National Famine Walk 2019

Descendants of the #Missing1490 are being traced

The National Famine Walk will take place over six days from May 25th to May 30th when Famine enthusiasts will be walking the new officially accredited 165km national heritage trail, the National Famine Way. If you would like to take part, please register by clicking here. All are welcome to join for a short or long stretch of the Walk.

As the Strokestown Famine walkers follow this recently completed trail they will commemorate the poignant ill-fated journey of 1,490 famine emigrants who walked from Strokestown Park to ships in Dublin in 1847 at the height of the Irish Famine. In 2019, 172 years later, the Strokestown Famine walkers will re-enact this journey and launch the new waymarked National Famine Way along rural Roscommon roads and the beautifully evocative Royal Canal through counties Longford, Westmeath, Meath, Kildare and arriving in Dublin at the Jeannie Johnson Famine Ship and EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum on Thursday 30th May at 5.30pm.

“The National Famine Way is part of an ambitious outreach programme from the National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park, which brings the story of the Great Famine out from behind the museum walls and aims to reconnect people with their history in an innovative way from west to east – from Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands to Ireland’s Ancient East”, said Caroilin Callery of the Irish Heritage Trust and Strokestown Park & the National Famine Museum.

The National Famine Way is topped and tailed by two iconic museums – The National Famine Museum and EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum / Jeannie Johnston Replica Famine Ship, adding depth and integrity to this thought-provoking trail. Approximately thirty pairs of interactive bronze children’s shoe sculptures set on plinths are interspersed along the route.

Walkers include Cathal Póirtéir (writer, broadcaster and former RTÉ Radio1 journalist,) Professor Mark McGowan (University of Toronto, Death or Canada Docudrama) and Dr. Christine Kinealy (Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University, Connecticut, USA).

Children’s author Marita Conlan-McKenna (Under The Hawthorn Tree) will be releasing daily instalments of her new E-Book commissioned for the National Famine Way – inspired by the story of 12-year-old Daniel Tighe one of the 1,490 who survived the journey to Quebec in 1847 and whose descendants visited Strokestown Park in 2013.

Ms. Callery said all are welcome to join for stretches of this special new heritage trail as they retrace the footsteps of the famine emigrants. “In walking in the footsteps of our missing Strokestown 1490, we hope not only to recreate their journey but also honour their legacy. Come and walk with us, share stories and engage with us as we pass through your area”, she continued.

The National Famine Way Launch takes place at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum on Thursday 30th May at 5.30pm when the walkers conclude the six-day walk.  A free ticketed performance by Declan O’Rourke takes place as part of the launch event which is hosted by the Irish Heritage Trust and National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park in partnership with EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum. This event is supported by Dublin City Council.

The National Famine Way is an integrated inter-County collaboration between Waterways Ireland and county councils along the route: Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath, Meath, Kildare, Fingal and Dublin. It is being developed by Strokestown Park House, the National Famine Museum, and the Irish Heritage Trust in partnership with Waterways Ireland, the ADAPT Centre for Digital Content Technology, and EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum.

Programme of the 2019 National Famine  Walk

Friday 24th May 8pm Canadian Wake, at the Percy French Hotel, Strokestown
Saturday 25th May 11am-5pm Strokestown (Roscommon) to Clondra (Longford) -20km
Sunday 26th May 9.30am-5pm Clondra (Longford) – Abbeyshrule (Longford) 32km
Monday 27th May 9:30am-5pm Abbeyshrule (Longford) – Mullingar (Westmeath) 27km
Tuesday 28th May 9:30am-5pm Mullingar (Westmeath) – Longwood (Meath) 30km
Wednesday 29th May 9:30-5pm Longwood (Meath) – Maynooth (Kildare)- 28km
Thursday 30th May 9.30 am-5pm Maynooth (Kildare)- Dublin – 27 km
Thursday 30th May 5.30pm Official Launch of the National Famine Way Trail at CHQ/EPIC, The Irish Emigration Museum Irish Emigrants Museum, Custom House Quay, Dublin with a performance by singer-songwriter Declan O’Rourke. Tickets for this event are free, but booking is required by clicking  HERE


The National Famine Way Custom House Quay Festival is supported by Dublin City Council.

“National Famine Walk: ‘Remember your soul and your liberty’” Link to Irish Times article from May 2017 here.