Thursday, September 1, 2016

Quinnipiac University’s 'Grey Nuns and the Great Hunger Exhibition'

Photo by Johnathon Henninger.
HAMDEN  An exhibit created by Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University will be a part of the National Famine commemoration in Dublin on Sept. 11, according to a release.
 "'Saving the Famine Irish: The Grey Nuns and the Great Hunger,' which tells the story of the religious orders in Montreal whose members gave selflessly to Irish immigrants during the summer of 1847, will be part of the ninth annual commemoration, which will take place at Glasnevin Cemetery," the release said.
Ireland President Michael D. Higgins, and Heather Humphreys T.D., minister for arts and heritage, are expected to attend, the release noted. 
The exhibition will remain on display there until early December, the release said.
Christine Kinealy, founding director of Ireland's Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac and a professor of history, "collaborated with Jason King, Irish Research Council postdoctoral fellow at Moore Institute at Galway University, to create the exhibition, which has been displayed at Quinnipiac and in Montreal," the release said.
I am delighted that people in Ireland will have an opportunity to learn about the Grey Nuns of Montreal, who showed such charity and compassion to the 70,000 Irish poor who arrived in the city in Black '47,” Kinealy said, also in the release. “It is a story of humanity that remains inspirational today.”
"Many thousands of people fled from Ireland during the Great Hunger, a period of mass starvation and disease between 1845 and 1852, and immigrated to Canada. Famine immigrants to Montreal were not only among the poorest of the poor, but many of them arrived already sick with typhus fever. Despite this, a number of people in the English and French Canadian communities provided the ailing and the dying with shelter and support. In the forefront of this compassionate movement were the Sisters of Charity, also known as the Grey Nuns."  
"The story of the Grey Nuns, and of the other religious orders who helped the dying Irish immigrants, is one of kindness, compassion and true charity," Kinealy said in the release. "Nonetheless, almost 6,000 Irish immigrants perished in the fever sheds of Montreal. They had fled from famine in Ireland only to die of fever in Canada. This is a remarkable story that deserves to be better known."
Further, "Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University
Ireland's Great Hunger Institute strives to offer a deeper understanding of the causes and consequences of the Irish Famine, also known as An Gorta Mór, through a program of lectures, conferences, courses and publications. The institute also fosters an appreciation for Irish culture and history."
For more information about Quinnipiac University, visit Connect with Quinnipiac on Facebook at and follow Quinnipiac on Twitter @QuinnipiacU.
Photo caption: Christine Kinealy, founding director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University, puts the finishing touches on the exhibit, "Saving the Famine Irish: The Grey Nuns and the Great Hunger," which will be apart of the National Famine Commemoration in Dublin on Sept. 11.
Editor's note: All information and the photo in this post were contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

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