Carrickboy native welcomes global interest in annual Afri Famine Walk

Imbolc Celebrations: People of Longford invited to Féile Bríde online event

Longford native and Afri coordinator, Joe Murray

Several hundred people worldwide have registered to join human rights group Afri’s annual famine remembrance event.

The annual famine walk usually takes place in the Doolough Valley in County Mayo, but due to Covid restrictions, it will take place online this year in the form of a 90-minute live stream event featuring a stellar line-up of talks, discussion, music and poetry.

The free event runs from 7 pm-8.30 pm on Saturday, May 15 and is organised in association with Trócaire.

The line-up includes renowned author and historian Professor Christine Kinealy, Director of the Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University in the United States. Folk singer Lisa O’Neill and harpist Brídín will perform, and acclaimed poet Paula Meehan will share some of her work.

Other speakers include Donegal teacher and activist Rose Kelly, and Trócaire’s interim Head of Programmes Blanca Blanco will discuss Women in their Place – a new short film on violence against women and the fight against corporate land grabs in Honduras.

The host for the event is campaigner, author of Hitching for Hope, and host of the Love and Courage podcast Ruairí McKiernan.

Carrickboy man and Afri coordinator Joe Murray says that while he’ll miss the annual trip to County Mayo, he is looking forward to marking the annual event online.

“We’ve been doing this walk since 1988, and the interest in it is growing each year. Covid forced us to go online last year, which was a revelation as it allowed an international audience to be part of it all. We were taken aback by the huge interest from abroad, with participants joining from 11 countries including India, El Salvador, Timor L’Este, Brazil and the United States. We’re repeating that formula this year while also looking forward to getting our feet back on the ground next year.”

The online Afri Famine Walk event takes place on Saturday, May 15 from 7pm to 8.30pm. Registration is free, and details can be found at www.afri.ie.

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