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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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Chilling

Very short experience we just sort of stumbled across. Glad we saw it, though. It was chilling and information plaques were informative.

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
ClaudeGiraffe
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Ayr, United Kingdom
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1,551 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,189: English reviews
Ayr, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Very short experience we just sort of stumbled across. Glad we saw it, though. It was chilling and information plaques were informative.

Helpful?
Thank ClaudeGiraffe
Level Contributor
13 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

You cant miss these figures if you walk along the reiver towards the port. You just realise what is was like during the potato famine. Vist the Jeannnie Johnston too as there is a connection

Helpful?
Thank Kathleen B
Fayetteville, Georgia
Level Contributor
55 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This is a beautiful and haunting sculpture that is definitely worth walking to during your stay in Dublin.

Helpful?
Thank MNgirl4ever
New York
Level Contributor
123 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Artist Rowan Gillespie created this group of sculptures to remind all about the famine. They are moving pieces and executed with great detail. They are a must visit.

Helpful?
Thank saek
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
35 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Beautiful sculptures that cannot be missed. Sad, yet captivating. Great spot to stumble upon while walking by the river.

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Thank miamitrav76
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

A pleasant walk down the river to see this sculpture is worth every step. A very moving tribute to those that lost their lives during this terrible time. It is important to remember our past and learn from it.

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Thank Aaron C
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
154 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Sculpture on the North side of the river Liffey depicting characters from the time of the famine. Located close to the famine ship Jeanie Johnston, which is also well worth a visit

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Thank Barbara C
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

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

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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 1 week 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 1 week ago

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.

Helpful?
Thank Maria C

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