The National Famine Way marks the poignant ill-fated story of assisted emigration in Ireland during the Famine in 1847 when 1,490 poor and hungry were forced to walk the 165km from the Strokestown Park Estate, County Roscommon to Custom House Quay in Dublin. They travelled onward to Liverpool and almost a third of them perished crossing the Atlantic in "coffin ships" bound for Canada.
The National Famine Way is a digitally and physically waymarked 165km walking trail that connects the National Famine Museum in Strokestown Park, Co. Roscommon, with Ronan Gillespie's Famine memorial on Custom House Quay in Dublin along the banks of the Royal Canal. The trail ends near the Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship and EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum. Walkers can set their own pace and follow in the footsteps of the 1,490 tenants who were forced to emigrate from Strokestown to Canada on some of the worst of the coffin. The trail is waymarked with over 30 pairs of 19th-century bronze shoe sculptures.
The entire walk can be completed at your own pace in your own time.
Professor Mark McGowan (St Michael’s College, University of Toronto) on the Jeanie Johnston Famine Ship reflecting on the journey of Strokestown’s missing 1,490 emigrants to Dublin along the National Famine Way and their fate in the New World: