Online and live events to mark National Famine Commemoration Day

Frederick Douglass in the 1840s


By Irish Echo Staff

A free public event organized by the Consulate General of Ireland New York and the African American Irish Diaspora Network is set to take place today, Friday, May 14 at 1 p.m. Eastern.

It will be a virtual launch with Professor Christine Kinealy and special guests who will follow the footsteps of Fredrick Douglass thought the streets of Dublin in 1845.

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In August 1845, the 27-year-old Douglass, designated by his government to be a "fugitive slave," arrived in Dublin. He had intended to stay in the city for four days, but the warmth of the welcome he received meant that he stayed in Ireland for four months.

He described his time in the country as "transformative" and the "happiest time of his life." Professor Christine Kinealy, author of "Black Abolitionists in Ireland," has created the Frederick Douglass Way, which will allow Dublin natives and visitors alike to follow in the footsteps of Frederick Douglass and retrace his visit to Dublin in 1845.

Stated a release: Professor Kinealy along with co-host Dennis Brownlee, chairman, African American Irish Diaspora Network and special guests will follow Frederick’s footsteps in Dublin. Visit the venues where he spoke and met with Irish abolitionists and, for the first time in his life, felt truly free.

Meanwhile, "Songs of the Great Hunger" marking Ireland's National Famine Commemoration Day this Sunday is a program with Brendan Graham.

The program shares the music of Brendan Graham performed at famine commemoration events in Ireland, Australia, and Canada.

It further explores the historical experiences of Irish emigrant communities during the Great Hunger that inspired classic songs such as Ochón an Gorta Mór, Crucán na bPáiste, Orphan Girl, The Whitest Flower, and The Voice. Performers include Cathy Jordan, Eimear Quinn, Aimee Banks, and Sarah Calderwood with the Australian Girls Choir

Said a release: "View the film anytime then join us for a live post-show discussion with songwriter and musician Brendan Graham and Linguistic Anthropologist Eileen Moore Quinn on Sunday, May 16th, at 8:00 am in the United States and Canada (Eastern Time) 1 p.m. in Ireland. Access through

Meanwhile, recitations, poetry readings, and history talks from 2 to 4 p.m. will mark National Famine Commemoration Day on Staten Island this Sunday. The event will be at 25 Central Avenue and attendees will receive a commemorative An Gorta Mor ribbon

According to organizers, immigrants fleeing starvation in Ireland landed at Tompkinsville on Staten Island and were quarantined due to illness and disease. Staten Island was home to the Marine Hospital Quarantine Station that operated from 1799 to 1858. It was located approximately where the Staten Island Ferry Terminal is today, up the hill past Borough Hall and across from the St. George Theatre.

Details from Loretto Leary at