Latest News

7pots at westport house


Mattie and John are delighted to bring a new DVD of The Irish Famine Pot to schools across Ireland. The DVD is approx 25 min in length and includes interviews from historians, the clergy and famine experts from home and abroad. Our next goal is to introduce the DVD to educational institutions worldwide.







presentation-of-famine-pot-1Emory University
Minister Heather Humphries presenting the curator of the Seamus Heaney: “The Music of What Happens” at Emory University and presentation of Emory Irish Literary Archives, with a miniature famine pot. The first major exhibition to celebrate the life and work of Nobel Prize-winner Seamus Heaney since his death, features manuscripts, personal letters and photographs, and an old desk where he wrote some of his celebrated poems. Among the evocative materials on display— most of them from the Heaney collection held by MARBL (Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Book Library) — will be Heaney’s poems and drafts showing his handwritten revisions, rare publications, and artists’ books containing Heaney’s poetry. The exhibition will also feature recordings of his poetry read by Heaney himself and by other poets, artists, and well-known figures including world-renowned Irish actor Liam Neeson and novelist Sir Salman Rushdie, whose papers are also held by MARBL.

presentation-of-famine-pot-2National Center for Civil & Human Rights
The second pot was presented to the curator at the National Center for Civil & Human Rights, Centennial Park. The Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta is an engaging cultural attraction that connects the American Civil Rights Movement to today’s Global Human Rights Movements. The Center was first imagined by civil rights legends Evelyn Lowery and former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young.. The effort gained broad-based corporate and community support to become one of the few places in the world educating visitors on the bridge between the American Civil Rights Movement and contemporary Human Rights Movements around the world. Established in 2007, The Center’s 43,000-square-foot facility is located on Pemberton Place, adjacent to the World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium, on land donated by the Coca-Cola Company.

CCIFVIrish Cultural Museum
Minister Humphries presented a miniature famine pot to the founder of an exhibition on the Famine at the Irish Cultural Museum of New Orleans, where the Minister launched the exhibition During her speech, she lauded the role of the Museum in ensuring knowledge of Irish history and a love of Ireland is passed to new generations. The Museum, through its governing St. Patrick Foundation, received funding under the Emigrant Support Programme for an exhibition which has been designed to travel once it finishes showing locally. Committee for the Commemoration of Irish Famine Victims


There is a Million and more figure unknown Famine victims on the Island of Ireland and it’s Islands on the highseas and overseas in unshrouded, uncoffined, unknown, unconsecrated, unmarked graves and sites. Can you help in finding these innocents who lie side by side with their brothers and sisters of all denominations in graves who were not given a Christian Blessing or burial at the time of their deaths?

170 years on we can right this wrong.

The CCIFV on behalf of the Irish People home and abroad ask do you know of any of these unmarked An Gorta Mor graves or sites in your locality please contact the Committee for the Commemoration of the Irish Famine Victims.

Telephone: (01) 4526548
Mobile: 087 9040 888 or 087 36 36 144
Email: /

Michael Blanch – Chairman,
Pete St. John – Director,
Olivia Blanch – Secretary,
Michael ÓG Blanch PR
Patrick Kelly – Administrator

The Bracan Walls
From Legan’s School, Inver

The following was written by a cousin of mine back in 1937 when the Folklore Commission were collecting stories… Regards, James Mc Daid

During the years 1937 and 38, the Folklore Commission implemented a nationwide folklore collection scheme through the National Schools of Ireland. Pupils were asked to record stories, prayers, songs, cures, etc. from old people of the area. The full collection is housed in the National University, Dublin; here is an entry from one local school…

…In the year following the potato failure the Year of the Famine, by the Queens orders, porridge was made in Edward Griffins field. A big turf fire was lit and a huge pot used. Yellow meal was used and Edward Griffin the owner of the land was the gaffer or overseer. He saw that the porridge was divided evenly. People came from Croagh, Meenawillaghan, Keelogs, Tievedooley, Drimfin, Castleogary Parkbane and Altcor for it. They carried the porridge home in noggins. These were wooden vessels with long handles. They held about a quart of porridge. There is a crossroads beside LeganSchool on the Ardara and Inver road called the Bracan walls.

Dan my father, states that it was called the Bracan walls because of a big fight there in 1848. It appears that when the Castleogary, Parkbane, Altcor and Keelogs people were going home with the porridge there was a row between the people from the lower side and the people from the upper side. The wooden noggins were used and the porridge spilled. It has been called the Bracan walls ever since. The spot where the porridge was boiled is still to be seen in Dan Griffin’s field. A big moss covered rock still marks the place of the fire. It is in the field beside our house and about 80 yards from Legan School….

This story was told to me by my father Dan Griffin who lives beside Legan School. It was his uncle Edward who was Gaffer of the porridge scheme.

Written by Mary Anne Griffin 2nd February 1939
(Now Mary Anne Keeney Dunkineely)

The Jewish Press

The Jewish Press readers have grown accustomed to nothing but bad news coming out of Irish sources recently regarding Israel, as Ireland joins with the most fiercely pro-Palestinian forces in the EU in a call to boycott the Jewish state. Which is why it’s been such a surprising pleasure to read notes of gratitude in The Irish Voice recently, regarding a previously unknown act of kindness by the Jewish community in New York, which sent relief for the Irish Famine of 1846.

When former Irish President Mary McAleese visited New York a few years ago, she attended a ceremony at the Congregation Shearith Israel marking the generosity of New York Jews towards the people of Ireland during the Great Hunger.

While people in Ireland were dying by the day because the potato crop failed in 1846, The Irish Voice reported, a Jewish rabbi in New York reached out to his community and raised a substantial sum of money to help the Irish. “The money raised was in the $1,000 range, close to $82,000 in today’s money.”

A newspaper report of the time said New York had contributed as much as $80,000 in total, and claimed that this was “about the same sum that has been contributed at home from all the wealthy classes of Ireland to the Central Relief Committee for all Ireland.”

“Rabbi Jacques Judah Lyons held a meeting in his synagogue in Crosby Street, in lower Manhattan, on March 8, 1847, to gather financial support to help raise funds for Irish Famine relief,” writes the Voice. According to records of the meeting, Lyons told his congregation that its purpose was to “take measures for the relief of the famishing thousands of their fellow mortals in that unfortunate
and destitute country, Ireland.”

Rabbi Chaim Angel of the Congregation Shearith Israel, at West 70th Street in Manhattan, told the Irish Voice that Rabbi Lyons “applied the teachings of the Torah when he reached out and helped the people of Ireland during their toughest era.”

Money was also raised by Temple Shaaray Tefila and an individual contribution of $500 was given by banker August Belmont (founder of Belmont Racetrack).

Comments are closed.