Ceremony to remember Galway Famine victims

Mark Kennedy

Mark Kennedy

Galwegians who died aboard the Famine ships, those who made it start a new life in Canada and the US, and those who manned the ships that bore them will be honoured in the city next week.

The dedication of the Galway Famine Ship Memorial will take place on Wednesday July 4 at 11am in the Celia Griffin Memorial Park at Grattan Beach. The dedication will be carried out by Galway Harbour master Captain Brian Sheridan and fellow-officers from Freres de la Cote.

Folk singer-songwriter Don Stiffe will perform ‘A Song for Celia’ which he has especially composed for the occasion. The song is in memory of Celia Griffin, a child of six years who died of starvation in Galway on March 11 1847. In 2009 the park at Grattan Beach was renamed in Celia’s memory and in memory of the many thousands of children like her who perished in the Great Famine.

The campaign to create the memorial began four years ago, with the work being led by Lauren Dolan, Mark Kennedy, William Henry, and Conor Montague. The project was funded by public donations and charity events. However, there is still a need for further donations in order that all the costs involved can be covered.

The public is invited to the dedication ceremony which will last about one hour. There will be a reception in the Claddagh Hall afterwards to which all are welcome.

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