Ireland to commemorate 150th anniversary of famine Events: Readings, songs, a candle-lighting and other activities are being planned to mark 'Black '47,' the worst year.

Travel Q&A

March 09, 1997|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

We plan to travel to Ireland this year and would like information on events commemorating the Great Famine.

Hundreds of thousands of people died and more than 1 million emigrated from Ireland during the famine from 1845 to 1850; 1997 marks 150 years since "Black '47," considered the worst year.

One major project designed to commemorate the tragedy and recognize the emigrants' contributions is the Great Irish Famine Event on May 31 and June 1 in County Cork.

The event will include "The Gathering" on May 31 at Drishane Castle, with readings and songs and the lighting of a Famine Candle by Ireland's president, Mary Robinson. Also, there will be a concert June 1 celebrating Irish culture.

In Cobh (the port for Cork), a copy of a 19th-century ship, carrying flowers in memory of the emigrants, will set sail June 1, to lay the flowers at sea.

A single ticket for both days' events is about $171, calculated at $1.71 in United States currency to the Irish punt, including a contribution of $102. Information or reservations: (800) 586-3197. The event has a Web site at http: //www.-famine.ie/.

A Boston-based company is arranging packages around the event; contact Conferences International, 25 Huntington Ave., Suite 607, Boston, Mass. 02116; (617) 266-5800 or (800) 221-8747, fax (617) 266-5886.

I plan to visit Britain with my mother, a fan of the author Rosamunde Pilcher. We want to tour Cornwall, where many of her books are set. Are there agencies that arrange small tours with emphasis on the artistic community and include visits to St. Ives and St. Michael's Mount?

Rosamunde Pilcher, whose novels were once described in People magazine as "Martha Stewart with a plot," grew up in Cornwall. An introduction to the region is "The World of Rosamunde Pilcher" (St. Martin's Press, $30).

To learn more about this region, contact the St. Ives Tourist Information Center, the Guildhall, Street-an-Pol, Cornwall TR26 2DS, telephone 1736 796297, fax 798309. St. Ives, a seaside resort, is home to many artists. In 1993, the Tate Gallery of St. Ives opened there. Cornwall Tour Guides Associates, (44 1736) 810 287, fax (44 1209) 612 675, can arrange personalized tours by car, for $106 (at 56 pence to $1) for a half-day tour for two people and $160 for a full day, plus about 50 cents a mile and admission fees.

St. Michael's Mount was built in 1135 as a fortified Benedictine priory. Like its French counterpart, Mont St.-Michel, it is offshore on what becomes an island at high tide. It is reachable by boat from Marazion, about two miles east of Penzance, home to the Penzance and District Museum and Art Gallery, which -- besides archaeological exhibits -- displays works by area artists from 1700 to the early 20th century.

The most convenient way to reach Cornwall from London is probably by train. A round-trip ticket between London and Penzance is $203 first class, $123 standard.

Pub Date: 3/09/97

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