First Afri Famine Walk in Germany

Friends from around Stuttgart in South Germany joined Afri’s Famine Walk in 2018 and 2019  in county Mayo in the West of Ireland and due to the pandemic, they joined the walk online in 2020 and 2021. At the end of the 2021 online event, Joe Murray, the coordinator of Afri, suggested that people should organize their own “famine walk”  wherever they live.

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Féile Bríde Gathering 2021

Please register here

The brochure can be viewed here

This year’s Féile Bríde notice comes to you with the unsurprising news that we will not be able to gather this February in the lovely surrounds of Solas Bhríde in Kildare. We will miss the fáilte and the hospitality that we’ve experienced from our Brigidine friends and Cáirde Bríde, there – and elsewhere in Kildare – every year since our first event, Brigid, Prophetess, Earthwoman, Peacemaker, back in 1993.

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DATE FOR YOUR DIARY

FOOD FOR THOUGHT – SEEDS OF CHANGE
 
September 11th, 12 noon to 2pm
 
A lunchtime on-line gathering and discussion on topics such as food, seeds and loss of social space in the context of the Covid pandemic.
 
With guest speakers, music, commentary, imagery and reflection as we approach harvest time and look towards harvests of the future.
 
Hosted by Afri and Feasta in partnership with Irish Seed Savers Association and Maynooth University.
 

Reflections from Afri’s First-Ever “Virtual Famine Walk”

“Since we can’t do the Famine Walk this year…could we do a virtual famine walk, instead”, when the question was raised, it seemed almost farcical.  How could we re-create on-line the unique and extraordinary atmosphere that thousands of people have experienced on ‘the famine road’ in County Mayo over more than 30 years? But we are living in unusual times and unusual times require unusual responses!

And so the Afri team – Larysa, RoJ and I linked up with Ruairi McKiernan to explore the possibility. Ruairi had a very successful launch of his excellent new book ‘Hitching for Hope’  on line recently and he was confident that the ‘Famine Walk’  concept, as well as  Afri’s network and reputation could bring a community of people together to mark this important date in the calendar. The walk began in 1988 and for many years it has taken place on the 3rd week-end in May – this third week-end in May has now become the ‘official’ date for the National Famine Commemoration in Ireland.

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Virtual Famine Walk – Forum, Conversation and Music

On May 16th at 7pm – the day on which the annual Doolough Famine Walk was due to take place, Afri will host a virtual Famine Walk Forum with distinguished guest speakers, great conversation and live music. Our host will be campaigner and author Ruairí McKiernan. He will be joined by renowned violinist Colm Mac Con Iomaire, harpist Emer Lynam and singer-songwriters RoJ Whelan and Paul O’Toole, as well as guest speakers including Emeritus Professor John Maguire, author and Lecturer Dr Clare O’Grady Walshe,  MASI member Donnah Vuma and student climate activist Gráinne Malone.

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Guardians… Not Gardeners

At Afri’s 2020 Féile Bríde gathering, former Chelsea flower show winner, Mary Reynolds, issued an urgent call to all to become guardians of our planet and of all living species.

 

 

Reflections from Féile Bríde 2020

Speakers from the day: Shivam O’Brien, Micheal Long, Mary Reynolds, Clare O’Grady Walshe, Nelly McLaughlin.
©Photo by Derek Speirs

Afri’s Feile Bride event for 2020 was entitled ‘Rekindling; Revitalising; Rewilding and Restoring’ and was set in the context of the need for urgent action on climate change. Over recent years, many people, of all ages, are getting actively involved in fighting for change. This was reflected at the conference, where we heard from a number of mature activists who have been around for some time but also from Ruby Jo, who set up “There is no planet B” as an 11 year old activist! This shows that we can all be involved in action to tackle climate change – as Greta Thunberg says ‘no-one is too small to make a difference’. This was the 28th year of tending the Brigid flame in Kildare, which as Rita Minehan explained, was lit at the first Afri Conference in 1993 and burns as a “beacon of hope, peace and justice.” It was noted, that one of the trademarks of those who attend Féile Bríde is a spirit of positivity and hope, and a determination, no matter what, to keep on working for a better world for all.

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