The first Irish Famine Walk from Strokestown to Dublin along the Royal Canal took place in April 2015. It coincided with the onset of the European Refugee Crisis. In an Irish Times (April 18, 2017) article entitled “Famine memorial: Jim Callery recognised by EU for history role”, Patsy McGarry has noted that:
Walk participants, in period costume, were commemorating an incident in 1847 which saw 1,490 starving tenants from the Mahon estate in Strokestown marched to Dublin, marshalled by bailiffs, to board the ship Naomi for Canada.
“Seven hundred of them died at sea,” Caroilin Callery recalled. As she and the others began their walk, she said she received a “gut-wrenching” text message stating that 700 migrants had drowned off the coast of Libya. The parallels were undeniable.
As they arrived at their destination, the Jeanie Johnston tall ship on Custom House Quay, the group were met by [Strokestown Park Irish National Famine Museum founder Jim] Callery, his wife Adeline, and Minister for Heritage Heather Humphreys, who said: “You’ve brought life to history, and history to life.” Read this report in the Irish Times.