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Irish Government Names New Orleans as 2014 International Famine Commemoration Site

Media Contact:
Terri Landry/ Irish Cultural Museum of New Orleans


Irish Government Names New Orleans as 2014 International Famine Commemoration Site

(October 17, 2013, New Orleans, La.)- New Orleans will be the host city for the 2014 International Famine Commemoration, an annual tribute to the victims of the Great Irish Famine.  Next fall Irish officials will visit New Orleans from November 6 - 9 to take part in community wide activities that will celebrate the historic link between New Orleans and Ireland.

The announcement was made locally last Thursday by Irish Consul General Paul Gleeson.  Gleeson, who is based in Atlanta, noted the thousands of Irish who emigrated to New Orleans between 1840 and 1860, adding that "the people of Ireland and New Orleans share a common bond." 

Leaders of the New Orleans Irish community cheered following Gleeson's announcement which was made during a reception at the home of Fionuala McGlinchey-Monsted, who is a member of the executive committee that is organizing the local commemoration event.  Gleeson was introduced by New Orleans Famine Commemoration Committee Chairman, the Honorable Judge James McKay,III.  McKay, the Honorary Consul General of Ireland for Louisiana, was joined at the launch party by the committee's other members: Adrian D'Arcy, Irish Network New Orleans; Dr. Laura D. Kelley, Tulane University; Matthew Ahearn, St. Patrick Foundation/Irish Cultural Museum of New Orleans; Terri Landry, Irish Cultural Museum; and restaurateur Dickie Brennan.

Earlier this month Jimmy Deenihan, T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, announced New Orleans' selection to the Irish press.  On Oct. 4 Deenihan, who is Chair of Ireland's National Famine Commemoration Committee, said that he is looking forward to working with the New Orleans Irish   community.

"I am sure it will be a very special and moving tribute to those who suffered and perished during the Great Irish Famine and also a vibrant celebration of the immense achievements of those who emigrated and their descendants who built new lives in their adopted home in New Orleans and across the Southern United States," Deenihan said.

The International Irish Famine Commemoration was established in 2009 and the event has been previously held in Boston, Liverpool, New York and Toronto.  In August the annual commemoration took place in Sydney, Australia.  

New Orleans' four day commemoration will honor those who made the journey from Ireland before, during and after the Irish Famine. Further details will be announced about events at Tulane, Gallier Hall and the Irish Cultural Museum of New Orleans, that will recognize the contributions of these immigrants and their descendants to the Crescent City.