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Sunday, 3 November 2013

Memorials to the great hunger {worldwide}

The Great Hunger  of Ireland is memorialized in many locations throughout Ireland, especially in those regions that suffered the greatest losses, and also in cities overseas with large populations descended from Irish immigrants.

Whereas the landlord class had the resources to leave an indelible mark on the landscape, the Irish tenants lived in poverty and nothing of a physical nature has survived to commemorate their lives. Many memorials now serve to do just that.

Below you will find a list of memorials to all the sufferers of the great Irish Hunger. Not all are pretty but neither was the famine and what my Irish decedents went through. Many questions are still asked about, how and why this happened.

Ireland .....
  • Strokestown Park Famine Museum
  • Customs House Quays, Dublin. Painfully thin sculptural figures, by artist Rowan Gillespie, stand as if walking towards the emigration ships on the Dublin Quayside.
  • St Stephen's Green, Dublin. "Famine", a sculpture by Edward Delaney.
  • Limerick, The 'Broken Heart' Famine memorial by Maria Pizzuti, Lower Mallow Street. The sculpture, created in 1997, is a fountain in the shape of a broken heart in memory of the forced emigration of several thousands who fled to America and beyond from nearby Steamboat Quay. Also in Limerick city, the Pauper's Graveyard (now known as St Brigid's cemetery) in Killeely. Here a large timber cross was erected on the site of this mass graveyard. There are no headstones.
  • MurriskCounty Mayo. This sculpture of a famine ship, near the foot of Croagh Patrick, depicts the refugees it carries as dead souls hanging from the sides.
  • ClonesCounty Monaghan Famine Graveyard, Clones will host the National Famine Commemoration for 2011 with President Mary McAleese and other representatives from 30 Countries also taking part.
  • Donaghmore Famine Museum - set in Donaghmore Workhouse in County Laois.
  • Doolough Tragedy, County Mayo. A memorial commemorates famine victims who walked from Louisburgh along the mountain road to Delphi Lodge to seek relief from the Poor Board who were meeting there. Returning after their request was refused, many of them died at this point. This became known as the Doolough Tragedy.
  • Doagh IslandInishowenCounty Donegal. Doagh Visitor Centre and Famine Museum has exhibits and memorial on the effects of the famine in Inishowen, Donegal. [1]
  • EnnistymonCounty Clare. This was the first memorial in Ireland to honour those who suffered and were lost during the Great Famine. It is erected across the road from Ennistymon Hospital, built on the grounds of the local workhouse where an estimated 20,000 Irish died and a mass graveyard for children who perished and were buried without coffins.[1]
  • SligoCounty Sligo, has three memorial sculptures erected by the Sligo Famine Commemoration Committee.[2] One is at the quayside, of a family comforting each other, where 30,000 people emigrated between 1847 and 1851. The other two are the gates of a famine graveyard and of a tree (called Faoin Sceach) in the grounds of the graveyard, where approximately 2,000 famine victims are buried.
  • Newcastle WestCounty Limerick, The Famine Graveyard is at the rear of modern day St. Ita's Hospital. Hundreds of people who died during the famine are buried there in unmarked graves. The cemetery is marked by a plain old cross. Close by stands the Workhouse.
  • Kilkenny in the McDonagh Junction complex. The memorial is marked by a small garden, where many bodies were found during an excavation.
  • Ballingarry Famine Warhouse 1848. Widow McCormack's house, the site of the 1848 rebellion, has now been converted into a museum.
  • Thurles Famine Museum occupies St. Mary's church in Thurles. St. Mary's church is built on the site of another pre-reformation church dating to the 12th century. This site includes both war and Irish Famine memorials.
  • National Famine Monument, Murrisk, Westport, Co Mayo

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