National Famine Commemoration Day 2017

Request to each primary and post primary school to observe a minute of silent reflection in their schools at midday on Friday 29th September 2017 in memory of all those who suffered loss during the Great Famine

In May 2008, the Government decided to inaugurate an annual National Famine Commemoration Day in memory of all those who died and emigrated during the Great Famine.  This year's National Famine Commemoration will take place at the Famine Warhouse 1848, Ballingarry, Thurles, County Tipperary, on Saturday, 30th September in the presence of An Taoiseach, Mr Leo Varadkar, T.D.

There is no other event in our history that can be likened to the Great Famine either for its immediate impact or its legacy.  That legacy includes a strong appreciation among Irish people of issues such as food security and a strong commitment to humanitarian aid and relief. 

I invite and urge staff and pupils at all schools throughout the country to observe a minute of silent reflection on Friday, 29th September, in memory of all those who suffered loss during the Famine, loss of life, loss of family, loss of home and loss of country.  This minute of silence should take place ideally at midday, but can take place at whatever time suits individual schools on the day.  I would also ask that during this minute of silence thoughts be directed to  those who are experiencing hunger today, particularly the children and young people living in parts of the world currently afflicted by conflict, poverty and disease. 

If you would like to discuss the matter further, please feel free to contact Róisín Ní Chadhain on (01) 6313832 or by email at .

This will be a very special and dignified tribute to those who died during the Great Famine and I would like to thank all participants for their support. 


Heather Humphreys, T.D.,
Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht,
Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee.