Irish famine dead to be remembered in Mayo

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THE LOSS of two million Irish people through starvation and emigration is to be remembered in Mayo this week when the second National Famine Commemoration’s programme opens today.

Writing the Famine in Fiction and Song is the theme for the first in a series of lectures organised by Mayo County Council and the Murrisk Development Association. Writer and songwriter Brendan Graham, vocalist Cathy Jordan and pianist Feargal Murray will participate in the literary and musical evening at the Holy Trinity Church, Westport, from 8pm.

Almost 90 per cent of Mayo’s population depended on the potato when blight hit crops from August 1845.

An estimated one million people died and another million emigrated as a result of the 1845-50 famine, and Mayo’s population dropped dramatically from almost 389,000 to just over 274,000 in the decade from 1841 to 1851.

Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Pat Carey said the week-long programme “blends culture, history, music and song, and promises to be a fitting tribute to those who died or suffered loss in the Great Famine”....

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