22 March 2006

McAleese to mark Davitt's centenary in UK


22/03/2006 - 11:09:35

**See also CAIN and
Michael Davitt Museum, Mayo

President Mary McAleese is to visit the UK next month to mark the centenary of the death of Land League founder Michael Davitt, it was confirmed today.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usMrs McAleese will unveil a plaque and attend an exhibition in honour of Davitt in Haslingden, Lancashire where he lived with his family from 1853-1867. (Click photo to view - image from CAIN)

The president’s spokeswoman said Mrs McAleese will also be guest of honour at a civic reception hosted by the Irish Democratic League Club.

Mrs McAleese will also use her two-day UK trip to visit Jesuit public school, Stoneyhurst College as well as Irish communities and voluntary groups in nearby Sheffield and Leeds.

The president’s visit on April 12-13 was approved by the British cabinet this week.

Michael Davitt was born near Foxford, Co Mayo during the Famine but moved to Lancashire in 1853 when his family was evicted from their farm.

Davitt began working in a cotton mill at the age of 10 but lost his right arm after an accident with a spinning machine.

The Land League was founded in 1879 with Charles Stewart Parnell as president and Davitt as secretary.

In 1882 Davitt was elected an MP for Co Meath and later for West Mayo.

Davitt died in Elphis Hospital, Dublin on May 30, 1906 from septic poisoning.

A museum now commemorates Davitt’s life and works in his birthplace in Straide, Co Mayo.

The bridge from Achill Island to the mainland is also named after him.

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