Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park City, NY

Irish Hunger Memorial

You’ve probably passed this place a million times without even realizing that it exists.

The Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park City is just one example of how important people's stories can be to those who visit and remember them, as well as ourselves in remembering our pasts so we never repeat any mistakes made by previous generations.

The memorial tells the gripping story of Ireland's Great Irish Hunger, during which over one million people starved to death when their crops were ruined by a fungus-like organism called Phytophthora infestans.

The memorial is dedicated to raising awareness of the Great Irish Hunger, referred to as An Gorta Mór in Irish.

The September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center had an adverse effect on construction of a memorial in downtown Manhattan. Despite this, it was completed and dedicated by July 16th 2002 following more than two years worth of work from volunteers who donated their time to make sure we never forget what happened that day so close to home.

The natural stones from Ireland’s 32 counties are used in this memorial. Visitors can follow paths leading to a viewing point on an elevated limestone plinth, which provides them with stunning views of what's going inside.

The text along the base of this statute is cast in an interesting way, combining contemporary reports on world hunger with history from Ireland during The Great Famine. Lit by frosted glass panels that were imported from Kilkenny limestone and illuminated with shadows.

The gardens are filled with fallow potato fields and type of flora that can be found on the north Connacht wetlands. It is both a metaphor for Ireland's Great Famine as well as an reminder that world hunger today often arises from lack of access to land, just like it did.

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