By Irish America Staff
October / November 2001
The first stones of the Mayo cottage that will be the focal point of the Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park City in New York were laid in place on July 17th. The memorial, designed by artist Brian Tolle, will bring visitors into the original 1830s cottage, and will serve as a portal to a landscape abandoned and devastated by the famine. Donated by the Slack family, originally of Mayo, the cottage, as well as the surrounding stone walls, were dismantled in Ireland in May, and shipped to New York. In addition, the site will feature a stone from all 32 counties so that visitors can touch a piece of their individual heritage.
While it is a memorial, it focuses on the present. Standing with a view of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, visitors are reminded of An Gorta Mor (The Great Hunger) while inscriptions throughout the site inform them of the hunger still stalking the world today. Expectations have the Irish Hunger Memorial completed and dedicated on March 14, 2002. ♦