National spotlight shone on our local heritage story

DESPITE the Kilkenny Famine Experience, shortlisted for Heritage Award at the finals of the National Lottery Good Causes Awards as one of the six finalists, missing out, there is a sense of pride and joy among the team behind the project.
It was whittled down from hundreds of applicants from across Ireland.
The Kilkenny Famine Experience project is comprised of three strands: first, a community reconnection project stemming from the discovery of 976 human famine victims found on site during the construction of MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre in 2005. The goal was to connect each of them to 976 living people from around the world who have left their fingerprints etched in brass on the memorial.
The second is to recount the human stories of life at the Kilkenny Famine Workhouse and offers a free audio-visual tour of the building. The final strand honours the victims and survivors with a bronze sculpture located at the site.
As a community reconnection project, the Kilkenny Famine Experience has made a significant impact by connecting the 976 famine victims to living people from around the world. Not only has it developed these crucial connections, but it has allowed many others to hear the stories of life in the Kilkenny Famine Workhouse, ensuring victims may never be forgotten.
Centre Manager Marion Acreman said: “These National Awards underpin the importance of recording and sharing the history of our famine victims and survivors. The free tour which we launched in 2007 has attracted over 7,000 visitors to date, many of whom are overwhelmed by the story being shared here.
“There is huge potential at the site of the Kilkenny Workhouse to develop this story further and allow more of the people whose ancestors lived here to come home and reconnect to their past. The community connection project resonates with all who took part in 2017 and those connections remain meaning the once forgotten victims are remembered and thought of by the people connected to the project.”
The Kilkenny Famine  Experience AV tour runs daily at MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre. Visit to book your ticket.

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