A PRAYER service will be held this evening (Thursday) at the site of the excavation that is taking place on the Famine Road in Boho.
Getting underway on Monday this week, the archaeologists from Queen’s University have been joined by members of the local public for the dig, which is taking place to mark 175 years since An Gorta Mor, one of the darkest periods in Irish history.
The poignant project is being led by Derrygonnelly woman Prof Eileen Murphy, who is head of discipline for Archaeology and Palaeoecology at Queen’s. Prof Murphy explained how the road was one of many built during the famine as part of a scheme by the British government to give poor people jobs in an attempt to deal with the crisis.
After the programme was deemed to be a failure, causing more harm than good as workers starved or died from disease, it was ended in the spring of Black ‘47 and replaced by a soup kitchen network.
“Abandoned, many of them still survive today as grassed-over scars on the Irish landscape, their purpose dimly recalled in collective folk-memory, but each one serving as a monument to the events of 175 years ago that changed Ireland culturally, socially and economically,” said Prof Murphy. The aim of the excavation, which began on Monday and will last until Friday this week, was to investigate “the form and nature” of the Boho road, and estimate how much material had been brought in for its construction, and how closely the engineers kept to its original British design papers.
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