Launch of The Global Irish Famine Way

The Global Irish Famine Way will be officially launched at EPIC, The Irish Emigration Museum (Irish launch). It is an extension of the National Famine Way and will be the largest heritage trail in the world.  It will eventually follow the journeys of all the Irish Famine emigrants around the world, including the UK, Canada, the United States, South Africa, and Australia. The Bronze Shoes that mark the National Famine Way will also mark each significant location on the Global Irish Famine Way. It begins in 2024 with Canada and the UK (Liverpool). Representatives from each are taking in the commemorative walk.

Fifteen locations have already been secured in Canada including Grosse Île, St John’s Newfoundland, Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa. Toronto, Niagara, Saint John Partridge Island, Saint Colomban and Hamilton. Evoking the initial journey, these bronze shoes travelled by sea from Galway to Newfoundland on the Marine Institute vessel the RV Celtic Explorer leaving on Wednesday 1st May 2024. A series of commemorative events will mark their arrival in Newfoundland.

Please watch the following video, which marked their arrival.

Credit: CBC News Canada

Galway: 1st May The Voyage of the Bronze Shoes on the Marine Institute’s RV Celtic Explorer at the port of Galway. The event marks the beginning of the Bronze Shoes Journey to St. Johns Newfoundland and Labrador on May 8th extending the NFW internationally into Canada.

Canada: May 9th The Irish Embassy will hold a reception 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.

Canada: May 10th The bronze shoes will be carried ceremoniously to St John’s Basilica for a commemorative event and the installation of the first bronze shoes. The shoes will remain on view at the Basilica with information panels for a period.

Over the following months the bronze shoes will be transported up the St Lawrence to Quebec City and beyond for installation at sites including Grosse Île, St John’s Newfoundland, Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto, Niagara, Saint John Partridge Island, Saint Colomban and Hamilton. Two pairs are going to Ottawa, one of which will remain at the Irish embassy to honour the indigenous Canadian donations – new research as part of this project.

The first pair of shoes destined for Liverpool will be carried on the Commemorative Walk and then on to Liverpool on ‘The Walk of the Bronze Shoes’. The Liverpool walkers will escort the bronze shoes by ferry to Holyhead; by road to Birkenhead and by ferry to Mersey Ports. From there, they’ll walk the shoes to Clarence Dock, where 1.3m Irish Famine poor were brought into Liverpool during An Gorta Mór. The group will carry the shoes to the Irish Famine Memorial at St Luke’s Church. Church.