Irish Hunger Memorial
Commissioned by the Battery Park City Authority, the Irish Hunger Memorial by artist Brian Tolle raises public awareness of the events that led to the Irish famine of 1845-52 and to encourage efforts to address current and future hunger worldwide. The famine and lack of work is what brought millions of Irish immigrants to New York City and the US.
The memorial represents a rural Irish landscape with an abandoned stone cottage, stone walls, fallow potato fields and the flora on the north Connacht wetlands. It is both a metaphor for the Great Irish Famine and a reminder that hunger today is often the result of lack of access to land.
The memorial contains stones from each of Ireland’s 32 counties, and is elevated on a limestone plinth. Along the base are bands
of texts separated by layers of imported Kilkenny limestone. The text, which combines the history of the Great amine with contemporary reports on world hunger, is cast as shadow onto illuminated frosted glass panels.
For a pdf that includes plants of the memorial and the location of stones from Irish counties, click here.