Great Hunger Memorial (Deer Island, Massachusetts)

The Great Hunger Memorial is a 16-foot tall Celtic cross located on Deer Island in Boston Harbor.[1][2]

In the late 1840s, the Boston Corporation erected a hospital on the island.[3] Irish immigrants, who arrived on coffin ships, were quarantined there.[3] The memorial commemorates the 850 people who died on the island between 1847 and 1850, as they were trying to escape the Great Irish Famine.[2] Their bodies were discovered during construction work done on the island in 1990.[4]

The memorial is the result of decades long effort of a number of local Irish-American activists.[5] Its construction was also championed by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority and other local officials.[2][3][6]

The memorial was the brainchild of Michael Kearney, John Flaherty, Peter O’Malley, Bernard Callaghan, and the late William and Rita O’Connell.[3][5] It was cut and engraved at a quarry in Pennsylvania.[3] It was erected with the help of Feeney Brothers of Boston and Local 25 of the Teamsters Union.[3]

The monument was dedicated on May 25, 2019 in a ceremony attended by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Cardinal Sean O’Malley. The dedication included a speech from Boston City Archivist John J. McColgan.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Great Hunger Memorial unveiled on Deer Island". WCVB. 26 May 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b c d Fox, Jeremy C. (May 25, 2019). "Irish famine memorial dedicated on Deer Island". Boston Globe. Retrieved 27 May 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b c d e f Woodcock, Sue Ellen (May 31, 2019). "Irish Memorial Dedicated on Deer Island". Winthrop Transcript. Retrieved 27 May 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Estrin, Robin (June 23, 1997). "A proper burial, 150 years later". South Coast Today. Retrieved 27 May 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ a b O'Hanlon, Rory (21 May 2019). "Great Hunger memorial rises in Boston Harbor". Irish Echo. Retrieved 27 May 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "MWRA Deer Island Memorials Project". www.mwra.state.ma.us.

Coordinates: 42°21′07″N 70°57′52″W / 42.351924°N 70.964553°W / 42.351924; -70.964553