Irish Famine Commemoration Fund

Published in Issue 3 (Autumn 1998), News, News, The Famine, Volume 6

To commemorate the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Irish Famine last year, Norma Smurfit commissioned Rowan Gillespie to create a work of art in honour of all those who died and suffered during the Famine. The bronze group sculpture (entitled ‘Famine’) deals with the subject of emigration and vividly portrays the extreme suffering and despair caused by hunger, poverty and homelessness—problems which still afflict many in the world today.
Both commissioner and artist felt the sculpture would not be complete until the figures were crossing an ocean of names cast in bronze and set into the cobble surround. A bronze plaque will replace the cobbles surrounding the monument and on it the names of Irish families will be cast in bronze. Through the support of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority and the Office of Public Works the sculpture, located on Dublin’s Custom House Quay, will now become a national memorial incorporating family names of those who wish to pay tribute to their ancestors, as well as assisting the homeless, unemployed and disadvantaged youth of Ireland today, by donating a minimum of £1,000. In addition companies from all over the world will have an opportunity to acknowledge their support by donating a minimum of £5,000 to have their company name cast in bronze on one of the many flagstones along Custom House Quay
The funds raised through this initiative (the target is £10 million) will be distributed to existing Irish charities through a board of trustees. The Bank of Ireland is financing the set-up and promotion of the fund and its contribution will ensure that moneys raised will go directly to the designated charities. Ernst & Young are the auditors.
Inquiries: Carol Murphy or Rachel McGrath, (01) 6685355, (086) 8179698, www.irishfaminefund.ie.

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