Day 3 Abbeyshrule – Mullingar c.27km. Irish Author and Ultra Runner Michael Collins on National Famine Walk (2017)

From Irish Times (March 31, 2017) http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/i-feel-an-obligation-to-re-engage-and-better-understand-what-it-is-to-be-irish-1.3032147 ‘I feel an obligation to re-engage and better understand what it is to be Irish’ Author Michael Collins explains why as an emigrant, a father and a writer he feels drawn to explore his own sense of Irishness Fri, Mar 31, 2017, 12:49 Michael Collins Victor Boyle, Marc Miller MP, Fergus Keyes, Michael Collins and Ronan Corbett at Montreal’s Famine memorial in 2016 My relationship with The Irish Times started last year when I approached its books editor Martin Doyle about running a marathon a day from Grosse Île to Toronto. He...

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Day 2 Clondra-Abbeyshrule c.30km. The Story of 1,490 orphan James Flood

On May 11, 2014, Taoiseach Enda Kenny unveiled a glass wall memorial to the 1490 emigrants during the National Famine Commemoration at Strokestown. https://www.rte.ie/news/player/2014/0511/20576539-national-famine-commemoration-held-at-strokestown/ Colin McMahon has traced the 1490 orphan James Flood’s movements between Strokestown, Liverpool, Grosse Île and Montreal in an article entitled “Recrimination and Reconciliation: Great Famine Memory in Liverpool and Montreal at the Turn of the Twentieth Century,” Atlantic Studies: Global Currents 11.3 (2014): 344-64. Colin McMahon In McMahon’s own words (347-348): The Famine influx has long been an emotionally charged and politically potent memory for Irish groups in Liverpool and Montreal, not only because...

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Day 2 Clondra – Abbeyshrule c.30km. Ballybrannigan’s Restored Ticket House

The restored passage-boat ticket office in Ballybrannigan Harbour, near Ballymahon, in County Longford, is a striking site along the National Famine Way. Before the Great Hunger, over 40,000 passengers were carried per annum on the canal and the tonnage of goods rose to a peak of 100,000 tons in the 1840s.  It is a fitting place to reflect on the Strokestown 1,490 emigrants and multitude of others who passed this way while travelling on the Royal Canal to Dublin. Professor Cian McMahon from the University of Las Vegas has discovered sample passage tickets used by Irish emigrants in 1847 and from Sir Robert Gore...

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Day 1 Strokestown to Clondra c.22km. Strokestown Quebec Youth Connection

RTÉ’s Nationwide featured an episode on the “Strokestown-Quebec Youth Connection” During the National Famine walk in 2017, Ireland’s President Michael D. Higgins greeted the walkers and joined them as they set off from Clondra and the commemorative ceremony for the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Canal. President Higgins is the patron of the Irish National Famine Museum in Strokestown and very supportive of its activities, such as the National Famine Walk. The walk was inspired by the museum’s founder Jim Callery’s meeting in the year 2000 with Léo Tye, the grandson of Strokestown Famine orphan Daniel Tighe...

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Day 1 Strokestown to Clondra c.22km. A Short History of Strokestown Park and the Irish National Famine Museum

Caroilin and Jim Callery, Strokestown Park House Strokestown Park was the family seat of the Mahon family from 1653 until 1981 and is infamous due to the events of 1847, when Denis Mahon was the first landlord to be assassinated during the Famine period with repercussions as far as the Vatican, Rome and The British Parliament, London. The gun used to shoot Major Mahon is on display in the Famine Museum. In the 1970s houses such as Strokestown Park faced a precarious future and their value lay mostly in the adjoining land. In 1979 the house and estate were...

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