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“Doolough Valley & Famine Memorial”


Doolough, Erris, County Mayo, Ireland

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Doolough, Erris, County Mayo, Ireland

Traveling through the ‘Doolough Valley’ (Doolough meaning ‘Black Lake’) is a surreal experience. Embedded in a mountainous landscape of unspoilt nature between Mweelrea Mountain and the Sheeffry Hills with two lakes on the eastside, where the Wild Atlantic Way winds its way through this valley. All this stunning scenery is beautiful to experience, however ‘Doolough’ has shadowed past, through no fault of it’s landscape but by that of man…..

A memorial ‘The Doolough Famine Memorial’ in the form of a simple stone cross was erected in memory of the victims of famine in this area. Particular for the people that perished here on the 30th March 1849. Threatened by starvation, 600 Irish made a gruelling walk of 12 miles in freezing weather, from ‘Louisburgh’ through the ‘Doolough Valley’ to ‘Delphi House’ to ask their Landlord ‘The Marquis of Sligo’ for food. Their request was shamefully denied & they were all turned away! On their return walk back home Reports state that from the 600 who made this journey, 400 perished on this very road due to weakness of hunger & cold that night ?

“How can men feel honoured by the humiliation of their fellow beings?” This question by ‘Mahatma Gandhi’ is engraved on this memorial cross today.

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