Féile na Beatha: From Hurt to Healing to Sustainability

People in Carlow, and visitors from far and wide, are invited to a brand-new festival, ‘Féile na Beatha’, from March 21st through 25th.

The Féile, coinciding with the Spring Equinox, will see a number of new events along with the signature Famine Walk, which Afri and IT Carlow have organised annually for more than seven years.

A collaborative art project on An Gorta Mór will include artwork from local artist Jim Donnelly, members of the Irish Wheelchair Association Carlow, and students of IT Carlow. This free exhibition will be on display throughout the Féile in the Haughton Building at Carlow Institute of Technology on the Kilkenny Road, Carlow.

The Famine Walk on Wednesday 23rd will begin at 12noon from IT Carlow and finish in the Famine Graveyard on Green Road. This walk commemorates those in Carlow who lost their life to An Gorta Mór and acknowledges those around the world who continue to suffer a similar injustice today. Visitors will hear a short history of famine in Carlow presented by John Kelly from Carlow Historical & Archaeological Society which will be followed by the planting of a native Irish Tree.

The programme continues on the evening of 23rd March with  Dr Denise Lyons – a self-described ‘social care worker in education’ and Joe Murray, Coordinator of the peace and justice organisation Afri, hosting  a public discussion from 7pm in the Haughton Building at IT Carlow. This will be followed by an informative and insightful lecture by Dr. Regina Donlan who will look at how the people of Carlow lived and died during the famine period.

A warm invitation is issued to everyone in the Community of Carlow Town and County to attend, participate and  learn at all of these free events.

Féile na Beatha has come about through the collaboration of Afri, Fr. Martin Smith and Dr. Denise Lyons of IT Carlow; Janette O’Brien of Carlow County Council; Rev David White of the Church of Ireland in Carlow and Stephanie McDermott of Carlow College. They confidently hope that this exciting initiative will grow and develop in future years.

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