Celtic will be upholding an important tradition against Hibs tomorrow.

When the Bhoys come out of the Easter Park tunnel, their kits will be adorned with a commemoration to those lost in an Gorta Mór, or the Great Famine.

Between 1845-1852, crop shortages caused the deaths of over a million [Ross, 2002], and forced scores more to flee their homeland. More recent studies on an Gorta Mór have asked whether it was a natural disaster or genocide [Independent.ie]. Its shadow has effected demographic shifts in Scotland, the United States, Australia and across the world. Undoubtedly, the Great Famine’s scars can still be felt in the modern day.

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Celtic announced in a statement [Celtic FC]:

“To once again recognise the tragedy of The Great Hunger, Celtic will wear its own National Famine Memorial crest on the club jersey when the players take to the field this Saturday (May 12th) for our match against Hibernian at Easter Road stadium.

 

“Unquestionably, the Great Hunger, An Gorta Mor, was a transforming event in Ireland, which changed the demographic and cultural landscape forever. Indeed, there is nothing else in the history of the Irish people that can be likened to the Great Hunger, either for its immediate impact, or its legacy of emigration, cultural loss and decline of the Irish language.”

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Statue of Brother Walfrid outside Celtic Park

Statue of Brother Walfrid outside Celtic Park / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

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The statement continued:

“The origins of Celtic Football Club will forever be connected to the Great Famine and it is hugely important that we once again mark this annual memorial.

“Celtic was established to help people whose families had previously escaped the devastation of the Great Famine. It is important that we always remember the devastating and lasting effect which the Famine had on the lives of so many millions of people and we are pleased again to play our part in this year’s commemoration.”

As stark a message as this is somewhat refreshing for Celtic supporters. One thing the club has never been shy of is embracing the impact of an Gorta Mór, and its pivotal role in history.

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