The award-winning documentary, Ireland’s Great Hunger and the Irish Diaspora, narrated by Gabriel Byrne, is the first offering in this series of online programs available to view at home, where we are all self-isolating and doing our best to “flatten the curve,” yes? This virtual roadshow is a response to the Coronavirus Pandemic, having originally been planned as a live tour. So kudos to the Government of Ireland Emigrant Support Program for making this online experience possible and open to all!

The Zoom post-show discussion of the film takes place on Sunday, April 19 at 2:00 pm EST (US), so watch the film and register for the Zoom talk at the links provided below and then join in the discussion!

Turlough McConnell at Irish Central offers the details:

Famine Heroes is a partnership between scholars of the Famine and a production team of the highest caliber. Dr. Jason King of the Irish Heritage Trust says, “We are very fortunate that our first program was created by experts on the Great Hunger working with highly experienced filmmakers.”

Professor Christine Kinealy and Professor Rebecca Abbott at Quinnipiac University won an Emmy Award for Ireland’s Great Hunger and the Irish Diaspora, narrated by actor and Ireland’s cultural ambassador Gabriel Byrne.

The series strikes at the heart of the epidemic response. “I think in many ways when we look at where we are now, it is very helpful to be inspired by those who served so well, particularly during the Irish Famine migration of 1847 and that typhus epidemic, which today could be conquered by a simple antibiotic,” claimed Professor Mark McGowan from the University of Toronto. “I remain confident. I remain inspired, and I think these films will inspire you.”

All are invited to meet the experts and filmmakers for a post-show discussion of the documentary Ireland’s Great Hunger and the Irish Diaspora. It is suggested that you view the 50-minute documentary before the Zoom meeting, then join online on Sunday, April 19 at 2 p.m. EST to learn more about these Famine Heroes.

To register to join the Zoom program contact Dr. Jason King (by emailing him) at After registration, a confirmation e-mail will be sent with instructions on how to participate using Zoom. For the best user experience, the organizers recommend downloading the Zoom app in advance.

The Famine Heroes programs can be viewed at any time after each program here – [This link is no longer available on the Internet].

There is additional Zoom discussion and connection information at the link above, so be sure to check it out!

Here is the documentary for you, with a recent and special message from one of its creators, Christine Kinealy:

MI Birr Offaly Famine Workhouse
Ireland’s Great Hunger and the Irish Diaspora Documentary
by Rebecca Abbott

There is no word that Gabriel Byrne will be participating in the Zoom discussion. Sigh.

More events are planned during April and May, too, so stay tuned!

Artists of every kind inspire, delight, and instruct us, never more so than now. I do hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to connect with others during this time of crisis for our world and learn more about Ireland’s history and how we can take those lessons of life into the future with us. heart

One Comment

  1. Thank you for this update Stella. We can learn from the past, and I agree that artists today lead the way in helping us understand our surroundings and inspire us . Smaller museums are challenged today to digitize their collections, but a series like this is timely in reflecting how we can learn from history. Many countries have virtual museum networks that allow us to view past historical exhibits, as well as virtual contemporary art exhibitions. Check them out where you live, as we wait until the doors open again.

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