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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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Dublin Liffey River Cruise
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US$10.44*
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Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship and Famine Museum Tour in Dublin
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US$65.95*
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Shore Excursion: Galway Guided Bicycle Tour

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Moving

Along side the Liffey this beautiful sculpture stands movingly beautiful representing the people who died during the famine

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 days ago
Joy D
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Poole, United Kingdom
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1,578 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,209: English reviews
Poole, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Along side the Liffey this beautiful sculpture stands movingly beautiful representing the people who died during the famine

Helpful?
Thank Joy D
Metz, France
Level Contributor
30 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Thoughtful and emotive sculpture showing the plight of the Irish during the famine. You can hear stories, but seeing the sculpture brings home the torment they went through. Enough to cross 3000 miles in a small ship to the USA.

Helpful?
Thank Deborah M
washington
Level Contributor
37 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

I accidently came across this sculpture while walking around Dublin. It moved me emotionally. You could feel their pain.

Helpful?
Thank travelsnearandfar
Level Contributor
27 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

A great place to stop off while walking on the river. An interesting group of sculptures. The dog add a magical touch

Helpful?
Thank Triscan P
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Wow. These sculptures are amazing. They really make you feel sad and sympathetic to the plight of over a million people who starved.

Helpful?
Thank Bern S
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
180 reviews
116 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This is one of the more unique sculptures/statues around Dublin. It is evocative and makes you really think about that time in Irish history. It's definitely one for both locals and people on holiday. Definitely make this a stop as it's right along the river and it can be part of a longer walk.

Helpful?
Thank Amena317
Lincoln, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
60 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This is near our hotel so we walked past it several times and every time, we stopped and looked for a while. It is extremely evocative.

Helpful?
Thank halcyon_times
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

A must see in Dublin. I recommend that you get to know some of Ireland's history in advance, to be able to appreciate the sculpture.

Helpful?
Thank kdanie
Stanley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Found these figures as we walked along the river, they were quite an eye opener - all those poor people who suffered, made me feel humbled.

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Thank Heather C
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
92 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

the gaunt figures are meant to memoralise the victims of the Potato famine, however there is little information as to what it was who and how many suffered or the causes, so unless you are Irish or a historian you will gain little knowledge about the events which led to death and migration which halved Ireland's population .

Helpful?
Thank Jim S

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