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One a day Live

Watch: Jeremy Irons gives Oscar-worthy recital of letter sent by Cork man during famine

A powerful recitation was given by a local resident in West Cork today of a letter sent by an Irish man to the Duke Of Wellington during the Great Famine.

That speaker happened to be none other than British actor Jeremy Irons.

Having starred in films such as The Winter's Tale, Macbeth, and the Merchant of Venice, the Oscar-winner displayed his soliloquy skills at Reen Farm today as part of the Coming Home Event / West Cork Garden Trail Celebration Evening.

The actor gave a powerful and poignant reading of the letter sent by local JP, N.M Cummins to the Duke Of Wellington on Christmas Eve 1846.

The letter recounted the astonishing and horrifying conditions by which the people of West Cork were suffering through as The Great Hunger began.

Jeremy Irons giving a recitation at Reen Farm, West Cork as part of the Coming Home Event / West Cork Garden Trail Celebration Evening. Photo: Michael MacSweeney/Provision

The reading was part of the Coming Home: Art & The Great Hunger exhibition, organised by Uilinn and West Cork Arts Centre.

Artist John Kelly and his wife Christina welcomed the public to the farm for a one-off special event with guided tours and performances.

The content of the letter has even more resonance given the location at where it was being read: the couple has created a fascinating sculptural garden overlooking the Atlantic Ocean at their home, which is the location of the first recorded deaths from An Gorta Mór.

Digital Desk