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An adventurous 165 km cross country trail that follows the Royal Canal as it weaves through country lanes, villages, towns and city – can be done in sections over time or all at once – as you choose. Follow the story of Strokestown’s Famine Emigrants as our interactive bronze shoe sculptures creates a thought provoking experience, on this commemorative cross country walk. The trail is topped and tailed by two iconic museums – “The National Famine Museum” at Strokestown Park and “The Jeanie Johnston Famine Ship” / “ EPIC – Irish Emigration Museum” at the Dublin end.

SHOE STORIES - Daniel’s Story – Black ‘47

My name is Daniel Tighe / Tye, I am 12 years old, in May 1847 the worst year of the Great Irish Famine, I walked this path from Strokestown to Dublin heading for a Ship and in hope of a new life in North America. Follow in the footsteps of my story through the 30 pairs of Bronze Shoes along the National Famine Way

Although we are footsore and weary we hasten our pace knowing soon that we will reach Dublin city.

At Castleknock we get a strange smell in the air and see steam coming from the chimney of a tall, worsted mill built on the canal.

Mam says the mill makes textiles from wool and that thousands of people and even boys like me work in factories and mills and breweries all over the city.

Some of the workers wave down from the windows at the huge crowd of us.

I then get fascinated by two men ahead grasping large handles, one each side of the bank, pulling and tugging, over and back, sweat dripping off their forheads.

Uncle William sees my quizzical look ‘Bet that’s the largest saw you have ever seen, eh lad ? They have awful bother with the weeds, not an easy job keep them at bay so boats can pass through easily.’

I am quite mesmerised by rhythm they have going between them and the speed at which they work.

Baliff Robinson roars at me to speed up.

History At This Location

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