Taoiseach in Sligo this Sunday for the 2019 National Famine Commemoration

The Taoiseach will be in Sligo this coming Sunday afternoon for the 2019 National Famine Commemoration.

The ceremony will provide an opportunity for the people of Sligo to honour the memory of those who died or sought escape for a new life during famine times in the mid-1800s.This weekend’s famine commemoration events in Sligo will start on Saturday.

At 3pm, Mayor Rosaleen O Grady will host a forum in Sligo City Hall on ‘The Famine in Sligo’ with presentations from historians and authors, Joe McGowan and Dr Padraig Deignan, both from Sligo, and Mike Murphy, of University College, Cork.

The main national famine commemmoration ceremony on Sunday, in the Stephen Street Car Park, will start at 2pm.

Members of the public are welcome . . . but they should be in the public viewing areas by 2:15pm.

It will start with performances by musicians from Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, a Guard of Honour on parade, the arrival of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltachta Josepha Madigan, and the inspection of a Guard of Honour from the 28th Infantry Battalion from Finner Camp, Co Donegal.

The main part of the ceremony will start at 3pm.

It will include music, readings, poetry and prayers by local religious leaders for the victims of the Great Famine.

It will be a formal and solemn occasion; among the attendance will be ambassadors and members of the diplomatic service, in recognition of the fact that so many fleeing the Famine settled in countries around the world.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will deliver a special address.

There will also be a tree-planting ceremony and the unveiling of a commemorative plaque.

The afternoon’s proceedings will finish with a wreath-laying ceremony, the observance of a minutes silence for all those who died in the Famine, a Piper’s Lament, the playing of the Last Post, the raising of the national flag to full mast, the playing of the Reveille and, finally, the National Anthem.

The ceremony is scheduled to finish about 4:30.