On Friday night it was great to be part of A Canadian Wake with music and story that was held in The Percy French Hotel in Strokestown to say farewell and to mark, as in olden days, the leaving of a group emigrants -However this group with their bundles, cases, woollen shawls and caps are the Famine Way Walkers.
The group are recreating the journey taken during the Great Irish Famine in 1847 by 1490 tenants of Strokestown Park House who were evicted and forced to walk from Roscommon to Dublin to board ships that would take them to Canada.
The National Famine Way Walk will take 5 days and follow the path of The Royal Canal and is a unique way to bring a very important part of our history to life. Strokestown Park House is now home to The Irish National Famine Museum.
The walking group is led by Caroilin Callery of Strokestown Park House and includes both Irish and international Famine academics and experts and a descendant of the original emigrants.
They are hoping the walk will not only commemorate the 1490 and The Great Irish Famine but help them to trace some of the missing descendants of the original 1490 who set off on that perilous journey and ended up in Grosse Isle in Quebec.
The National Famine Way Walkers begin their journey on Saturday 27th May 2017.