Historians, folklorists, locals and visitors alike will delight in the forthcoming conference in Carna on Fri 4th and Sat 5th of October when James Hack Tuke, will be honoured. Philanthropist, Quaker and unsung hero of Connemara, Tuke dedicated his life to improving the distress of the poor in counties Galway and Mayo. He initiated an assisted emigration scheme, known as the ‘Tuke Fund’ that supported nearly 10,000 people leaving the western seaboard to a better life in America and Canada.
Funded by Galway County Council and organised by the Heritage Office, Galway County Council in partnership with the Tuke Emigration Project Clifden Committee, the Tuke Emigration Project Oughterard Committee, Dr Gerard Moran and An tIonad Cuimhneacháin na nImirceach, Carna, Co. na Gaillimhe the conference will honour the bicentenary of his birth, 13 Sept 1819 at An tIonad Cuimhneacháin na nImirceach, Carna, Co. na Gaillimhe.
The full two-day programme will cover many aspects of Mr Tuke’s life, the social and economic conditions of the time as well as the stories from some of the descendants. It will be opened on Friday night by Professor Christine Kinealy, director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute, Quinnipiac University, USA. There will be lectures from such notables as: Dr Gerard Moran, researcher at the Social Science Research Centre, NUI; Sara Smith from the National Library; Patria McWalter, Archivist at Galway County Council; Rosemarie Geraghty local history researcher attached to Deirbhle Heritage Centre, Blacksod, Co. Mayo and Paul Wright, radio producer and award-winning writer.
There will be personal stories from Leslie Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota whose great-grandmother emigrated from Camus as part of the scheme, and Geraldine Mills, Galway whose new poetry collection, Bone Road, (Arlen House) documents the journey of her ancestors who emigrated from Black Sod in 1883. There will be music by local musicians: Clann Uí Cheannabháin, and an art exhibition by Scoil Phobail Mhic Dara, Carna.
The event is free but booking is essential on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/remembering-james-hack-tuke-and-his-assisted-emigration-schemes-tickets-72873900799
For further enquiries please contact Gráinne Smyth, Forward Planning, Áras an Chontae, Galway County Council, Prospect Hill, Galway, Ireland. Tel: 00353 91 509121. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or
Ms. Marie Mannion, Heritage Officer, Forward Planning, Áras an Chontae, Galway County Council, Prospect Hill, Galway. Tel: 00353 91 509198/087 9088387 or E-mail: email@example.com