TOM SHIEL
Irish Times
8 May 2012

**Please see: Irish Holocaust

A commemorative walk yesterday in Ballina, Co Mayo, re-enacted the start of a desperate cross-country trek by a starving local family to Drogheda at the height of the Famine.

After a gruelling three-week journey the family eventually made it to their destination, where they hoped to catch a ship to Liverpool.

But tragedy struck within sight of the Co Louth port when two of the children died of hunger and fever.

Yesterday’s walk took place in Belleek Woods on the outskirts of Ballina. As part of a commemorative link between Ballina and Drogheda, Mayor of Ballina Peter Clarke, presented a tree from the woods to his Drogheda counterpart, Cllr Kevin Callan.

This will be planted in Drogheda next Sunday by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who will lead the official commemoration in the port. As part of next Sunday’s National Famine Commemoration in Drogheda, five plaques will be unveiled at sites that have a particular connection to the Great Famine.

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