This year’s ‘Famine 1848’ Walk will be held in Ballingarry on Saturday, July 28 at 3pm and will be led by Fr Derry Quirke, Parish Priest of Ballingarry. The annual Walk commemorates the Famine (during which one million people died) and the 1848 Rising which took place in Ballingarry in the middle of the Famine.
The Walk commences from the National Flag Monument in the village of The Commons and proceeds on the public roadway at an easy pace over ascending ground to the national heritage site, the Famine Warhouse which is 1 ½ miles distant.
The Famine Rising of 1848 was led by William Smith O’Brien. He was the leader of the Young Irelanders, a brilliant interdenominational group who sought Irish self-government. One of their number, Thomas Francis Meagher, gave Ireland its national flag in 1848, an event which is commemorated at the monument in The Commons where the Walk begins..
The Walk has become a parish occasion in Ballingarry with not just locals but many people from much further afield in attendance. Many people have made the walk every year since it was started in 2006 by the Ballingarry 1848 Committee.
After the Walk, light refreshments will be served in the tea room. The Audio-Visual Room can be viewed as well as the exhibition in the historic house which is now a museum. The view at 1,100 feet is also very good, looking across County Kilkenny.
The Walk takes place whether the sun is splitting the stones or there is a downpour (as there was in 1848). Given recent weather both can happen within a short time of one another, so participants are advised to bring a sun hat and an umbrella to cover every eventuality.