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Dublin: 3 °C Thursday 20 February, 2020

PHOTOS: Tracing the footsteps of one of the Great Famine's darkest chapters

In May 1847, 1,490 people from Strokestown, Co Roscommon set out for Canada. Less than half of them made it there.

IN MAY 1847, 1,490 people from Strokestown, Co Roscommon made an unimaginable journey.

Today, a re-enactment on the banks of the River Liffey provided a haunting glimpse of the horrors they faced.

Strokestown/Dublin Famine Walk. Partici Source: Leah Farrell/Photocall Ireland

In the depths of the Great Famine, they left their homes for the last time, and walked almost 100 miles to Dublin.

They were transported to Liverpool, before boarding four “coffin ships” to Quebec, in Canada.

Infamously, just 700 of them survived the journey – the rest died and were buried at sea.

Strokestown/Dublin Famine Walk. L to R. Source: Leah Farrell/Photocall Ireland

A small group has been tracing their footsteps over the last few days, setting out on foot from Strokestown on Saturday, before arriving at Dublin’s Docklands today.

The poignant recreation ended on board the replica famine ship, the Jeanie Johnston.

Source: Leah Farrell/Photocall Ireland

The journey’s end this afternoon marked the official launch of the inaugural Irish Famine Summer School, which will take place from June 17-21, at the Irish National Famine Museum in Strokestown, Co Roscommon.

In pictures: How to overhaul an Irish tallship in 8 steps>

Read: Ever heard of the Pole who helped Famine victims? He’s been honoured in Dublin>

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Dan MacGuill

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