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UCC launches new famine project

Wednesday, 9th May, 2018 4:29pm

A new project allowing people to see how the famine effected their locality will be launched in Cork this weekend.

The Great Famine online project will be launched at the Annual National Famine Commemoration on Saturday 12 May, which will be presided over by President Michael D Higgins.

"The Irish Famine still evokes a lot of emotion for people both at home and abroad," said Virginia Teehan, Director of Cultural Projects at UCC and a member of the Steering Committee on the National Famine Commemoration at UCC. “The National Famine Commemoration taking place at UCC this week gives us an opportunity to rethink how it has shaped an Irish psyche and how it continues to connect us to each other and to the rest of the world.”

A number of commemorative events will take place leading up to the main ceremony on Saturday. A free public conference on ‘Global Hunger Today’ with international and national speakers will take place at 6pm on Thursday 10 May and from 9.30am on Friday 11 May in UCC Boole 4. A public lecture on ‘Mapping the Great Irish Famine’ by Mike Murphy, Department of Geography at UCC, will take place on Friday 11 May at 7.30pm in the Aula Maxima. A replica bothán, or mud cabin, has also been erected on the Quad in UCC.

“I think the State Commemoration in 1995 which marked the 150th anniversary was the first time that modern Ireland began to explore how the famine impacted on us as a society,” Teehan continued. “We are still on that journey and part of that is understanding how social and economic forces can disenfranchise people. People need to be mindful that famine is not always about the scarcity of food but about political systems and people’s ability to access food. This is still the case in contemporary famines, as will be discussed in the conference on Global Hunger Today this Thursday and Friday.”

Saturday’s event will feature music by The Vanbrugh, Niall Vallely, Karen Casey, Massed Choir, Band of the Southern Command and readings by Lord Mayor Cllr Tony Fitzgerald, County Mayor Cllr Declan Hurley and UCC President Patrick O’Shea.

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