After 3 decades on the road and two years online (due to Covid) the Famine Walk returns to Mayo on Saturday, May 21st 2022. Once again, this year, walkers will gather in Louisburgh for conversation, talks and music before being ferried by bus to the start of the walk. Retracing the steps of several hundred people who made this journey in search of food during An Gorta Mór, walkers will make their way through the spectacular Doolough Valley in the course of this iconic journey. While marking the significance of the walk and the events that surround it online for the past two years was memorable and important, nothing compares to actually doing the walk and experiencing the event, which has been described as follows: “It is a walk like no other, abounding in memory, music, history, solidarity and spectacular beauty: retracing the steps of the dispossessed of the past and forging solidarity with the banished and oppressed today”.
We are delighted to have as our Walk Leaders: Catherine Connolly TD; Author and Activist Robbie McVeigh and Community Worker Homayoon Shiraz. Music will be provided by one of Ireland’s “most exceptional musicians” Patrick O’Laoghaire.
Catherine Connolly is an Independent TD who has served as the Leas-Cheann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann since July 2020. She has been a TD for the Galway West constituency since 2016. She previously served as Chair of the Committee on the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands and Mayor of Galway. She is a Gaeilgeoir, a barrister by profession and a strong critic of militarism and war. She is a patron of the People’s Movement.
Robbie McVeigh is a researcher and writer, born in Antrim, raised in Tyrone and now based in Edinburgh. He has extensive experience of working with statutory and community organisations across Ireland. He also has a specific interest in Irish Protestant identity. He has published extensively, with a particular focus on human rights and equality. His work includes theoretical and policy-oriented research and has focused on racism and sectarianism in Ireland, north and south. He also has extensive experience of working internationally on issues of race, equality, peace and self-determination. His most recent book is Anois ar theacht an tSamhraidh: Ireland, Colonialism and the Unfinished Revolution (with Bill Rolston, Beyond the Pale 2021)
Homayoon Shirzad arrived in Ireland from Afghanistan 5 years ago. He is a Humanitarian and Community Worker with over 19 years of work experience with reputable international organizations in Ireland and abroad. Currently, he is the Deputy National Coordinator for Places of Sanctuary Ireland with a leadership role in Schools of Sanctuary. He is passionate about working with his community and believes “when you are trying to improve inclusivity and integration of newcomers, it is critical to increase the whole community’s understanding of the kind of issues newcomers have faced back home, on their way to Ireland and what issues they face here.”
Patrick O’Laoghaire A writer and musician based in Louisburgh, Co.Mayo, Patrick has been described as one of Ireland’s “most exceptional musicians” by the Irish Times. O’Laoghaire has travelled worldwide with his songs. He has taken part in the People festival, Sounds from a Safe Harbour, Other Voices, and opened shows for Lisa Hannigan, Villagers and Anna Calvi. There is an elemental, instinctive nature to his work.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Register via Eventbrite here
View the Famine Walk 2022 brochure here
Sponsorship card can be downloaded at this link
Registration from 12.00 noon in Louisburgh Town Hall. Beginning at 1pm. View the information leaflet here