Day 4 on the Famine Way: Mullingar to Longwood

Day 4 of the Famine Way walk started out in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath and followed the Royal Canal for 30km to Longwood in Co. Meath. The walkers saw all weathers along the route – dull and gloomy starting out, rain on the way to McNead’s Bridge, but by the afternoon, the sun was shining. 30km was the longest distance the walkers covered in a single day, but the local communities of McNead’s Bridge and Hill of Down turned out to greet the walkers and the local pubs Mary Lynch’s (McNead’s Bridge) and J. Morans (Hill of Down) were ready...

Read More

Day 3 on the Famine Way: Abbeyshrule to Mullingar

Day 4 of the 2017 Famine Way walk started out drizzly in Abbeyshrule, where the walkers met pupils from Forgney National School before setting off on the 27km route to Mullingar. Along the way, the walkers stopped at Ballinacarrigy,a village that was devastated by the Great Hunger as recalled in local folklore. They also passed through the more remote parts of Westmeath along the Royal Canal, where villages in the area were particularly devastated by the Famine. In Famine & Community in Mullingar Poor Law Union, 1845-1849. Mud Huts and Fat Bullocks (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1999), Seamus O’Brien notes...

Read More

Day 2 on the Famine Way: Mosstown to Abbeyshrule

The Famine Way walkers were relieved to wake up to a dry, sunny morning on Day 2 of the 2017 National Famine Walk. The Day 2 route took the walkers along the Royal Canal from Mosstown to Abbeyshrule in County Longford. The group was  delighted to be joined by the Longford Ramblers and Hikers for the day. Today was one of the shortest distances on the route measuring 19km from Mosstown to Abbeyshrule. As they set off, the walkers remembered the 1490 tenants who made the original journey 170 years ago. The story of five-year-old James Flood Jr. highlights the hardship...

Read More

Day 1 on the Famine Way: Strokestown to Mosstown

The 2017 National Famine Walk got underway today as the international group of Famine scholars began walking in the footsteps of the 1,490 tenants from Denis Mahon’s estate who were forced to emigrate during the summer of 1847. Early this morning, the Famine walkers gathered in Strokestown House to say their final farewells before embarking on the six day walk to Dublin. From Strokestown, the walkers made their way to Clondra where they were greeted by President Michael D. Higgins who joined them as they set off on the next leg of the journey to Mosstown. Read the President’s speech in...

Read More