Team Liverpool Irish Festival

1,490 Strokestown-Liverpool Commemoration Walk

Fundraising for Liverpool Irish Festival
raised of £2,500 target
by 59 supporters
The Walk of the Strokestown Bronze Shoes, 1 November 2024
We use arts, culture and heritage to bring Liverpool & Ireland together


In 1847 at the height of the Irish Famine, 1490 men, women and children set out from Strokestown in Co. Roscommon, Ireland on a walk that would see half of them perish.

Guided by their landlord’s agent they walked the gruelling 165km to Dublin port and onwards to the UK and North America because it was cheaper for their landlord to assist their emigration than it was for him to keep them in the Roscommon poorhouse.

177 years on, Liverpool Irish Festival friends and custodians of Liverpool’s Irish Famine Trail walked the walk - now marked by the National Famine Way.

They carried with them a 3kg pair of bronze shoes, cast from an exact pair found at the Strokestown estate and now the symbol of the ‘Famine Way’. The shoes mark a reconnection between the Irish famine emigrants and the Liverpool Irish Famine Trai,l which curates and preserves sites and stories of the Liverpool Irish Famine migrants for future generations. It now ties Liveprool to the Global Irish Famine Way.

The routebegan in Strokestown, moved to Dublin Port, onto the Dublin-Holyhead ferry; Holyhead to Birkenhead and from Seacombe (Birkenhead) by ferry to the Mersey Port.

The walkers walked the shoesto via Clarence Dock Gates, through which 1.3m Irish lives passed and by foot to the Liverpool Irish Famine Memorial at St Luke's Church in Liverpool. The hoes are now in Liverpool. This last part will be repeated in Octover 2024.

So how can you help?

The team are raising vital funds to support Liverpool Irish Festival in the conservation, digitisation and upgrading of the Liverpool Irish Famine Trail. We're passionate about maintaining this legacy and this history for future generations. Funds raised will contribute towards:

• The commissioning of the bronze shoes being cast as tangible heritage reference of the Strokestown Famine group and their link to Liverpool. These shoes will find a permanent home in Liverpool just as the migrants who wore them did

• Maintaining the existing trail and its heritage whilst exploring new relevant sites of interest. As custodians of the Trail, we are doing all we can to reinstate the Trail and to refresh the Memorial monument, which has served as a poignant marker for people since 1998

• Developing an app to enable visitors to Liverpool to explore and understand the importance and relevance of the Irish Famine story to our city and its communities.

If you can donate to this cause today, we’d love to invite you to join us on a re-run of the last part of the walk on 27 Oct 2024, ahead of an Irish Famine Memorial event planned as part of Liverpool Irish Festival 2024.

Thank you for your support of the Liverpool Irish Famine Trail and helping us to honour Liverpool's role in supporting the Irish Famine poor and the legacy of that support today.

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About the charity

Liverpool Irish Festival is an annual 10-day Festival (October) and the custodian of the Liverpool Irish Famine Trail and memorial. Representing Liverpool, Liverpool Irish and diaspora communities, we explore identity creative expression using multi-disciplinary art practices and shared actvities.

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