Irish Hunger Memorial

The Irish Hunger Memorial is a 0.5-acre (0.20 ha)[1] park at the corner of Vesey Street and North End Avenue in the Battery Park City neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City. The memorial is dedicated to raising awareness of the Great Irish Hunger, referred to as An Gorta Mór in Irish, in which over one million starved to death between 1845 and 1852 as a result of British policies that prioritized the exportation of profitable foods as most of the potato crop was wiped out by a fungus-like organism called Phytophthora infestans (or P. infestans).[2]

Irish Hunger Memorial cottage

Construction of the memorial began in March 2001, and despite the September 11 attacks on the nearby World Trade Center, which also affected surrounding areas, the memorial was completed and dedicated on July 16, 2002.[3]

The memorial, designed collaboratively by artist Brian Tolle, landscape architect Gail Wittwer-Laird, and architecture firm 1100 Architect, is landscaped with stones, soil, and native vegetation transported from the western coast of Ireland — with stones from every Irish county.

An authentic Irish cottage from 19th century Carradoogan, in the parish of Attymass, County Mayo, belonged to the Slack family — and was deserted in the 1960s.[3] The Slack family donated the cottage to the memorial in "memory of all the Slack family members of previous generations who emigrated to America and fared well there."[3][4]

In August 2016, the memorial was temporarily closed for waterproofing work and was reopened in August 2017.[5]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Brian Tolle Irish Hunger Memorial, 2002". Battery Park City. 2002. Archived from the original on September 26, 2012. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
  2. ^ Murphy, Brian (January 5, 2013). "Was the Famine genocide by the British?". Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Smith, Roberta (July 16, 2002). "A Memorial Remembers The Hungry". The New York Times. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
  4. ^ "Slack History". Archived from the original on June 11, 2017. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
  5. ^ "Irish Hunger Memorial WaterProofing Project". Battery Park City Authority. Retrieved January 3, 2018.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 40°42′54.5″N 74°00′59.5″W / 40.715139°N 74.016528°W / 40.715139; -74.016528