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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.


We left early the next morning, a huge long line of us marching like an army. As we followed the path we could see Sliabh Bawn in the morning sun.

From our cottage every day we gazed at that beautiful mountain but now Sliabh Ban is getting further and further away. Mother stops and there are tears in her eyes as the huge group of us all take a last glimpse of the mountain and forest that would always remind us of home.

A few of the women say they will go no further and want to go back home, but Bailiff Robinson told them there was nowhere for them to go, reminding them that their cottages were tumbled.

‘Better to journey on with your neighbours and relations than to be left to fend for yourselves here.’ he warns them.

‘You saw what is happening them in Tarmonbarry, do ye want to end up like them ?’ barked Robinson.

We walked and walked and poor John’s feet were sore and cut and bleeding. Mother tried to rub and clean them and put some moss in his shoes.

‘They will be a lot worse by the end of this hundred mile walk my lad.’ warned our neighbour.

Brian Hand on Famine Art and Bronze Shoes at Last View of Sliabh Bawn


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