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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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Odd

It's a very moving installation, but walking past it in the deadest dark of winter on a wet and blustery evening the figures are quite creepy,They sort of come out of the darkness... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Pinkneonmartini
,
Wilmslow, United Kingdom
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1,531 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,171: English reviews
Wilmslow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
60 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

It's a very moving installation, but walking past it in the deadest dark of winter on a wet and blustery evening the figures are quite creepy,They sort of come out of the darkness at you. Much less terrifying during the day, though it was disrespectful to see people taking selfies with them.

Helpful?
Thank Pinkneonmartini
SeaTac, Washington
Level Contributor
31 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

We traveled in 2012. They're beautifully sculpted. Their faces show their sorrow and their hope. Well worth a stop

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Thank DaisyTaylor
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

This is on the north side of the river Liffey, pretty much right across from Temple Bar. It's pretty interesting and makes for some good pictures.

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Thank Patrick C
Dublin
Level Contributor
54 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Those statues were erected to commemorate the Irish Famine that struck Ireland in the years 1845-1849. Although I find the statues nicely done and a bit scary in the sense that the artist managed to give them a scary twist, rendering the effect of starvation on people. Those statues are nice, but being a bit out of the way I... More 

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Thank Xavier R
NW Ohio
Level Contributor
219 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This was a sad experience for me, especially knowing the suffering my ancestors must have endured before emigrating to the USA.

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Thank NWOhioGuy
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Very impressive sculpture. Don't miss it when you are taking a walk along Liffey. Helps when you read the story behind it.

Helpful?
Thank Bina K
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I walk by this group of statues quite often and they never fail to incite my thought process they capture the essence of the famine

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Thank Sindy147
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
128 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Constantly we were reminded of these injustices and it smacks the Irish are still bitter and twisted! Look around the world today and its still happening, but worse! This is most certainly a significant spoiler on our two day break!

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Thank NIGEL B
Downers Grove, Illinois
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The sculptures are placed on the sidewalk and can be viewed at no cost besides the time and effort to find them. The figures appear to be moving toward a Famine Ship docked nearby. The ship, Jeanie Johnston is worth a visit as well. Anyone with immigrant ancestry and/or an interest in history, will be intrigued.

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Thank ijr1505
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
41 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

located down at Dublin Financial Centre and Docks this sculpture is on the river liffey side. For Irish people, it is a reminder of the struggles of poor Irish people during the potato blight. For tourists, it is a beautiful set of sculptures denoting poor Irish people during the famine period. Beautiful reminder of our past.

Helpful?
Thank Viv S

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