Famine victims to be remembered at Dublin ceremony

Famine victims to be remembered at Dublin ceremony

The National Famine Commemoration Ceremony will take place in Dublin today.

The St. Stephen's Green event will be closed to the public due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The ceremony will include military honours and Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, will lay a wreath on behalf of the Irish people.

"In her poem Quarantine, the late Eavan Boland movingly evoked the efforts of a loving husband to support his wife with the last of his strength, when she said: 'She was sick with famine fever and could not keep up. / He lifted her and put her on his back.' The heroes of the Famine that we honour today also sought to lift and carry those who fell or could not keep up," Ms Madigan said.

"That same spirit of caring and self-sacrifice that is embedded in the caring professions, is being seen again today as our health workers embrace the challenge of caring for those affected by Covid-19. We honour and respect these modern-day heroes and value their courage.

"Perhaps we can best show our appreciation for their work, and the efforts of their forebears during the Great Famine, by adhering to those small acts of heroism we are called upon to perform in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and to come though these testing times, just as our ancestors once did."

The ceremony was due to be held in Buncrana in Co. Donegal this year, but that has been postponed until next year.

The ceremony will be available to view live on RTÉ News Now and on the RTÉ Player.

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