National Famine Walk

The Irish Heritage Trust and Strokestown Park house are launching the National Famine Way walking trail with a six-day 165 km walk from Strokestown to Dublin from May 25th to May 30th 2019. The route follows the Royal canal from the Shannon river to Dublin.

This is to remember the 1490 people who walked from Strokestown to embark on emigrant ships in Dublin in May 1847. A large number of these people died either on the ships from Liverpool or on arrival in the fever sheds at Grosse Isle in Qubec.

They have kindly invited Direct Provision residents and New Horizon volunteers to participate in some or all of this walk. People can:

  • Attend the Canadian Wake in Stokestown on 24th May
  • Walk one, or more, days on the route
  • Walk all the way
  • Attend the arrival ceremony and launch of the trail at the Emigration Museum in Dublin on May 30th

This is very closely related to the terrible experiences of many of our friends on their journey to Ireland. It’s an opportunity to tell our refugee story and relate it in a deep, deep way to Irish history.

More information on:

The programme is as follows:

Friday May 24th: National Famine Way Launch – Strokestown Park House

Day 1: May 25th Strokestown – Clondra    10am – 5.00pm  (22km)

Day 2: May 26th Clondra – Abbeyshrule  9:30am – 5.00pm  (30km)

Day 3: May 27th Abbeyshrule-Mullingar   9:30am- 5.00pm  (27km)

Day 4: May 28th Mullingar –Longwood    9:30am – 5.00pm  (30km)

Day 5: May 29th Longwood – Maynooth   9:30am – 5.00pm  (27km)

Day 6: May 30th Maynooth – Dublin         9:30am – 5.00pm (27km)

On May 30th (5.30pm-7.30pm) and May 31st (10.00am – 5.00pm) the Inaugural National Famine Way Famine Quarter Custom House Quay Festival takes place at EPIC Irish Emigration Museum, CHQ Building. Custom House Quay.

Suggestions for New Horizon participation.

Friday 24th May. 
The Canadian wake.

This is the send-off party for the walk. There are exhibitions, tour of Strokestown house and the Famine museum, lectures, music from both Ireland and Canada, even a poitin still! (  if you don’t know what that is!) .

I’d suggest that we make our way to Stokestown in late afternoon and head for home about 10:00 pm.
If people are doing Ramadan then we can have an iftar picnic in the park grounds at 9:30.
There is no walking involved on Friday so it would be suitable for everyone.
Depending on the numbers we can either travel in volunteer’s cars or hire one or two minibuses.
Event costs €5.00 with a special concession price of €0.00 for New Horizon  DP residents.
If you would like to go to the Canadian wake sign up here.
Tuesday  28th May.
Mullingar Walk
The walkers will have reached Mullingar at this stage. The walk will be through the town and as far as you like along the canal towards Dublin. We will be joined by local people, school groups and musicians on this stage.
Start at 9:30 am. I’d suggest that New Horizon walkers would do about 5km on this day. It’s suitable for children over the age of 8  but it’s probally best not to bring really small children on this stage.
Wear comfortable shoes and bring a raincoat!
Again we can either travel in volunteer’s cars or hire one or two minibuses.
If you would like to go to the Mullingar walk sign up here.
Other Days
If anyone wants to join us on any of the other days for a short walk they are very welcome just to show up. No charge.
See the programme above for start and finish points for each day.
If you want to walk the full route or a full day and get the certificate, baggage transfer and goody bag sign up on
Please note that the registration fee does not include accommodation or meals.
This will be an extraordinary event where we can tell our story and relate it to a very difficult time in Ireland’s past.
I hope that you will be able to attend.

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