28th Annual Afri Famine Walk

Afri Famine Walk 2016, Doolough, County Mayo. Famine Walk began at Delphi Lodge, led by walk Leaders Cathryn O'Reilly and Clare O'Grady Walshe (other Walk leaders not present here include; Rafeef Ziadah) among others. The Walkers commemorate an event where people in search of food were turned away from Delphi Lodge during the Great Famine in 1849. (Photo: Derek Speirs)

By Adam Farley, Deputy Editor
June / July 2016

Palestinian poet and activist Rafeef Ziadah led the annual 10.5 mile Afri famine walk in Louisburgh, Co. Mayo, in May. The walk, which has been around since 1988, traces the footsteps of hundreds of famine victims who were turned away from local landlords at Delphi Lodge on May 30, 1849.

“Exhausted, weak and emaciated, many of them were blown into the water on their return to Louisburgh,” state council member Ruairi McKiernan said.

For walk leader Rafeef Ziadah, who is on a tour of Ireland at present, the walk has a special significance.

“I’ll be walking to honor those who walked  those roads during the famine, and for my own grandparents who were forced out of Palestine in 1948 when the state of Israel was created.” ♦

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