Over the last couple of years, Liverpool Irish Festival has been working on revitalising the Liverpool Irish Famine Trail, which includes the Irish Famine Memorial.
Today, the Liverpool Great Hunger Commemoration Committee, Conradh Na Gaeilge Learpholl and Liverpool Irish Centre, in partnership with the Festival, lead a Famine Memorial Service to mark 175-years since the start of the seven-years of Famine in Ireland, lasting 1847-1852. There will be speeches, readings and music at the memorial ground. Úna Quinn and Neil Campbell will perform a specially commissioned song.
Everyone is welcome. However, we would note that this is an outside event and we may have difficulties with sound if it is rainy or windy. We recommend dressing for the weather and bringing seats or walking aids as required. This is a standing service of roughly 30-minutes. People may gather in advance of the service.
These activities have been made possible with funds from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Following the event, release their song Those Roads, which can be found on Bandcamp, here. Please show them your support by purchasing the song.
Additionally, for those interested in the Johnny McEvoy poem, read by Tomás Ryan (Conradh Na Gaeilge), you can read it below in English and Gaeilge. You can also hear the original song version, below the poem.
The Famine [Song] Story
In the year of ‘47
I saw an end to what had been
Saw my neighbours, friends and
Fade before me like a dream
Now the land is cold and blighted
Now the crop has failed again
There’s no food upon the table
Fear lives in the hearts of men
There’s a cloud upon the mountain
And the rain is falling free
There’s a shadow in the valley
Where my cabin used to be
All my comrades they have fallen
By the roadside they have died
In the fields and in the hedgerows
Their hungry bones lie side by side
On this ship I cross the ocean
Sailing on the raging foam
To the land of my tomorrow
Far from my native home
Scéal an Gorta Mór
Sa bhliain ocht déag seacht is a daichead
Chonaic mé deireadh lena raibh
Chonaic mé mo chomharsana, cairde ‘s mo
Ag fail bás romham mar tromluí
Tá an talamh fuar agus scriosta
Teip ar an barr arís
Níl aon bia ar an dtábla
Maireann faitíos I gcroí na bhfear
Tá scamall ar an sliabh
Agus an báisteach ag titim go trom
Tá scáth I lár an ghleanna
Áit a mbíodh mo chábhán
Ar slí na fírinne tá mo ghaolta
Ar thaobh an bhóthair, fuair said bás
Sna páirceanna ‘s na sceacha
Luíonn a gcnámha ocrach taobh le taobh
Ar an long seo trasnaím an t-aigéan
Ag seóltóireacht thar an cúr feargach
Go dtí tír de mo amárach
I bhfad ó mo theaghlach
We’d like to thank Tomás for his translation and reading, which was moving, poigniant and well delivered, in the gardens of St Luke’s Chirch, beside the Liverpool Irish Famine Memorial stones.
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