Saving the Famine Irish: The Grey Nuns and the Great Hunger
President Michael D. Higgins and Minister for Arts, Heritage, and Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Heather Humphreys opened the "Saving the Famine Irish: The Grey Nuns and the Great Hunger" Exhibit at Glasnevin Museum for the National Famine Commemoration on September 11th 2016. The exhibit is curated by Professor Christine Kinealy, Founding Director of Ireland's Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University, and Dr Jason King. It tells the story of the Grey Nuns who cared for typhus-stricken and dying Irish Famine emigrants in the fever sheds of Montreal during the summer of 1847.
In paying tribute to the Grey Nuns, President Higgins declared: During that bleak and terrible period of our history, an estimated one hundred thousand Irish people fled to Canada. It is impossible to imagine the pain, fear, despair, and suffering of these emigrants, many of whom lost beloved family members on their journey. As a country, we owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the Grey Nuns, who cared for so many Irish widows and orphans who were left destitute, impoverished and alone in a strange country.
This exhibit is a very important project, which allows us to finally acknowledge the generosity and enormous humanity of those wonderful sisters whose kindness and compassion, during one of the worst moments in our Country's history, must never be forgotten. In her address at the National Famine Commemoration, Minister Humphreys stated: Today we will also remember those such as the Grey Nuns of Montreal who are depicted in a new exhibition here in Glasnevin, and who chose to put themselves in harm's way to treat and aid Famine vicitms. Such people remain the light of the human spirit confronting the darkness, and should not be forgotten. The "Saving the Famine Irish: The Grey Nuns and the Great Hunger" exhibit is open to the public FREE of charge from September 11, 2016.
Photo L-R: Minister Heather Humphreys, Dr Jason King, President Michael D. Higgins, and Professor Christine Kinealy.
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