After three decades on the road and two years online (due to Covid ), the Famine Walk returns to Mayo on Saturday, May 21 2022.
Retracing the steps of several hundred people who made this journey in search of food during An Gorta Mór, walkers will make their way through the spectacular Doolough Valley in the course of this iconic journey.
Walk leaders this year include Catherine Connolly TD, author and activist Robbie McVeigh and Community Worker Homayoon Shiraz. Music will be provided by Mayo-based musician Patrick O'Laoghaire. This year Afri’s late patron Desmond Tutu will be remembered, as will Afri friend, the late great songwriter Pete St John.
The famine walk began in 1988 and has been led in the past by figures such as Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Christy Moore, journalist John Pilger, Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Arun Gandhi, actor Gabriel Byrne, Michael Davitt’s granddaughter Gráinne, and Kim Phuc, the Vietnamese woman who was pictured as a child in that iconic photo where she ran from a napalm attack.
Speaking in advance of this year’s Afri, Coordinator Joe Murray says interest in the annual walk is strong this year, with walkers keen to get back on the road after an absence of two years.
He said: "So many of us were disappointed to miss out on this unique event during the lockdowns. This is a walk like no other, abounding in memory, music, history, solidarity and spectacular beauty: retracing the steps of the dispossessed of the past and forging solidarity with the banished and oppressed today.
"There is a real sense of anticipation and excitement as we return to the spectacular Doolough Valley for Famine Walk 2022, marking 175 years since Black '47. The walk is an expression of remembrance and solidarity, recalling those who died during An Gorta Mór and in solidarity with those experiencing similar suffering today.
"This year we remember especially those oppressed by war in Ukraine as well as in the many other 'ignored' wars around the world. Our walk is a statement of our intent to continue our work for peace and justice in the world."
Once again, this year, walkers will gather in Louisburgh for conversation, talks and music before being ferried by bus to the start of the 18km walk. Registration is via www.eventbrite.ie/e/afri-famine-walk-2022-sat-may-21-in-co-mayo-tickets-325178085407 or by contacting Afri on (01 ) 8384204 or email: [email protected].