BY Peter Diamond | November 30 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

4 - memorial

Design chosen for Glasgow’s memorial to the Great Hunger

THE STATUE which will be Glasgow’s first memorial to those who died in the Great Irish Hunger has been unveiled, after a public consultation about the design.

Following submission of a scale model for the competition, the statue by Donegal artist John McCarron will now be made full-size, and will be erected within the grounds of St Mary’s Catholic Church in Glasgow’s East end.

Mr McCarron, from Buncrana, beat thousands of other artists to the commission for the first ever An Gorta Mor (Great Hunger) memorial in Scotland.

The memorial was commissioned to commemorate the millions who died of starvation or were forced to flee the effects the Great Hunger from 1845 to 1852.

Mr McCarron’s design, called ‘The Silent Tower’, depicts three thin, gaunt, emaciated semi-abstract figures representing those forced to leave Ireland, sitting on a three-metre-high steel plinth with engravings of a verse from the poem The Stricken Land and the words An Gorta Mór written on it.

The design inspired both the committee and the multi-generational Irish community of Glasgow, who took part in the public consultation last month and turned out in large numbers to hear the winner announced.

Hundreds of thousands of those displaced by the famine emigrated to Glasgow, helping to make the city what it is today.

Jeanette Findlay, chair of An Gorta Mór Glasgow, said: “This has been a long journey, having started this project in 2015. It is an important milestone for the project and for Glasgow.

“People had to emigrate or starve to death because of the British-engineered programme of starvation and eviction of the Irish people; hundreds of thousands came to Glasgow.

“It is only right their legacy and struggle are commemorated by their descendants in a permanent and fitting way.”

John McCarron, said: “The work submitted by my fellow artists was excellent, I felt honoured to have been part of the process and overwhelmed that my design has been picked.

“A memorial to a terrible event is worthy of a powerful statement.”

Joining the committee were special guests Irish Consul General in Scotland, Mark Hanniffy; the Chief Executive of Celtic PLC, Peter Lawwell and the Head of Sculpture and Environmental Art at the Glasgow School of Art, Paul Cosgrove who has offered his expertise to the committee throughout all the stages of the design competition.




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