Celtic Mark First Famine Memorial Day

Published on Sunday 10th May, 2009 by Celtic Trust

Celtic FC Honours National Famine Memorial Day

Today Celtic released the following statement: Celtic FC Honours National Famine Memorial Day Celtic Football Club today announced that it is to mark National Famine Memorial Day on 17th May 2009. The day has been earmarked by the Irish Government to commemorate and honour the 1.5 million people, who either perished or emigrated from Ireland during the Great Irish Famine from 1845 -1851. As a mark of respect, the Celtic team on Sunday will wear the Club’s Celtic Cross on their shirts when the team plays against Hibernian FC on Sunday. The Cross, representing a bridge between Scottish and Irish cultures, is the symbol of the Club’s charitable arm, established to continue the charitable work initiated by the Club’s great founder Brother Walfrid, an Irish Marist Brother. Celtic Chairman John Reid commented: “Given Celtic’s proud Irish heritage, this Club is inextricably linked to the Great Famine and the subsequent immigration from Ireland. “Celtic Football Club therefore is proud to be marking National Famine Memorial Day in this manner as we pay our respects to all those affected by the Great Hunger, one of the most tragic chapters in modern world history. The Irish Famine resulted in death, disease and displacement of people on an unimaginable scale with the West of Scotland becoming a principal point of refuge”. “The Famine is a lesson from history which should never be forgotten but from the despair and death of famine arose new hope, new life and a new future, part of that came in the in the shape of Celtic Football Club. “The desperate people who fled Ireland and their offspring born in Scotland, became the collective parents of Celtic Football Club. The Club’s main inspiration Brother Walfrid and Michael Davitt, the club’s first patron, were both young children during the Famine in Ireland”. “Celtic is a Scottish Club with proud Irish roots, an organisation which represents a fusion of cultures between both countries. We are a Club open to all and while we celebrate our traditions, it is important that we also celebrate our diversity.” “During the past 120 years Celtic has developed into a world class football organisation which strives for excellence and success on and off the field. However, while we always aim to build and grow, there will be one constant - we will always remain much more than a football club and we will always remember our proud heritage.” The Celtic Trust would like to congratulate Celtic for this excellent intiative and statement and we would also like to congratulate our good friend and colleague, Joe O'Rourke, General Secretary of the Celtic Supporters Association whose idea it was.


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