everything we can to prevent similar tragedies elsewhere.

As we reflect today on the immense suffering and resilience of those who lived and died during the Famine, let us recommit to honour their legacy not simply through remembrance but through action. We must apply the lessons of the Great Irish Famine to our world today, working to alleviate hunger and suffering wherever it exists. ‘An Gorta Mór’ is a tragedy that will never be forgotten.  Our history demands that we do everything we can to make sure it is never repeated.


Catherine Martin, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, and Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee said:

The Famine tore at the very fabric of our society by decimating communities that had been so tightly knit together. Today, as we remember the victims of this cataclysm, the vital message that this commemoration sends out to the world is one of hope and renewal. The people of this country persevered through desperate suffering. Their music, songs and language survived. And we still stand here, to honour the dead, the exiled, and those left behind.

An Gorta Mór left towns and communities across the country drained of life and laughter. Today’s ceremony shows the strength of spirit in those communities, through music, art and song.