Day 1 Strokestown to Clondra c.22km.The Strokestown Park Famine Archive and the 1,490

The story of the 1,490 is one that has been reconstructed from the treasure trove of documents found in the Strokestown Park Archive. An extract from the Cloonahee Petition, 1846, Strokestown Park Archive. The leading scholars in the field attest to its significance: The archive is one of the largest collections of famine documents in the world ……….most of these documents have not seen the light of day since they were generated almost 170 years ago’ Dr Ciaran Reilly, Maynooth University, Ireland ‘The Strokestown Park Archive represents a jewel in famine studies, and one that has great significance beyond Roscommon...

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Day 3 Abbeyshrule-Mullingar c.27km. Mullingar Famine Graveyard

The National Famine Way passes the Robinstown famine graveyard in Mullingar at its mid-point.  This graveyard provides a quiet and contemplative setting to reflect on the journey of the 1,490 emigrants from Strokestown and all who suffered during the Irish Famine migration of 1847. http://www.buildingsofireland.ie/niah/search.jsp?type=record&county=WM&regno=15309019 Description: Former union workhouse graveyard on irregular plan, used between c.1840 and c.1860. Now out of use. Cut stone gateway to the southwest side having a pair of wrought-iron gates. Located to the north of the former Mullingar Union Workhouse complex and to the north of Mullingar. This graveyard largely contains the marked and unmarked graves of victims...

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Day 3 Abbeyshrule-Mullingar 27km. Mullingar Workhouse

The Mullingar Workhouse is one of the best preserved and most moving sites on the National Famine Way. According to Seamus O’Brien, the “Mullingar poor law union was one of the largest in the country. The union workhouse, which was situated on the northern outskirts of Mullingar, admitted its first paupers in December 1842. Designed to accommodate 800 inmates, it struggled to cope with double this number at the height of the Famine” (Carn, Killare: A Forgotten Westmeath Famine Village (Rathlainne Publications, 2000, 9). The Mullingar workhouse is described in detail by Peter Higginbotham at: http://www.workhouses.org.uk/Mullingar/ Mullingar workhouse site,...

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Day 3 Abbeyshrule – Mullingar c.27km. Famine Village Ruins at Carn Hill, County Westmeath

Carn hill Famine village ruins. The National Famine Way passes through the more remote parts of Westmeath along the Royal Canal. In Famine & Community in Mullingar Poor Law Union, 1845-1849. Mud Huts and Fat Bullocks (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1999), Seamus O’Brien notes that the villages in the Killare area along this stretch of canal were particularly devastated by the Famine, and that “throughout the union generally the appearance of the population was wretched. Their clothing was in rags” (24). “The biggest losses here occurred,” he adds, “in the southwestern districts of Castletown and Killare where 53 and 40 percent...

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Day 3 Abbeyshrule-Mullingar .c27km. Irish Famine Folklore

Famine walker Cathal Póirtéir Cathal Póirtéir and Mick Blanch, Irish Famine Walk 2015. Ballynacarrigy village in County Westmeath was devastated by the Great Hunger, as recalled in local folklore. One of Ireland’s most renowned folklorists, Cathal Póirtéir, is the author of Famine Echoes (Gill & Macmillan, 1995), the leading work in the field. In Famine Echoes, Póirtéir explains why folklore provides such a rich cultural resource for recovering the perspectives of the Famine Irish.  In his own words: I feel that the echoes of those silenced voices which we have in folk memory are the nearest we can get to...

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