The National Commemoration of the Great Famine

The National Commemoration of the Great Famine took place in Milford in Co. Donegal on Sunday 21st May. The Humanist Association of Ireland was represented at the ceremony by our celebrant Sarah Fyffe.

In Attendance

The President, Michael D. Higgins, officiated at the ceremony and the government was represented by Jack Chambers, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, and Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.
The formal State ceremony featured a keynote address by President Higgins, and it included military honours and a wreath laying ceremony in remembrance of all those who died during the Famine.

The President, Michael D. Higgins

President Higgins, who laid a wreath at the event, said “National Famine Commemoration Day is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on and recall the lives, the suffering and the loss of that tragic event imposed on Irish people which we call An Gorta Mór, the Great Hunger, the Irish Famine. It is an opportunity too to remember those who fled to create new lives abroad, and reflect on the best lessons we might take from such a recall and how it might influence our contemporary lives and the lives of others.


This year’s setting at the old site of the Milford workhouse is so appropriate given the adversity endured by the people of Donegal in the face of poverty, hunger and emigration throughout the 19th century and in particular during the Great Hunger.”

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