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The Famine Sculpture

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Address: | Custom House Quay, 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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Beaten down figures across the river from a bank

This sculpture is supposed to represent the Irish who were forced to leave Ireland in the 19th century on account of the potato famine. Irish people have been forced to leave many... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 3 days ago
Meg08Ireland
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Ireland
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1,493 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,144: English reviews
Level Contributor
244 reviews
112 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

They have a long memory here and don't forget the distant past 1845 - my family were caught up in this so it was interesting

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Thank Michael S
Ireland
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12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

This sculpture is supposed to represent the Irish who were forced to leave Ireland in the 19th century on account of the potato famine. Irish people have been forced to leave many times since then and they are still leaving. The group of buildings across the river is the HQ of a major bank. When viewed together with the bank... More 

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Thank Meg08Ireland
Walsall, United Kingdom
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41 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

Made a rather long trek along the Liffey to see this sculpture and was not disappointed. A truly harrowing and thought provoking experience. The sight of this artistic impression of the famine stricken peasants shows just how hopeless their lives must have been. You can't help but feel touched by the grim reality they faced. The artist should be immensely... More 

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Thank IanMartin1963
England
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613 reviews
311 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 246 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This uncomplicated set of figures, set along side the River Liffey, is a dramatic interpretation of a dark time in Ireland's history, and should be respected.

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1 Thank MedEngland
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9 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Came across them by accident when we were walking around the city and enr to the Jeannie johnston...it was very emotional, the expressions of the faces was so sad, so glad we didnt miss seeing them

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1 Thank Karen R
Dublin, Ireland
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13 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

i just passed this way today! the skyline further up towards the point depo on the other side of the river has really changed. i couldnt beleive the buildings going up. the famine sculpture is worth a visit just to walk along that area. its not far from town ten minuet walk worth a look,

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Thank owenscars2014
San Diego, California
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216 reviews
83 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

we were trying to find the famous Famine sculpture (by Norma Smurfit), but had to ask directions. The Irish are some of the friendliest people, always stopping to say hello (if you don’t answer, you are being rude). So it was not difficult to be pointed in the right direction, and as I thought from the map, we were only... More 

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Thank Sa-i44
Reno, Nevada
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92 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Walk around each person in this display and look closely at the emotion that is visibly displayed. You get sense of the turmoil, burden of worry, and the uncertainty of the future that is displayed on each face. Even the dog has a look of concern about the future and the state of the famine.

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Thank MushaO590
Stourbridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

A provocative sculpture on the banks of the Liffey on the north bank near the city centre. A worthy commemoration of an unworthy period of time and events.

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Thank MrStripeyOss
Andover, Hampshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Very apt sculptures that really portray the struggles people had during this time, sad to see but also intriguing

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Thank Helen W

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