Great Hunger Memorial (Deer Island, Massachusetts)
In the late 1840s, the Boston Corporation erected a hospital on the island. Irish immigrants, who arrived on coffin ships, were quarantined there. 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. Their bodies were discovered during construction work done on the island in 1990.
The memorial is the result of decades long effort of a number of local Irish-American activists. Its construction was also championed by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority and other local officials.
The memorial was the brainchild of Michael Kearney, John Flaherty, Peter O’Malley, Bernard Callaghan, and the late William and Rita O’Connell. It was cut and engraved at a quarry in Pennsylvania. It was erected with the help of Feeney Brothers of Boston and Local 25 of the Teamsters Union.
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.
- "Great Hunger Memorial unveiled on Deer Island". WCVB. 26 May 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Fox, Jeremy C. (May 25, 2019). "Irish famine memorial dedicated on Deer Island". Boston Globe. Retrieved 27 May 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Woodcock, Sue Ellen (May 31, 2019). "Irish Memorial Dedicated on Deer Island". Winthrop Transcript. Retrieved 27 May 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Estrin, Robin (June 23, 1997). "A proper burial, 150 years later". South Coast Today. Retrieved 27 May 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- O'Hanlon, Rory (21 May 2019). "Great Hunger memorial rises in Boston Harbor". Irish Echo. Retrieved 27 May 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "MWRA Deer Island Memorials Project". www.mwra.state.ma.us.