National Famine Commemoration

The National Famine Commemoration Committee was first established in 2008 following a Government decision to commemorate the Great Irish Famine with an annual national famine memorial day. The Committee is chaired by Heather Humphreys T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and is made up of representatives from the Department of Education and Skills, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Defence, representatives from the Defence Forces, Department of An Taoiseach, Irish Aid, representatives from Trócaire and Gorta, historians, the National Museum of Ireland and other interested parties.

The annual national commemoration revolves between the four provinces of Ireland.

National Famine Commemoration 2016

The 2016 National Famine Commemoration took place on Sunday, 11th September at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin.  The Event was led by President Michael D. Higgins who unveiled a Celtic Cross donated by the Glasnevin Trust to act as a permanent memorial to the victims of the Famine.  The text of the President’s address is available here.

Minister Heather Humphreys T.D. the Chairperson of the National Famine Commemoration Committee thanked the members of the committee for their work in continuing to develop the Annual Famine Commemoration and all those who contributed to the event.  The Minister paid particular thanks to John Green Chairman of the Glasnevin Trust not only for their hosting of the ceremony and for but also for providing the permanent memorial to the victims of the Famine, unveiled by President Higgins.

After the ceremony President Higgins and Minister Humphreys visited an exhibition on the relief work of the Grey Nuns of Montreal, compiled and curated by Professor Christine Kinealy, founding director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University and Dr. Jason King. ‘Saving the Famine Irish: The Grey Nuns and the Great Hunger’ is being hosted by the Glasnevin Trust until December 2016.

An international event also takes place annually to commemorate the Great Irish Famine. The 2015 International Commemoration took place in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada on Friday, 23rd October.

Details of the work of the National Famine Commemoration Committees since 2008 in implementing a varied and diverse annual programme of events to coincide with the National Famine Commemoration are available on the website http://www.irishfamine.ie/


Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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