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Doolough Valley Famine Walk and the National Famine Memorial

The famine walk commemorates a tragedy that occurred during the height of the terrible Famine Years 1845-1849 in Ireland.

In early spring of 1847, almost 400 starving adults and children walked 10 miles from Louisburgh to Doolough in search of a Board of Guardians who were to meet in Delphi Lodge. They had been given this direction from the Relieving officer in Louisburgh as they sought food or a ticket to the workhouse.

The weather was terrible with wind and hail beating down upon them. When they arrived in Delphi the Guardians refused them food or their tickets to the workhouse.

Needless to say many of them perished on the return journey as fatigue and exhaustion from hunger took hold. Some of those that had energy to start the journey back to Louisburgh were swept into the lake by the heavy squalls.

There is a National Famine Monument located in Murrisk. This magnificent piece of sculpture by John Behan was unveiled by President Mary Robinson in 1997. It depicts a Coffin Ship with skeleton bodies and commemorates the anniversary of the Famine.

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