Great Famine Voices Roadshow

The Great Famine Voices Roadshow comprises “Famine Heroes” short films, virtual gatherings and open house events that bring together Irish emigrants, their descendants, and members of their communities to share family memories and stories of coming from Ireland to North America and Great Britain, especially during the period of the Great Hunger and afterwards. A selection of these short films and family stories has been made freely available on the Great Famine Voices online archive:

Famine Heroes Virtual Events 2021


Graphic with dates Great Famine Voices



The Great Famine Voices Roadshow 2021 “Famine Heroes” is a virtual events season of short films and post-show discussions, hosted by the National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park and the Irish Heritage Trust. These “Famine Heroes” events provide uplifting stories about humanitarians in Ireland and pay tribute to caregivers, both in the mid-nineteenth century and today. The Great Famine Voices Roadshow 2021 is funded by the Government of Ireland Emigrant Support Programme.

For queries, please contact Dr Jason King at the Irish Heritage Trust:

The Great Famine Voices Roadshow  “Famine Heroes” videos can be viewed below and on the Great Famine Voices website:

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Ireland’s Great Hunger and the Irish Diaspora (Christine Kinealy and Rebecca Abbott)

Ireland’s Great Hunger and the Irish Diaspora explores the historical and socio-political circumstances leading to potato failure, mass starvation and death in Ireland, 1847-52. Narrated by actor Gabriel Byrne, the film includes famine scholars, descendants of famine survivors, emigrants to Quebec, and “Earl Grey” orphan women who emigrated to Australia.

The Famine Irish and Canada’s First Responders (Kevin Moynihan, Mark McGowan, Christine Kinealy)

A documentary exploring Canada’s compassion in welcoming the 109,000 Irish emigrants fleeing the Great Famine in 1847. This film visits Grosse Ile, Montreal and Toronto to understand how the memorials to the Irish Famine help to tell the story of courage and compassion on the part of Canada’s First Responders.

The Famine Irish in Liverpool Digital Symposium

Short documentaries, online lectures, and online discussion about the Famine Irish in Liverpool by Greg Quiery and Roger Appleton featuring John O’Driscoll (Liverpool Great Hunger Commemoration Committee and National Famine Museum Strokestown Park), Professor Christine Kinealy and Professor Rebecca Abbott (Quinnipiac University), Professor John Belchem (University of Liverpool), and others. See all videos here

The Famine Irish Legacy in Buffalo, New York (William Jenkins)

An online lecture about the legacy of the Famine Irish in Buffalo by Professor William Jenkins (York University, Toronto).

National Famine Commemoration Day: Honouring Famine Heroes Online Discussion

An online discussion about Heroes of the Irish Famine hosted by the National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park and Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University following the National Famine Commemoration Day Ceremony in Dublin.

Following in the Footsteps of Strokestown’s Famine Emigrants (Mark McGowan)

A documentary presented by Professor Mark McGowan who follows in the footsteps of emigrants from the Strokestown Park House estate of Major Denis Mahon, now home of the National Famine Museum. They were assisted to emigrate in 1847, but in reality had little choice. He follows in their footsteps along the National Famine Way walking trail on the banks of the Royal Canal to Dublin, and then on to Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site and the Niagara region in Canada.

The Story of the Choctaw Gift (LeAnne Howe, Christine Kinealy, Padraig Kirwan)

A documentary about the Choctaw donation for Irish Famine relief in 1847 shortly after the Choctaw people themselves were expelled from their traditional homelands and forced to embark on the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma. It features a musical performance of The Gift in the National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park.  Professor LeAnne Howe (University of Georgia and member of the Choctaw Nation), Professor Christine Kinealy (Quinnipiac University), and Dr Padraig Kirwan (Goldsmiths, University of London) share this riveting story of compassion, indigenous cultural values of giving, reciprocity, and the musical performance of cultural memory.

Montreal’s Grey Nuns and the Great Hunger (Kevin Moynihan, Christine Kinealy, Jason King)

In 1847, approximately 75,000 people fled across the Atlantic from famine-stricken Ireland to Montreal. Those suffering from infectious diseases such as typhus were cared for in the city’s fever sheds by the Grey Nuns or Sisters of Charity. The most detailed and evocative eyewitness accounts of the suffering of Famine emigrants in North America can be found in their annals. Discover the stories of James Flood from Strokestown and Rose Brown from Galway who were cared for by the Grey Nuns after losing their parents. Learn about the miracle of Rose’s marble which led to her reunification with her mother and vocation to join the Grey Nuns as Sister St. Patrice.  Over six thousand Irish emigrants are buried in Montreal, the largest Famine Irish mass grave outside of Ireland, which is marked by the Black Rock memorial. This burial ground has been recently excavated. The film pays tribute to Montreal’s Famine Irish and their Canadian caregivers.

Count Strzelecki’s Legacy: A Polish Irish Famine Hero (Christine Kinealy, Rebecca Abbott, Kamil Che)

In 1847, Count Paweł Edmund Strzelecki provided aid to the most destitute in the west of Ireland for the British Relief Association and helped feed over 200,000 hungry children in schools. This film tells his story and explores his legacy from the perspective of Polish communities in Ireland today.

Frederick Douglass in Ireland (Rebecca Abbott, Christine Kinealy, Kwaku Fortune)

The film gives an overview of Frederick Douglass’s life-changing time spent in Ireland at the beginning of the Great Famine in 1845-1846. Irish actor Kwaku Fortune reflects on Douglass’s legacy for new communities in Ireland.

Great Famine Voices Roadshow Liverpool Irish Festival (Greg Quiery, Roger Appleton)

Witness Famine and migration accounts of Liverpool’s Irish community, recorded for the Great Famine Voices Roadshow as part of an ongoing partnership between the Irish Heritage Trust, the National Famine Museum, Strokestown Park, and the Liverpool Irish Festival. The Great Famine Voices Liverpool Irish Festival short film features interviews with members of Liverpool’s diverse Irish community, many of whom are of Famine Irish ancestry.

Remembering James Hack Tuke: Emigrant Descendants (Christine Kinealy, Gerard Moran, Rebecca Abbott)

Emigrant descendants of James Hack Tuke’s migration schemes from Counties Galway and Mayo during the “Forgotten Famine” of 1879-1882 pay tribute to the Quaker Philanthropist who rescued their ancestors from poverty to start news lives overseas.