Past Programs


June 23 Thursday 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Famnesia? Famine in Irish Literature at the Great Hunger’s Centenary – A lecture by Dr. Bryce Evans

How do you commemorate mass starvation? The 150th anniversary of Ireland’s Great Hunger witnessed a proliferation of statues, memorials, speeches and even banquets to mark the darkest chapter in Ireland’s history. Commemoration of the 100th anniversary, by contrast, was more low key: one hundred years on from Ireland’s Great Hunger, Europe was recovering from the Second World War and famine again stalked much of the world. Yet the centenary of the ‘Bad Times’ was marked in Ireland and across the Irish diaspora, and in sometimes unexpected ways. Dr. Bryce Evans explains why centennial commemorations of Famine in literature and film occurred or didn’t occur. Challenging the notion of “Famnesia,” this talk provides a culturally rich run-through of the Great Hunger at its 100th anniversary.

Dr. Bryce Evans is senior lecturer in history at Liverpool Hope University (UK) and a leading modern Irish historian. His expertise lies in food history and modern Irish history. He is combining these themes in a forthcoming book The Hunger at One Hundred which looks at centenary commemorations of Ireland’s Great Hunger.

This lecture will be presented at 2 p.m. and repeated at 5:30 p.m.

April 4 Monday 5 to 6:30 pm
Twinsome Minds: Recovering 1916 in Images and Stories 
Twinsome Minds (a phrase from Finnegans Wake) is a multimedia performed talk with text by Richard Kearney and moving images by Sheila Gallagher. The performance re-imagines a series of micro-narratives surrounding 1916 in Dublin and the WWI battlefields of Belgium. The stories and images of eclipsed history concentrate on ‘twinned’ pairs – family members, neighbors, school friends, lovers – who ended up on opposite sides during this time of great upheaval in British-Irish relations. The various scenes explore crossings of memory and imagination, anecdote and legend, history and myth – as well as loyalty and love. They are framed and retold by writer and philosopher, Richard Kearney with screen projections by the artist, Sheila Gallagher, and original music score by Dana Lyn.

This program is part of the “Remembering the Easter Rising: Ireland 1916 at Quinnipiac University” program co-sponsored by Quinnipiac University’s College of Arts and Sciences, Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute, and Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, in collaboration with the Arnold Bernhard Library. The complete schedule of events can be found at

March 3 Thursday 5:30 pm
“The Bad Times” book launch and signing by Christine Kinealy and John Walsh 
The graphic novel, “The Bad Times: An Drochshaol,” is a story of pain and suffering, but also of love. Brigit, Daniel and Liam are three teenagers from County Clare in the west of Ireland who live through the horrors of the Great Hunger, also known as the bad times. Their friendship keeps them strong as they each make tough decisions to survive. The characters were inspired by Daniel Macdonald’s painting Irish Peasant Children, on view as part of the exhibition “In the Lion’s Den: Daniel Macdonald, Ireland and Empire” at Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum.

Professor Christine Kinealy, founding director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University, is the author of many books on the Famine, including “This Great Calamity,” “The Great Famine in Ireland, 1845-52,” “Charity and the Great Hunger in Ireland” and “The Kindness of Strangers.”

John A. Walsh is an illustrator and graphic novelist and the creator of “GO HOME PADDY,” a graphic novel that is being serialized online.

February 11 Thursday 3 pm
Connecticut and The Great Hunger: A Lecture by Neil Hogan 
Neil Hogan, editor of the Shanachie newsletter published by the Connecticut Irish American Historical Society, will speak about Connecticut’s connection to The Great Hunger. Hogan is the author of Connecticut Irish in the Civil War and The Cry of the Famishing: Ireland, Connecticut and The Potato Famine..

February 15 Monday noon to 3 pm
Children’s Craft Activities 
Children and parents are welcome to drop in any time between noon to 3 pm to participate in a variety of arts and craft stations.

January 20 Wednesday 3 pm
Macdonald Exhibition Tour 
Join curator Niamh O’Sullivan for a tour of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum’s new exhibition “In the Lion’s Den: Daniel Macdonald, Ireland and Empire”

January 21 Thursday 5:30 pm
In the Lion’s Den: A Lecture by Niamh O’Sullivan 
Curator Niamh O’Sullivan will discuss her research on the Cork artist Daniel Macdonald for the exhibition In the Lion’s Den. Macdonald was the only artist to address pictorially the full horror of The Great Hunger.

Dr. O’Sullivan is Professor Emeritus of Visual Culture (National College of Art and Design, Ireland) and Curator of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum. She writes on nineteenth-century Irish and Irish-American art and visual culture. She is the author of Aloysius O’Kelly: Art, Nation, Empire (Dublin: Field Day, 2010) and In the Lion’s Den: Daniel Macdonald, Ireland and Empire (Hamden, CT: Quinnipiac University Press, 2016).


December 5 Saturday 4 pm
Waterbury Irish: From the Emerald Isle to the Brass City
A Lecture and book signing by Janet Maher
Janet Maher, author of Waterbury Irish: From the Emerald Isle to the Brass City (Arcadia Publishing, 2015), will speak about her work as an artist in relation to the book. Since 2006, Maher has worked on a multipart series of works to accompany her scholarly research about Irish and personal history. It has included photography, digital restoration and collage, mixed media on paper, canvas and wooden panels, assemblage and encaustic.

Maher is a professional artist who directs the studio arts program at Loyola University Maryland. Her first book, From the Old Sod to the Naugatuck Valley: Early Irish Catholics in New Haven County, Connecticut, was published in 2012.

November 12 Thursday 5:30 pm
The Irish Bridget:  Irish Immigrant Women in Domestic Service in America
A lecture by Margaret Lynch-Brennan
Irish immigration to the U.S. was unusual in that so many Irish women came here. Many of these Irish women worked as cooks, nannies, and domestic servants when they came to the U.S. Margaret Lynch-Brennan, Ph.D., will tell their story in a presentation based on her book, The Irish Bridget: Irish Immigrant Women in Domestic Service in America, 1840-1930. Her talk will provide a fresh glimpse into the working and social worlds that Irish domestic servants constructed and inhabited in the United States.

Dr. Lynch-Brennan is an independent scholar and author. She began her career as a classroom teacher and as an administrator with the New York State Education Department, working on issues related to civil rights, school improvement, and professional development for teachers. She earned a Ph.D. in American history from the University at Albany, State University of New York.

October 18 Sunday 12:00 pm
Artist Talk: Margaret Lyster Chamberlain
Artist Margaret Lyster Chamberlain will discuss her work “The Leave-Taking” which was commissioned by Quinnipiac University for Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum. Chamberlain explores psychological and spiritual issues, such as loss and compassion, in her art. “The Leave-Taking” is rich in narrative detail. Chamberlain says that her work is about things “that lie beneath the form – life, love, youth, old age, death, rebirth, sorrow, prayer, joy, moment of despair, and moment of enlightenment.”

October 14 Wednesday 5:30 pm
Famine Folios Second Series

Join us as we celebrate the launch of the second series of Famine Folios, a unique resource for students, scholars and researchers, as well as general readers, covering many aspects of the Famine in Ireland. The essays are interdisciplinary in nature, and make available new research in Famine studies by internationally established scholars in history, art history, cultural theory, media history, political economy, literature and music.

The following four folios will be released and available to purchase:

L.Perry Curtis Jr., Notice to Quit: The Great Irish Famine Evictions

Michael Foley, Death in Every Paragraph: Journalism & the Great Irish Famine

Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, “I mBéal an Bháis”: The Great Famine and the Language Shift in nineteenth-century Ireland

Robert Smart, Black Roads: The Famine in Irish Literature

Authors Curtis, Foley, and Smart will all present on their essays. Series editors Grace Brady, executive director, and Niamh O’Sullivan, curator of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum will also speak briefly about the Famine Folios series. A reception will follow the program.

September 12 Saturday 7 pm
Larry Kirwan in Concert
Rock & Read is a new form of entertainment that combines both music and literature, spiced with history, politics and autobiography. Armed with just an acoustic guitar and his published books, Larry Kirwan takes audiences on a righteous and riotous trip across two continents from a small town in Ireland to the beating heart of New York City.

Rock & Read is based on Kirwan’s memoir, Green Suede Shoes, two novels, Liverpool Fantasy and Rockin’ The Bronx, and combines readings and stories interspersed with relevant songs from Black 47’s thirteen CDs.  Rock & Read deals with memories of an Irish boyhood in Wexford where Kirwan was raised by a very politicized grandfather who had rubbed shoulders with many of the luminaries involved in Ireland’s War of Independence. From Wexford, the story moves to Dublin and eventual emigration to New York City where he worked and became friends with Frank McCourt, Joey Ramone, Pete Hamill, Joe Strummer, Philip Glass, Rik Ocasek, Lester Bangs and Cyndi Lauper among others, some of whom play roles in the tale that unfolds onstage.

In 1989 Kirwan formed Black 47 the Irish political rock band. They have performed over 2500 gigs, and appeared on Leno, Letterman and O’Brien. Kirwan’s songs have been featured in many movies and TV shows and are used in hundreds of college and high school history and political science classes. In 2011 he debuted a new show Yeats, Joyce and Black 47, at The Hawk’s Well Theatre in Sligo for the annual Yeats Summer School. He provided all vocal backing for the performance of Carrickfergus on Martin Scorcese’s Boardwalk Empire “Nights in Ballygrant” episode.

An accomplished playwright and composer Kirwan has written 13 plays and musicals including the hit Hard Times about which the New York Times raved, “Kirwan has not only delivered a knockout entertainment, he’s done a public service, reacquainting us with the Foster songbook and the striving, teeming America for which it was written.”  Kirwan hosts and produces SiriusXM’s Celtic Crush and writes a weekly column for the Irish Echo. The Daily News named him one of the Top Fifty most interesting New Yorkers.

August 25 Tuesday 1 to 4 pm
Genealogy Lecture and Workshop
Join Quinnipiac University professor Jill Martin as she leads a beginner’s genealogy workshop sponsored by Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum.  Dr. Martin will discuss the various types of genealogical records available and how to locate them. This will include a discussion of census records, vital records, immigration and naturalization records, newspapers, baptisms, cemeteries, real estate and probate records. After the presentation, Dr. Martin will provide assistance on your own genealogy project. Bring your laptop and public library card to fully participate.

Dr. Martin is professor of legal studies at Quinnipiac University. She has a BA from Keuka College, an MA from Yale University, and a JD from Union University. She has previously lectured at the New England Regional Genealogical Consortium and New England Historical Association conferences, among others.


June 13 Saturday 10 am to 5 pm
Connecticut Open House Day
Connecticut residents are invited to discover – and rediscover – the state’s exciting arts, history and tourism offerings with a variety of special incentives, such as discounted or free admission, free gifts or special exhibits and activities during the 11th Annual Open House Day on June 13, 2015.

Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum will be open to the public from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday, June 13th. Admission is free. All visitors will receive a complimentary postcard.

April 23 Thursday 6 p.m.
Celtic Duo – Ringrose & Freeman 
Connecticut’s favorite Irish balladeer Dan Ringrose joins forces with musical partner and fiddler extraordinaire Jeanne Freeman. Enjoy the music, songs and stories of the Emerald Isle as they help us celebrate everything Irish.

Combine fiddler Jeanne Freeman, whose playing has been described as “effortlessly virtuosic” — and singer/guitarist Dan Ringrose, whose voice has been called “stunning,” and you have the lively and entertaining Celtic duo of Ringrose & Freeman.  Featured on Connecticut Public Television, at the Greater Hartford Irish Festival, and in many other venues, they weave humor, history, stories and poetry into an enjoyable presentation of Celtic music.

April 7 Tuesday 3 p.m. & 6 p.m.
Emigration Road
Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum and Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute are proud to co-sponsor the dramatic reading of “Emigration Road” on April 7 at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Emigration Road is the third “play for voices” produced by Galway’s Curlew Theatre Company. Each play is devised and directed by Eamon Grennan, and performed by Tegolin Knowland and Sean Coyne.

Emigration has been a constant throughout much of Irish history, and this drama sketches out the consequences of leaving “home” to make one’s way elsewhere. Emigration Road wanders about historically and geographically in its references, and explores emigration from various angles.

This program will be offered twice on Tuesday, April 7. The first performance will be held at 3 p.m.and the second performance will be held at 6 p.m. Space is limited for both performances. Tickets are $10 for the general public, and free for students. All tickets must be purchased or reserved in advance.

March 17 Tuesday 11 a.m.
Tea Service at Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum
Enjoy tea service at the museum at 11 a.m. in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Tea, finger foods and desserts will be served. The tea service is limited to twenty people, and is now sold out.

March 17 Tuesday 1 to 5 p.m.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum 
The museum will be open to the general public from 1 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17 in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Celebrate the day by learning more about Irish history, art, and culture.

February 16 Monday 2 p.m.
Children’s Art Activity
Children ages 6 to 12 are invited to visit Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum on Monday, February 16 at 2 p.m. We will discuss immigration and what it would have been like to leave Ireland to come to America. Children will have an opportunity to decorate their own travel trunks. We request a $5 donation from each family to help supplement the cost of art materials. Space is limited to 15 children.

January 29 Thursday 5:30 p.m.
Lecture and musical performance by George Sprengelmeyer, associate chair of the department of visual and performing arts and associate professor of music at Quinnipiac University

Dr. Sprengelmeyer’s lecture will discuss techniques for arranging the melodies of the legendary Irish harper and composer Turlough O’Carolan who traveled the Irish countryside for some fifty years during the Baroque era composing music for wealthy patrons.  Over the nearly three centuries since his death in 1738, the harper has become an iconic figure in the history of Ireland and his melodies are now seen as the most important ancient Irish compositions.  This lecture will include a performance of a number of arrangements made by Dr. Sprengelmeyer for the guitar entitled: A Celtic Suite.

Dr. Sprengelmeyer is a unique blend of guitarist, teacher, scholar, and music administrator. In 2003 he was awarded the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in guitar performance from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, becoming only the second individual in the history of the nation’s oldest music conservatory to earn this degree. Most recently Dr. Sprengelmeyer’s research interest has turned toward Irish Baroque harp music.  In 2013 he traveled to make a close analysis of the original sources for Turlough O’Carolan’s music located in Boston, Dublin, and Belfast. He has since been invited to give a lecture on the music of Turlough O’Carolan for the Scottish Studies Program and a performance/workshop for the Guitar Program of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in October of 2014.

January 22 Thursday 4 p.m.
WQUN Shades of Ireland Tea and Tour Presentation 

AM1220 WQUN and Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University invite you to a “Shades of Ireland” tea and tour presentation.

AM1220 WQUN morning show’s Ray Andrewsen will host a tour of Ireland in September and we would like you to join him.  This epic trip will span 10 days with stops in towns and cities throughout Ireland’s lush countryside.

Join us at Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum on Thursday, January 22 at 4 p.m. for tea and the “Shades of Ireland” tour presentation.  Seating is limited for this event, please call Maria Phillips at 203-582-8286 for reservations.  For more information on the tour, please visit:


December 11 Thursday 5:30 p.m.
Celebration of an Irish Christmas 

Please join us for a Celebration of an Irish Christmas with storyteller and musician Jim Hawkins. This family friendly program will include stories, songs, hymns and poetry interspersed with a discussion of the customs of a traditional Irish Christmas.

Join us before the performance for Christmas cookies and coffee.
5:30 pm – Coffee and Christmas cookies served
6:00 pm – Program begins (1.5 hours)

December 9 Tuesday 5:30 p.m.
Private Event – CBC Project Team Award Winner Spotlight

Speaker Panel:
Salvatore Filardi, Vice President, Facilities and Capital Planning, Quinnipiac University
Leonard Wyeth,  AIA, Principal, Wyeth Architects
William Hardy, President, FIP Construction
Moderator: Martin Onorato, Robinson + Cole

5:30 – 7:00 PM Registration, Networking & Appetizers
7:00 – 8:30 PM  Program & Tours

This event is open to members or potential members of the CT Building Congress. Registration is required, and available on the CT Building Congress website (

October 28 Tuesday 3 to 5 p.m.
Famine Folios: A Symposium

Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University will present “Famine Folios,” a symposium to celebrate the launch of its publications program, from 3-5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 28, in the Center for Communications and Engineering, Room 218, on the Mount Carmel Campus at Quinnipiac. Thanks to a grant from Connecticut Humanities, the museum is able to offer this program.

The publications program, which provides a unique famine resource for scholars and researchers, features works by four authors who were commissioned by the museum to write essays based on various aspects of the Famine in Ireland (1845–1852).

The four essays, the first in a continuing series, will be released at the symposium where the four authors will discuss their work at a panel discussion moderated by Richard Kearney, Seelig Professor of Philosophy at Boston College.

The panelists and their essay titles are:

Luke Gibbons, professor of Irish literacy and cultural studies at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, “Limits of the Visible: Representing the Great Hunger.”

Christine Kinealy, professor of history and founding director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac, “Apparitions of Death and Disease: The Great Hunger in Ireland.”

Catherine Marshall, art historian and former curator of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, “Monuments, Memorials and Visualizations of the Great Famine in Ireland.”

Niamh O’Sullivan, professor emeritus of visual culture, National College of Art and Design, Dublin, and curator of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac, “The Tombs of a Departed Race: Illustrations of Ireland’s Great Hunger.”

The symposium will include a demonstration of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum Database of pictorial newspapers. Illustrated pamphlets containing the essays will be sold for $15 each.

Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, located at 3011 Whitney Avenue, will be open to the public from 12 to 2:30 pm on the day of the event.

October 2 Thursday 5:30 p.m.
Lecture by Mary Kelly, author of “Ireland’s Great Famine in Irish-American History: Enshrining a Fateful Memory”

Join us at Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum for a lecture by Mary Kelly, professor of history at Franklin Pierce University. Kelly will present a lecture based on her newly published book, “Ireland’s Great Famine in Irish-American History.” A graduate of National University of Ireland, Galway and Syracuse University, Kelly’s research interests include Irish Famine remembrance, the Boston Irish in the mid-19th century, and a variety of topics related to Irish-American religion, politics and intellectual history. She teaches widely in American cultural, ethnic, intellectual, immigrant and gender history, in addition to foundational offerings in Modern Ireland and Europe.  Kelly is also the author of “The Shamrock and the Lily: The New York Irish and the Creation of a Transatlantic Identity” published in 2005. Books will be available for purchase at this event.

September 13 Saturday 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
“The Uneven Failure of Entitlement and the End of Outrage: The Great Famine and its Legacy in County Donegal” A lecture by Breandán Mac Suibhne

Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum presents a lecture by Breandán Mac Suibhne, associate professor of history at Centenary College, of New Jersey.  Mac Suibhne will probe Donegal’s peculiar experience in the Famine, explaining why poor agricultural districts did not lose the same proportion of population as ostensibly similarly circumstanced districts elsewhere in the west of Ireland.

Mac Suibhne is a historian of society and culture in 18th and 19th century Ireland. He is a founding editor (with the critic Seamus Deane) of Field Day Review, a journal of political and literary culture. Mac Suibhne is a graduate of University College Dublin and Carnegie Mellon University.

August 5 Tuesday 6 p.m.
Film Screening of “The Minnitts of Anabeg” with Director Alan Brown

Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University is pleased to present a screening of the film, “The Minnitts of Anabeg” with Director Alan Brown.

This film tells the story of the true lives of the Minnitt family from Tipperary who owned more than 1,000 acres of land at Anabeg House in Nenagh during the Great Hunger. Frank McGrath plays Joshua Minnitt, an English justice of the peace, disinherited by his father after marrying a Catholic girl. He works to save a community and to save his own family. Made in 2012, the film won the Best Screenwriting Award at the Irish International Film Festival (2012). Following the screening, Brown will discuss the making of the film.

July 18 Friday 3 p.m.
Genealogy 101

Join Thomas Toohey for Irish Genealogy 101 – six steps to find your ancestral home. His program is an animated explanation of the classic steps of Irish genealogy. Toohey has been studying genealogy since the 1990s. He joined The Irish Ancestral Research Association, and became vice president. He is also a member of the Chelmsford, Mass. Genealogy Club. He holds a BA from UMass Lowell, and an MA from the University of Hartford. He was a teacher for 40 years, and has done many presentations as an adjunct professor, an educational consultant and guest lecturer. This event will be held on Quinnipiac University’s Mount Carmel Campus.

June 14 Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Connecticut Open House Day 

This one-day statewide event is designed to showcase Connecticut’s diverse world of history, art and tourism. It offers residents and visitors a great way to discover or rediscover all that is happening in Connecticut. All visitors to Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum on open house day will receive a complimentary postcard. For more information, and to find other participating museums, visit:

June 15 Sunday 3 p.m.
International Festival of Arts and Ideas – Gallery Tour of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum with Executive Director Grace Brady 

As part of the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, Grace Brady, executive director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, will be leading a guided tour of the museum. For more information, and to see other festival happenings in the greater New Haven area, visit:

June 12 Thursday 5:30 p.m.
“Light of the Diddicoy” Book Signing 

Irish-American Author Eamon Loingsigh will read excerpts from his new novel, “Light of the Diddicoy.” The book tells the tale of Irish gangs on the Brooklyn waterfront in the early part of the 20th century. Forced at age 14 to travel alone to America after money grew scarce in Ireland, Liam Garrity stumbles directly into the hard-knock streets of the Irish-run waterfront and falls in with a bridge district gang called the White Hand. Through a series of increasingly tense and brutal scenes, he has no choice but to use any means necessary to survive and carve out his place in a no-holds-barred community living outside the law.

The book is the first of Loingsigh’s Auld Irishtown trilogy, which delves into the stories and lore of the gangs and families in this under-documented area of Brooklyn’s Irish underworld.

May 1 Thursday 5:30pm
Forgotten Heroes: Ireland’s WWI Soldiers a lecture and book signing by author Tom Phelan 

Almost a quarter of a million Irish men joined the British army and fought in World War I, and more than 35,000 thousand died.  In Mountmellick, the small village where Tom Phelan grew up, it was said that nearly every house in the town had someone in the trenches.  Fifty-five local men died in the war.

Tom Phelan will discuss the many reasons Irish men joined the British army to fight in the war, the conditions they faced in the trenches and the reception they received when they returned home to an Ireland where the political landscape had been transformed.

Phelan’s talk will be illustrated with selections from his novel, “The Canal Bridge.” Set in Ireland and France during World War I, “The Canal Bridge” tells the story of two Irish soldiers and the lovers and families they leave behind as they struggle to survive the slaughterhouse that was Europe from 1914 to 1918.

April 5 Saturday 1:00pm
The Magic and Music of Ireland

Join Tom and Debbie O’Carroll for a repeat performance of their show The Magic and Music of Ireland. The performance introduces children to the many different aspects of Irish culture. They use music, songs, poetry, stories, props, costumes, and traditional Irish stage music to delight and captivate young audiences with the enchantments of the Emerald Isle.

This program is suitable for children aged 3 to 9. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Call to register – 203-582-6500. Limited space available.

April 3 Thursday 5:30pm (rescheduled from February 13 due to snow)
“… ‘It is not an everyday matter to see a nation starving’: Captain Robert Bennet Forbes and the 1847 Voyage of the USS Jamestown to Cork, Ireland.” A lecture by Professor Catherine B. Shannon.

Catherine Shannon, Emerita Professor of History at Westfield State University, will present a lecture on the remarkable story of the voyage of the USS Jamestown, which left Boston on March 28, 1847, loaded with more than 800 tons of provisions and supplies for the starving people of Ireland in the darkest months of “Black 47.” The lecture will describe Captain Forbes’ efforts to ensure that the supplies reached the Irish people in the most efficient and fastest way possible, and his reactions to what he witnessed in Ireland upon arrival there.

March 27 Thursday 5:30pm
Musical Performance by The Kerry Boys

The Kerry Boys are Connecticut’s favorite Irish balladeers and have been performing together for more than 23 years, dazzling fans of all ages from Maine to New York. Their show will have you clapping and singing along to their wide collection of traditional and original Irish/Celtic songs. Pierce Campbell, CT’s official State Troubadour for 2007/08, will be joined by Paul Neri on banjo.

March 20 Thursday 5:30pm
“Famine Echoes” A one-hour dramatic reading of what ordinary men and women told their descendants about Ireland’s Great Hunger

In the 1940s, the Irish Folklore Commission conducted interviews with thousands of elderly people around Ireland who remembered what they themselves had heard from ancestors who had survived the Famine. Their stories were collected and edited by Cathal Póirtéir, social historian and RTE news producer, for the book Famine Echoes in 1995.

Paul Janensch, Quinnipiac University professor emeritus in the School of Communications, gathered these stories and created the script for a dramatic reading.

Quinnipiac University professors who are also professional actors Brooks Appelbaum, Moira Malone, and Andrew Scott will be directed by Janensch for this dramatic reading at the museum. The dramatic reading covers all aspects of the Great Hunger – including the onslaught of the potato blight, starvation, diseases, disposition of the dead, crime, workhouses, soup kitchens, evictions and emigration.

Thank you to Cathal Póirtéir and the National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin for permission to use this material.

This performance is free and open to the public.

March 17 Monday 10:00am to 5:00pm
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum 

Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum will be open on Monday, March 17th from 10 am to 5 pm in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.

A special tea-service will be provided in the galleries on a drop-in basis from 1 to 3 pm. Enjoy listening to Irish music while sipping tea and snacking on soda bread.

During the month of March, all visitors to the museum will receive a complimentary copy of the book “Celebrating 250 Years of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade.”

March 8 Saturday 10:00am
Children’s Art Activity

Children between the ages of 6 and 14 are invited to visit Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum on Saturday, March 8. This event, designed specifically for children, includes an art activity focusing on the importance of emigration from Ireland throughout the 19th century. Children will be introduced to James Brenan’s painting The Finishing Touch (1876) which focuses on the great poverty of Ireland that carried on through the 19th century. Children will then enjoy decorating their “traveling box” as did the local sign-writer in Brenan’s painting.

January 30 Thursday 5:30pm
Orphan Train Riders: A presentation by Tom Riley

From 1854 to 1929, an estimated 273,000 children were transported out of New York City on what became known as Orphan Trains. Many of these children were of Irish descent, and were sent to live with families in rural America. The Orphan Trains were also operated out of Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia. Few records were kept regarding these trains, but some estimate that 400,000 to 600,000 children were transported in the largest mass relocation of children in American history.

Tom Riley, a writer and photographer, has been speaking publicly about the Orphan Trains for 20 years and often says it is the greatest American story never told.  Riley stumbled across the topic while researching a book on a home for children that he grew up in. He found 26 boxes of records in a hayloft dating back as far as 1832.  He later wrote two books on the Orphan Train Riders.


December 3 Tuesday 6:30pm
Charity and the Great Hunger in Ireland: The Kindness of Strangers

Christine Kinealy, a world-renowned authority on the Irish Famine, will deliver a free community lecture based on her newly released book, “Charity and the Great Hunger in Ireland: The Kindness of Strangers.” Copies of the book will be available at the event and Christine will sign copies following the lecture.

This event was sponsored by Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University.

November 14 Thursday 5:30 – 6:30pm
“The Great Irish Famine and the invention of modern journalism” a lecture by Michael Foley

Michael Foley teaches journalism in the School of Media at the Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland’s oldest journalism school. His research interests include 19th century journalism, the development of journalism in the former communist world, journalism ethics, and media and childhood. He is the founder chair of the Newspaper and Periodical History Forum of Ireland and serves on the editorial board of the Irish Communications Review and the advisor y board of the London based free speech journal, Index on Censorship. His lecture will discuss how the Famine was covered by the media in 19th century Ireland.

November 9 Saturday 1:00 – 2:00pm
The Magic and Music of Ireland

Tom and Debbie O’Carroll have crafted a performance to introduce children to the many different aspects of Irish culture. They use music, songs, poetry, stories, props, costumes and traditional Irish stage magic to delight and captivate young audiences with the enchantments of the Emerald Isle.

November 7 Thursday 5:30 – 7:00pm
The People’s Poet: A Tribute to Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney, the 1995 Nobel laureate in literature, passed on August 30, 2013. Mr. Heaney is often cited as one of Ireland’s greatest poets, who received numerous prizes and honors for his work. He published numerous collections of poetry, as well as essays and works for the stage over his illustrious career. Much of Mr. Heaney’s work was related to the Troubles in Ireland, a topic which was incredibly personal to him, having been born in Northern Ireland. He is known for putting the Troubles in wider historical context.

Quinnipiac University, Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, and Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute wish to pay tribute to Heaney, by presenting a reading of selections from his best works.

Readings will be presented by Professor Christine Kinealy, Director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute and Professor of History at Quinnipiac University; Professor Ken Cormier, Assistant Professor of English and Coordinator of Creative Writing at Quinnipiac University; Professor Jason Koo, Assistant Professor of English and Poetry at Quinnipiac University; and Professor Robert Smart, Professor of English and English Department Chair at Quinnipiac University.

October 29 Tuesday 5:30 – 7:00pm
Lecture by Sinead McCoole, curator of the Jackie Clarke Collection in County Mayo, Ireland

The Jackie Clarke Collection is a private collection of Irish history material, now in public hands. The collection includes over 100,000 items spanning 400 years. It includes artifacts associated with Theobald Wolfe Tone; letters from Michael Collins, Douglas Hyde, Michael Davitt and O’Donovan Rossa. It also contains rare books, proclamations, posters, political cartoons, pamphlets, handbills, works by Sir John Lavery, maps, hunger strike material and personal items from Leaders of the 1916 Rising.

October 12 Saturday 5:00 – 7:00pm
Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum’s One-Year Anniversary Celebration

Join us in toasting a successful first year. Enjoy wine, passed hors d’oeuvres, and a live harpist during our one-year anniversary celebration held at the museum.

Business attire is requested. Tickets are $25 and should be purchased in advance by calling 203-582-6500 or emailing Proceeds go towards advancing the museum’s mission and allows the museum to continue offering high-quality public programs.

September 22 Sunday 6:00 – 9:00pm
Performance by Irish Musician Declan O’Rourke

Sold Out! Thank you for your support.

“Compassion, romance, a sense of morality and a sense of history run through the songs of Declan O’Rourke.” Jon Pareles of The New York Times

O’Rourke released his debut album, “Since Kyabram,” in 2004. The record debuted at number 5 on the Irish album charts, and achieved double-platinum status.   His debut single, “Galileo (Someone Like You),” has been covered by numerous artists including Josh Groban.  O’Rourke’s latest album, “Mag Pai Zai,” released in April 2011, debuted on Ireland’s Top 10 Album Charts, and his single “A Little Something,” reached number 2 on the charts.  O’Rourke currently tours internationally and has shared the stage with the likes of Alison Krauss, Paddy Casey, Paul Weller, Gemma Hayes, Damien Rice, Snow Patrol, The Cardigans, Badly Drawn Boy, and Bono.

In addition to his commercial success, over the past ten years, O’Rourke has been on a personal mission writing songs about the Irish Famine.  It was ten years ago that he discovered that his grandfather was born in a workhouse in Kinvara, County Galway.  O’Rourke began reading about workhouses and quickly realized that he had a story to tell. “You know, I knew almost nothing about the Famine,” O’Rourke said in an interview with Irish Times, “I was never taught about it in school…. There was a gap there that needed to be filled: not only a cultural gap, but a musical gap. I hadn’t come across any songs about it really…. So I just set about writing these new songs painstakingly…. It’s such a serious subject and I knew I didn’t want to get it wrong.”

September 19th Thursday 6:00 – 8:00pm
Quinnipiac Univeristy Student Night at the Museum

June 6th Thursday 5:30pm
“A Labor of Love: Private Charity during the Great Hunger,” a lecture by historian Christine Kinealy

May 17th Friday 1:00 – 4:30pm
“Exploring the Legacies of the Great Hunger: The Cultural, Spiritual, Psychological and Political Consequences for Today’s Ireland from Centuries of Colonization”A symposium with Dr. Christine Kinealy and Dr. Garrett O’Connor hosted by Quinnipiac University
Dr. Christine Kinealy, a visiting professor in residence at Quinnipiac University, who is known internationally for her ground-breaking research on the Great Hunger, and Dr. Garrett O’Connor, an internationally recognized psychiatrist who specializes in addiction and healing, will present at the symposium. This event was held in The Grand Courtroom at Quinnipiac University’s Mount Carmel Campus.

May 9th Thursday 5:30pm
Lecture and Book Signing by Christopher Conway
Christopher Conway, an Irish-American author, will discuss and sign his new book “The Road to God Knows Where,” at 5:30 pm on Thursday May 9, at Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University. The book signing will be followed by a wine and cheese reception. This event was sponsored by Charter Oak Insurance and Financial Services.

May 2nd Thursday 5:30pm
“A Labor of Love: Private Charity during the Great Hunger,” a lecture by historian Christine Kinealy
Professor Christine Kinealy, a world-renowned authority on the Irish Famine, will deliver the free community lecture, “A Labor of Love: Private Charity during the Great Hunger,” from 5:30 to 7:00pm at Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum. Kinealy, who is a visiting scholar in residence at Quinnipiac University, will frame her discussion around her forthcoming book, “The Kindness of Strangers,” which explores the role private charity played in saving lives during the Famine.

April 18th Thursday 5:30pm
Lecture and Book Signing by Tim Pat Coogan, Author of “The Famine Plot”
Author Tim Pat Coogan will discuss his latest book, “The Famine Plot,” and hold a book signing at the museum from 5:30 to 7:00pm at Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum.  “The Famine Plot” offers fresh insights into the famine’s causes, its unspeakable effects, the legacy of the famine mentality that followed immigrants across the Atlantic to the shores of the United States and the lasting effects on the population left behind.

Coogan, who is one of Ireland’s best known writers, wrote the 1966 book, “Ireland Since The Rising,” which was the first history of the 50 years that followed the 1916 Rising.  Coogan’s other works include best-selling biographies of Michael Collins and Eamon De Valera.

March 28th Thursday 5:00pm
Reading by Irish Poet Desmond Egan
Desmond Egan, founder and artistic director of the Gerard Manley Hopkins International Festival, will read his poetry, including the acclaimed collection “Famine,” at Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at 5:00pm. Following the reading, Egan will answer questions from the audience.

Egan, a full time writer who lives near Newbridge in County Kildare, has published 23 poetry collections. His poem, “Peace,” was translated into 35 languages as part of the “Peace for the Millennium” celebration. Egan has won numerous awards for his poetry during his career, including the Macedonian Poetry Prize, the Bologna Literary Award, The Farrell Prize, and the National Poetry Foundation of USA Award.

This event, which is sponsored by the English Department in the College of Arts and Sciences and Academic Affairs at Quinnipiac University, is free and open to the public.

March 14th Thursday 5:30pm
Musical performance by Irish and American Folk Artist Danny Quinn
Danny Quinn, an Irish and American folk musician, will perform from5:30pm to 7:00pm at Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum. Quinn, who has been entertaining audiences for nearly three decades, has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Ireland and England at concerts, coffee houses, festivals, corporate events and pubs. In addition to being an engaging entertainer, Quinn is also an accomplished songwriter with more than 40 published songs to his credit.

March 3rd Sunday 2:00pm
Lecture on Connecticut’s Irish Regiment During the Civil War at the New Haven Museum
The New Haven Museum, The Connecticut Irish American Historical Society, and Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University are pleased to present a lecture on the 9th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, Connecticut’s Irish regiment. The voices of the 9th Regiment, which included many of New Haven’s Irish, will be heard through Bob Larkin’s lecture at the New Haven Museum on Sunday March 3 at 2pm.

February 7th Thursday 5:30pm
Lecture and Book Signing by John Kelly, Author of “The Graves are Walking”
Author John Kelly will discuss his latest book, “The Graves are Walking: The Great Famine and the Saga of the Irish People,” from 5:30 to 6pm. Kelly will then hold a book signing from 6 to 7pm. “The Graves are Walking” is a magisterial account of one of the worst disasters to strike humankind – the Great Irish Potato Famine – conveyed as lyrical narrative history from the acclaimed author. Praised by historians and President Clinton, the book is deeply researched, compelling in its humanity and startling in its conclusions about the decisions behind this tragedy.

January 24th Thursday 5:30pm
Fiddle performance by Marie Reilly
Marie Reilly, a premier Irish fiddler who recently released her new album “The Anvil,” will perform from 5:30 to 6:30pm. Reilly, who is from County Longford, performs with a unique and distinctive Leitrim fiddle style passed down through eight generations. She was born into a family steeped in Irish traditional music; her grandfather, father and uncles were all distinctive fiddle players.

January 22nd Tuesday 5:00 – 7:00pm
Business After Hours
The Hamden Chamber of Commerce and Quinnipiac University’s community radio station AM 1220 WQUN are hosting a Business After Hours at Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum. Guests from the greater Hamden business community will see the museum’s critically acclaimed collection. Attendees will also receive a free ticket to the Quinnipiac Bobcats men’s hockey game versus The University of Connecticut at the TD Bank Sports Center immediately following the event.

Refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP to or 203-288-6431. Visit for more information. Parking is available on Woodruff Street.

January 1st–4th Tuesday–Friday 10pm
Broadcast Blighted Nation
Recorded in Ireland and New York, Blighted Nation explores how our country’s past resonates in the 21st century. In four one-hour radio programs broadcast on January 1, 2, 3 and 4 at 10pm on RTE Radio 1 in Ireland, Blighted Nation will explore the arrival of the blight and its catastrophic consequences, Britain’s response to the famine, mass emigration as well as its aftermath and legacy. Listeners can also hear the program topics discussed in more detail at (podcasts available for downloading)


November 8th Thursday 6pm
Lecture An Gorta Mór and ‘The Dismal Science’ of Political Economy
Given by David A. Valone, Professor and Chair of History, Quinnipiac University at Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, 3011 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, CT 06518 Light refreshments to be served prior to the lecture