2024 Commemorative Walk

The National Famine Way Commemorative Walk

The National Famine Way Commemorative Walk takes place over six days from Monday 20th to Saturday 25th May 2024 beginning with a dramatic re-enactment of the events which prompted the foundation of the walk. Walkers will be joined by schools, traditional musicians, entertainment and costumed enthusiasts. Walkers and walking groups are invited to join in for the full six days (165km) or part of the walk. The walk begins at the National Famine Museum | Strokestown Park in Roscommon.  It will be preceded by the Canadian Wake evening event evoking the old tradition of an American wake before emigrants departed. This will feature Marita Conlon-McKenna author of award-winning famine novel ‘Under the Hawthorn Tree’.

– The walk will commence at 10.30a.m. from the gates of Strokestown Park on Monday, 20th May 2024

– Walkers are welcome to join us along the route to Dublin along the royal canal.

For the latest information on the walk, follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, X/ Twitter) and #FamineWay #GlobalFamineWay

Leading the Walk is:

Irish Ambassador to Canada Eammon McKee, we will also be joined by Canadian Ambassdor to Ireland Nancy Smith along the route.

The Voyage of the Bronze Shoes & Launch of the Global Irish Famine Way, Canada

– In collaboration with the Marine Institute of Ireland, the cargo of Bronze Shoes will depart on the RV Celtic Explorer 1st May from Galway, arriving at St John’s Newfoundland and Labrador on 8th May. 9th May there will be a reception by the Embassy for the crew and members of the Marine Institute, Canadian researchers joining the Celtic Explorer’s research in Canadian waters, those involved in the refit of the Celtic Voyager at St John’s (which has been sold to Nunavut), the Irish community, academics, and VIPs. On the morning of 10th May The Bronze Shoes will be carried ceremoniously to St John’s Basilica for a commemorative event and the installation of the first Bronze Shoes. Plans are also underway for a short symposium on the events of 1847 and associated links between Ireland and Canada. The Bronze Shoes will remain on view at the Basilica with information panels for a period.

– Over the following months, Bronze Shoes will be transported up the St Lawrence to Quebec City for installation at sites including Grosse Île, Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto, with other possible sites at Middle Island and St John (New Brunswick), and Niagara (Ontario).

Joining Us On the Walk from Liverpool

The Liverpool Irish Festival are using the commemorative walk in May as a fundraiser for the festival and the Irish Famine Trail. The walkers will carry a pair of bronze shoes with them which will find a permanent home at the Irish Famine Memorial in Liverpool.

Queries relating to Bronze Shoes, please email Caroilin Callery.

Fundraising Walks

In addition to Liverpool Irish Festival fundraiser, there are two additonal groups fundraising as they walk the trail Safe Home Ireland (Dublin – Roscommon from Saturday, 11th to 19th May) and One Veterans (more information) (Roscommon to Dublin from Monday 13th-19th).

Background on the National Famine Way™

The National Famine Way™ is a 165km way marked walking and cycling trail commemorating a heartbreaking walk of forced emigration which took place in 1847 at the height of the Irish famine.  It begins at the memorial glass wall at The National Famine Museum | Strokestown Park in Roscommon and continues through six counties to EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum in Dublin’s Docklands. The route is poignantly marked by more than 30 pairs of bronze children’s shoes and the route and associated stories can be followed through a free app. Walkers can also purchase an official passport to get stamped along the route.