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National Famine Commemoration Ceremony In Strokestown, Co. Roscommon

An Taoiseach Mr Micheál Martin informed a National Famine Commemoration ceremony today in Strokestown, Co. Roscommon, that there was no more devastating or traumatic an event in Irish history, than the Great Famine of 1845-1849.

Today’s ceremony also included military honours and a wreath-laying ceremony by ambassadors to Ireland, in remembrance of all those who perished, during this, the last great famine in Europe, caused by the failure of the potato crop over successive years.

Addressing the crowd today, An Taoiseach Mr Micheál Martin said, “It is impossible for us to imagine the feelings of hopelessness, anger and loss experienced by those who suffered through the Famine years.
Famines do not happen in democracies. In fact, there is no recorded account of a famine in a country where the government is freely elected and there was free speech.
I think if you want to know why Ireland didn’t have another famine you will find it in our commitment to self-determination and building a democratic state”.

There was no mention of the Thurles Great Famine Double Ditch demolished by his Fianna Fáil colleagues on the Mill Road, here in Thurles despite several emails sent to his government.

This evening we sent an email to An Taoiseach’s office, asking him to send a copy of today’s address to local Fianna Fáil TD Mr Jackie Cahill and current government supporter Independent TD Mr Michael Lowry.
We trust Mr Cahill will share this address with Fianna Fáil Councillors Mr Sean Ryan and Mr Seamus Hanafin in due course.
[Well, as we are already aware elected Fianna Fáil reps. share everything. View HERE.]

Dublin singer-songwriter Mr Declan O’Rourke also took part in this event, singing two songs from his 2017 album ‘Chronicles of the Great Famine’, namely ‘Poor Boy’s Shoes’ and ‘Go Domhain i do Chiumhne’.

Meanwhile, let’s have a listen to Mr Declan O’Rourke.

Declan O’Rourke – “Poor Boy’s Shoes”

When he met her at the dance, she had flowers in her hair.
There was no girl in this land that could have stood next to her there.
And there everyone could see, how he loved her instantly,
Though he had nothing to give her but his poor boy’s hopes and dreams.

Well he danced with her that summer till it showed on her sweet face.
As she was taken by the warmth of him and all his gentle ways.
Then he swore his love was true
And he married her in poor boy’s shoes.

Well not many years had passed through the grip of his strong hands,
When a great unyielding hunger drew its veil across this land.
His young love soon took ill and with two little mouths to fill,
It took all he could to keep them from the poor house on the hill.
But when his pockets had run dry from crying tears that rang like bells
And their home drew in the wind like an old sea shell.
Then he gathered everything he had to lose,
And he walked them up in poor boy’s shoes.

First God took the little boy,
Then he took the little girl.
And soon their little souls were free from all the sadness in the world.
Their father lifted up his love,
She could no longer walk alone
And from the poor house on the hill,
He took her on the long walk home.

There he felt the cold upon her as he laid her down to rest,
And so he knelt down by her bed and drew her feet up to his chest.
There he tried to warm her cold feet through
And they found him there in poor boy’s shoes.

END

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