President Michael D Higgins visited Our Lady of the Wayside NS, Bluebell, lnchicore recently to Launch the CCIFV 2019 Lumper Schools Project.
Michael Blanch of Committee for the Commemoration of Irish Famine Victims (CCIFV) commented “He came he, he saw, he conquered the hearts of all those lucky to be there on this very special day, he charmed the teachers and very young pupils and still had time to return a wave to some of the local community who just happened to be going by the school on their daily chores. After being greeted by Anne McCluskey principle of OLW and Michael Blanch Committee for the Commemoration of Irish Famine Victims (CCIFV) we went inside the lobby of the OLW where the President was introduced to pupils who decorated the walls with An Gorta Mor art work and ECO environmental concerns topical in today’s world”.
The President and the pupils discussed the history of An Gorta Mor and from the enthusiasm of the conversation the President felt from the pupils for their interest in this sad part of our history, that he kindly donated a copy of The Atlas of the Great Irish Famine to OLW school library, a beautiful and thoughtful gesture in furthering the knowledge of the pupils on the history of An Gorta Mor. Moving on through the hall of the school which had a guard of honour for the President out to the garden to plant and Launch the 2019 LSP.
Before doing so he was introduced to Charlie and Kathleen McKillop from The Glens of Antrim Potato’s who kindly sponsor the LSP for the last five years after deep conversation on which variety of potato tastes the best, there was recipes and cooking tips exchanged on how to get the best results from the Lumper. The President was then introduced to Sean and Simon representatives from Dunnes Stores who have come on board they had their stories on the different varieties and tastes of potato’s to tell. Dunnes Stores as collocation points for the Lumper Packs and Booklet, with over 100 stores all over Ireland and The Glens of Antrim Potato’s sponsoring the LSP it is truly an all Island program like the blight and policy of 1845 – 1852 it knew no borders.The Lumper beds were prepared by a local community group.
The planting of the Lumpers was done skilfully by the President it was not his first time to plant a potato and his wife Sabrina also planted a Lumper she wanted to be part of this sad but joyous occasion of remembering the victims of An Gorta Mor and the exiles who helped build countries and communities around the world and we today the survivors in the celebration of our lives and the Irish global Famine family home and abroad. Keeping alive for future generations the history of An Gorta Mor through education. The planting of the Lumper also highlights and remembers all those in present day Famines, hunger and poverty.
“The Lumper is the Greatest Little Artefact Famine History Teacher in the World.”