Féile na Beatha Ceatharlach – Carlow’s Spring ‘Festival of Living’

Carlow’s Spring festival of living takes place on March 19th this year, with a range of compelling events throughout the day. Féile na Beatha has grown out of the Famine Walk which has taken place from South East Technological University to the nearby Famine Graveyard for more than a decade. 

Féile 2024 begins with a focus on realising the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.  This workshop with Social Care students from SETU will be led by Katie Martin. Katie is Global Citizenship Project Coordinator with Drogheda-based Development Perspectives, an NGO dedicated to the eradication of poverty and to tackling inequality and climate change.

Our annual Famine Walk will take place at 12 noon, assembling at the Agora in South East Technological University and going to the nearby Famine Graveyard where there will be spoken word, music and reflections. The Famine Graveyard is an extraordinary place, located in the heart of Carlow.  It is close to the site of the old Workhouse, where SETU and Tyndall College are now built.

Local historians tell us that more than three thousand people who died during An Gorta Mór are buried there, making it a place of great importance for the town of Carlow and beyond. In recent years the Famine Graveyard has been promoting biodiversity, transforming a place of death and despair for so many in the past to a site for hope and abundance.

At 7pm, in the Haughton Building in SETU, Dr Iain Atack will speak on the theme ‘From Hurt to Healing to Solidarity’.  Dr Atack is a Canadian who has lived in Ireland for many years.  He has recently retired from Trinity College Dublin, where he lectured on the Peace Studies programme. He will reflect on Ireland’s colonial history and how that interconnects with conflicts today, emphasising the vital importance of global solidarity.

Music will be provided by Carlow’s own Eric Butler, a rising star in Ireland’s vibrant music scene.

Féile na Beatha is organised by Afri in partnership with SETU and Carlow College. All are welcome to take part in these free events.

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