Past Events:


Special Event for the Rededication of the Famine Memorial

The Rhode Island Irish Famine Memorial, was rededicated on Saturday, September 14th, 2019 in a brief ceremony.

The rededication was made necessary by the serious vandalism and thefts which occurred at the site in August 2018. Since that time, enough money was raised to repair all the damage that was done.

The Rededication Ceremony, which was free and open to the public, was well attended. Photos and remarks from the ceremony will be included in this website.

The Rhode Island Irish Famine Memorial Committee thanks all of its supporters for their continuing financial and personal support.


Special Fundraiser for the Restoration of the Famine Memorial

On Saturday, November 10, 2018, many members of the RI Irish community gathered at the Galway Bay Irish Pub in Pawtucket for a fundraiser. The purpose was to fund the restoration of the Famine Memorial which had suffered major damage from to vandalism and theft in August.

Many local musicians stepped forward and volunteered their talents for the event. The music started at 2 pm with the Island Farm Ceili Band, [featuring Bob Drouin, Matt Cook and Don Lurgio]. Performing next were the Irish Ramblers, [featuring Bob Carlson and Sean Gillooly]. The event ended with a solo performance by Sean Connell. It was a great afternoon of Irish music.

Famine committee members, Don Deignan and Scott Molloy, offered brief words on the importance of the monument and the plans for its restoration.


A "Fundraising Finale" was held on November 19, 2017 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the dedication of the Rhode Island Irish Famine Memorial. Click here for further information about this highly successful event.


Unveiling of the 1916 Easter Rising Monument

A ceremony for the unveiling of the 1916 Easter Rising Monument took place at the RI Famine Memorial site on Sunday, April 24, 2016. The event started at noon. The ceremony consisted of brief speeches, songs and a blessing of the monument.

Following this ceremony, there was a reception/celebration held at the Ceilidhe Club, 50 America St, Cranston. Music was provided by Fintan Stanley (whose grandfather played an important role in the Rising), members of Pendragon, and guest musicians.

Click here to hear Scott MacKay's April 21, 2016 RIPR interview with Donald Deignan, "Marking Ireland's Easter Rising In Rhode Island, 100 Years Later".


Reading of W.B. Yeats classic poem, "Easter, 1916"

On Sunday, September 25, 2016, the RI Famine Memorial Committee along with the 1916 Committee presented a reading of W.B. Yeats classic poem, "Easter, 1916". This marked the 100th anniversary of the publication of the poem.

The presentation took place at the RI Famine Memorial Park. Live Irish music was be performed by Tim Keohane.

The reading was followed up by a get together at the nearby Wild Colonial Tavern.
(See Click here for more detailed information.)

2015 R.I. Irish Famine Memorial Fundraiser

On November, 14, 2015, an evening of fun, friendship, and music was held at the Gilbane office building in Providence. All money raised went towards the upkeep and preservation of the Famine Memorial.

The event included:

  • Irish Pub Food Tasting, Irish Music and Cash Bar
  • Donation was $50.00 per person
  • Click here for the poster: A Taste of Ireland
  • Music was provided by Phil Edmonds and Mary King
    • [click on the link for sample of their music.
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Visit by Prime Minister of Ireland, Enda Kenny

On September 24, 2014, while visiting Rhode Island to set up some business relationships, Prime Minister Enda Kenny came to speak at the Famine Memorial While there he spoke about Irish immigration issues and Ireland based business opportunities for Rhode Island companies.

He also acknowledged Governor Lincoln Chafee, author Ken Dooley and Representative Peter Martin for the work that they did to obtain a pardon for Irish Immigrant John Gordon, an Irish immigrant who was hanged in 1845 and pardoned in 2011.


Fifth Anniversary Fundraiser

On Sunday, November 11, 2012, McBride's Pub, 161 Wayland Avenue, Providence , RI was the scene of a celebration of the fifth anniversary of the RI Irish Famine Memorial's dedication. Entertainment was provided by The Tom Lanigan Band, with a guest appearance by Peter Martin on the harmonica. A donation of $20 included one drink ticket, and the first 50 people were given a John Gordon commemorative glass. Free parking was available in the Wayland Square Parking lot.

We were happy to see our supporters have an enjoyable afternoon at McBride's Pub. The RI Irish Famine Memorial site has grown even more beautiful in the last five years, but your support is needed ensure its perpetual maintenance.

Dedication of Granite Flagstone in Honor of John Gordon

On Sunday, afternoon, October 9, 2011, The Rhode Island Irish Famine Memorial Committee held a celebration at the memorial. The installed a granite stone [see photo below] in memory of John Gordon.

The inscription reads:

  • John Gordon
  • Irish Immigrant
  • Last Man Executed in RI 1845
  • Pardoned June 2011

As part of the ceremony, Tom Underhill, a member of the Garda Irish band came and sang "Fields of Athenry". Following that ceremony, there was be a 'fundraiser' for the memorial at O'Rourke's Bar & Grille in Pawtuxet.

A State of Hope, an evening at Trinity Repertory

A staged reading of "A State of Hope", Tom Roberts' powerful and moving play about the Great Famine (1845-1851), was performed on Monday, May 21, 2007 at 7:00 PM in the downstairs theater at Trinity Repertory Company, 201 Washington St., Providence.

Click here to see the event program.