The National Famine Commemoration which was scheduled to take place in Donegal this month will now take place in Dublin today.
The ceremony was due to take place in Buncrana on Sunday 24th May. However due to Covid-19, the plans have been revised to a private event this afternoon.
Commemorations in Buncrana have been pushed back to 2021, when the people of Donegal will get an opportunity to honour the memory of the many people who perished or sought escape for a new life from its ports.
This year’s ceremony will take place today, Sunday, at the Edward Delaney Famine Sculpture in St Stephen’s Green Dublin 2 at 12.30pm and will include military honours and a wreath laying ceremony in remembrance of all those who suffered or perished during the Famine.
Wreaths will be laid by Josepha Madigan T.D., Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee, on behalf of the Irish people and by the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps on behalf of the Diplomatic Community.
As with the recent Easter and Arbour Hill Commemorations, the ceremony will be conducted in line with current health and safety guidelines and will not be open to the public. Coverage of the Famine Commemoration will be available to view live nationally and internationally on RTÉ News Now, on www.rte.ie and on the RTÉ Player.
Speaking on the change of plan Minister Madigan said: “This year the National Famine Commemoration was to have been held in Buncrana, Co. Donegal. However, due to the circumstances in which we find ourselves these plans, like so many others, have had to be put on hold for now. I look forward to Buncrana hosting the Commemoration next year.
“As we confront a pandemic today, let us recall that the Great Famine was a public health emergency in its own right. We think of the many heroes of the Famine years. People such as the doctors and nurses of the fever hospitals of who put themselves at risk to care for others will always have our thanks for their sacrifice. As our society has changed and evolved this commitment to helping others has never waivered and we see the same qualities of courage and commitment to others in our healthcare staff today.”