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National Famine Commemoration should be held on a fixed Sunday every year - Seán Crowe TD

10 July, 2016 - by Seán Crowe TD

Sinn Féin TD Séán Crowe has stated that the National Famine Commemoration (An Gorta Mór) should be held on a fixed Sunday every year.

Deputy Crowe said that it is wholly appropriate that a date is fixed around which minds and hearts can be focused on properly commemorate the millions of lives lost during An Gorta Mór.

He also expressed his disappointment that the views of Minister Heather Humphreys are at odds with such a move and he, once again, called on her to review her position in order ensure that the Great Hunger is placed centrally on the calendar of national commemorative events.

Deputy Crowe said;

"The fact that the day on which we commemorate A Gorta Mór is decided on whims and schedules of two individuals  is a  very poor reflection on how 'official Ireland' views the famine’s centrality to our history and its poignancy for our people today.

"It is wholly appropriate that a date is fixed to properly commemorate the most traumatic event in Irish history. A fixed Sunday, every year, would allow for hearts and minds to be genuinely focused on how the loss of so many lives on this island shaped everything that followed.

"It is astonishing that, as confirmed in Minister Humphreys' reply to my Parliamentary Question, that the schedules of The President and An Taoiseach take precedence over the historical and contemporary significance of the Great Hunger. Simply put, surely the diaries of The President and An Taoiseach should adapt to the date of the commemoration and not the other way around. It is breathtaking that The Minister with responsibility for championing our heritage would hold such a narrow and contrary view.

"I am aware that significant number of TDs in favour of a Fixed Sunday for the National Famine Memorial Day in the National Calendar. It is time for the Minister to listen and respond in a more proactive way.

"I am calling on Minister Humphreys, once again, to review her own ill thought out position and revisit the whole  idea of holding the national commemoration on a fixed Sunday. I believe that a fixed date, around which awareness can be built and set in the public consciousness, would benefit and  deliver immeasurable benefits for commemorating An Gorta Mór and educating younger generations about it's importance and centrality in our collective story as developing nation.”

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