The 2013 National Famine Commemoration has taken place in Kilrush, Co Clare.

Kilrush is one of the areas that suffered most between 1845 and 1852 from starvation, disease and emigration.

Evictions, fever and cholera reduced the population of southwest Clare to such an extent that it has never again attained its pre-famine numbers.

During a formal State ceremony, ambassadors to Ireland laid wreaths in remembrance of all those who suffered or perished during the Famine.

President Michael D Higgins, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan and members of the Defence Forces were in attendance.

Speaking at the event, Mr Deenihan said the Great Famine was a tragic time that could not be compared to any other event in Irish history.

He said the National Famine Commemoration Committee also wanted to raise awareness of hunger and food security issues world-wide.

"Our experience of famine in the past means that we are pre-disposed towards helping those suffering the effects of hunger and under-nutrition worldwide.

"We must continue to highlight these issues on a global scale, particularly during Ireland's presidency of the European Union."

The commemoration is an annual event marking the Great Famine.