As in previous years, President Higgins led the National Famine Commemoration Ceremony.
The annual national commemoration revolves between the four provinces of Ireland and has been held at historic sites such as Glasnevin Cemetery and the Famine Warhouse 1848 in Ballingarry, Co. Tipperary. This year's event will take place at Glasnevin.
President Higgins, who has made the ethical commemoration of key events in our history, such as the Great Famine, a core tenet of his Presidency, spoke about the Famine as a defining moment in Irish history, that has shaped not only our history but also our relationship with land, migration and politics. The President also linked Ireland’s harrowing experience with the Famine to our contemporary fight against hunger, poverty and forced migration.
The President drew comparisons between the Famine and ongoing conflicts, saying that “no people are better thus equipped to understand the impact of the term ‘eviction’ from this period than the Irish people and their friends in the United States or elsewhere, who are aware of the Irish experience. Irish people can understand so well the events that tragically are unfolding elsewhere, as I speak, in the Middle East."
Some of the President's key speeches on the Gorta Mór include:
- Speech at the opening of the “Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger” exhibition (2018)
- President participates in the National Famine Commemoration Ceremony (2018)
- Unveiling of 'Footsteps' (2017)
- 'The economic debate: from the Great Famine to Today' (2017)
- Remarks to representatives of the Choctaw nation (2017)
- Remarks marking UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty (2016)
- 'Recalling, Remembering and Learning from the Great Famine' (2016)
- ‘Feeding the World in 2050′ (2013)
- Remarks at Hunger-Nutrition-Climate Justice Conference (2013)
- Remarks at the Famine Museum (2013)
- 'Reflecting on the Gorta Mór' (2012)
- President launches the CCIFV Lumper Schools Project (2019)
- President unveils sculpture by John Behan (2019)
- President officially opens an Irish-Polish Exhibition on the Great Famine (2019)
- President and Sabina visit Famine Museum in Strokestown House (2018)
- President lays a wreath at the Australian Monument to the Great Irish Famine (2017)
- President marks UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (2016)