Tuesday 26 February 2013

‘The Famine in Clare 1845- 1852’ - National Famine Commemoration in Kilrush

Kilrush has been selected as the host location for the 2013 National Famine Commemoration. In conjunction with this event, Kilrush Public Library will host an exhibition entitled ‘The Famine in Clare 1845- 1852’. This exhibition provides details of Clare’s Poor Law Unions, Relief Works, Evictions, Mortality and Emigration rates, together with listings of names of the deceased from Kilrush and Ennistymon workhouses 1850 – 1851. The launch of this exhibition will take place on Tuesday 26th February at 6 pm and it will remain on show in the library over the coming months. According to Clare-based historian and author, Ciaran O Murchadha, Kilrush is recognised nationally as one of the locations worst affected by starvation, disease and emigration between 1845 and 1852. The Famine years brought much hardship to Kilrush. Evictions, fever and cholera reduced the population of South-West Clare to such an extent that it has never again attained its pre-Famine numbers. Kilrush Workhouse witnessed terrible deprivation and deaths. During and after the Famine, the Vandeleur name became synonymous with the worst of landlord evictions, with more than 20,000 evicted in the Kilrush area. Illustrations from Kilrush at the time of the Famine featured in the Illustrated London News and these illustrations are the best-recognised images of the Famine conditions in Ireland. Images of the Famine from Moveen were depicted and the ruins of the village are visible today. Other strong attributes from the area include the association with Captain Kennedy, Vandeleur Estate, the Famine plot and memorial garden at Old Shanakyle cemetery and the Paupers’ Quay, among many other sites and stories.

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