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The Famine Sculpture

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Address: 1, Hawthorn Terrace | Custom House Quarter, Dublin, Ireland
Phone Number:
353-1-605-7700
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Description:

'Famine' (1997) was commissioned by Norma Smurfit and presented to the City...

'Famine' (1997) was commissioned by Norma Smurfit and presented to the City of Dublin in 1997. The sculpture is a commemorative work dedicated to those Irish people forced to emigrate during the 19th century Irish Famine. The bronze sculptures were designed and crafted by Dublin sculptor Rowan Gillespie and are located on Custom House Quay in Dublin's Docklands.

This location is a particularly appropriate and historic as one of the first voyages of the Famine period was on the 'Perserverance' which sailed from Custom House Quay on St. Patrick's Day 1846. Captain William Scott, a native of the Shetland Isles, was a veteran of the Atlantic crossing, gave up his office job in New Brunswick to take the 'Perserverance' out of Dublin. He was 74 years old. The Steerage fare on the ship was £3 and 210 passengers made the historical journey. They landed in New York on the 18th May 1846. All passengers and crew survived the journey.

In June 2007, a second series of famine sculptures by Rowan Gillespie, was unveiled by President Mary McAleese on the quayside in Toronto's Ireland Park to remember the arrival of these refugees in Canada.

The World Poverty Stone

The World Poverty Stone is a commemorative stone marking the United Nations International Day for the Eradication of World Poverty. It is sited to the east of the Famine Sculptures on Custom House Quay in the heart of Dublin's Docklands.

This limestone memorial was commissioned as a gesture of solidarity with people living in poverty around the world. On the 17th of October 1987, in response to the call of Joseph Wresinski - founder of the International Movement ATD Fourth World - 100,000 defenders of human rights gathered in Paris to honour the victims of hunger, violence and ignorance, to express their refusal of extreme poverty and to call on people from all walks of life to unite to ensure respect for human rights. A commemorative stone proclaiming this message was inaugurated on this occasion on the Plaza of Human Rights and Liberties - where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948.

Since then, on the 17th of October each year, people from all walks of life, gather throughout the world to express their solidarity and commitment to ensure that everyone's dignity and freedom are respected. On 22nd of December 1992, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared 17th October the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. There are now over 30 replicas of the original stone now located around the world. These sites have become places of honour for people living in poverty in the world, places where people gather to reject the inevitability of poverty and social exclusion and places of friendship and solidarity where people from all backgrounds can gather together. Around the world, annual commemoration take place at the site of the stones to mark the 17th October UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

The artist - Stuart McGrath, based in Co. Wicklow, is a master craftsman; his training is in sculpture, architectural and classical stone carving. All of his stonecutting is done by hand using traditional methods.

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Moving memorial...

An excellent sculpture highlighting the suffering the Irish people endured in the hands of neglect of british rule.

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Liam D
,
Manchester, United Kingdom
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1,543 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,182: English reviews
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

An excellent sculpture highlighting the suffering the Irish people endured in the hands of neglect of british rule.

Helpful?
Thank Liam D
South Bend, Indiana
Level Contributor
87 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The Famine Sculpture near Hawthorn Terrace | Custom House Quarter, Dublin, Ireland, if your walking by you will see the memories of a group of people walking towards a mystical dream of a better life, happiness, the right to worship their religion, raise their children. Leaving with nothing on their back, very little money other then to pay for their... More 

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Thank Michael F
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
41 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

A great testament to the Irish and their experience. The figures are haunting and prick the conscience of those who might take Dublin for granted in it's current lyrical and charming state.

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Thank Maria C
London, United Kingdom
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62 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

by getting on the tour bus, we passed this and was told of the story of the famine which caused the plight for the famine. statues are well done and you can see the pain in their faces of what they must have gone through.

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Thank berty-c
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
53 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Not so much an attraction as a piece of sculpture set on the quays. It represents the time of the great famine in Ireland or as some have called it the great starvation. There was plenty of food in Ireland but most was exported to England or kept by the English land owners.

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Thank gerardd782
New York
Level Contributor
54 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

The figures are easy to miss on a rainy overcast day but they are well worth seeking out. The faces are especially haunting and the child being carried was heartbreaking.

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Thank Maura8385
Kristiansand, Norway
Level Contributor
38 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The sculptures gives you an idea how it must have been under the great famine. Irelands history is pack with pain and suffering.

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Thank 513kristianl
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
229 reviews
140 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 190 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

These kind of sculptures and monuments are very important to remind us how blessed we are nowadays and also not to forget what these poor people went through...It's a bit out of the way but well worth the walk. PS: if you are coming from Dublin airport by Airlink bus you can stop at the Convention centre just opposite the... More 

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Thank Leo B
Lancashire, United Kingdom
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57 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Again we just sort of stumbled upon these sculptures. They are all well done and excellent reminder of the horrors of the past.

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Thank Ingvar I
Beijing, China
Level Contributor
620 reviews
480 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This sculpture depicts the Irish Potato Famine that happened during the late 19th century, peasants and workers begged for food and some starved to death((( Very tragic like that of Holodomor in Ukraine and the Great Famine of China.

Helpful?
Thank Laxiaozi08200912

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