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Great Irish Famine : 26-May-2013
Great Irish Famine : 26-May-2013

Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams

The monument commemorates all who perished in the famine, those who left Ireland for other lands and to the Orphan Girls and Young Women who came to Australia as part of the Earl Grey scheme between 1848 and 1850.

The 420 names etched in the glass panels of the memorial represent all 4114 workhouse emigrants. By extension the names reflect ALL those people who died or fled the Famine. As this is an artwork is is not possible to add or remove any of the names. These names were put there at the request of relatives following replies to advertisments in various newspapers when the Memorial was being designed. The fading is part of the memorial - as their names fade on the glass so does the memory of some of these young female immigrants.

The Irish Famine Monument was commissioned by the Historic Houses Trust of NSW (HHT) [name changed to Sydney Living Museums in 2014] and funded by donations from Government bodies, the Land Titles Office and the Irish Community. It was inspired by the call of the President of Ireland, Mary Robinson during her Sydney visit in 1995, that all Irish communities remember the Irish Famine and strive to alieviate poverty in the world today.

The Great Famine of Ireland resulted in a mass exodus from Ireland. Between 1845 and 1850, more than a million Irish people starved to death while massive quantities of food were being exported from their country. A half million were evicted from their homes during the potato blight, and 1,500,000 starving and destitute people emigrated to America, Britain and Australia, often on board rotting, overcrowded "coffin ships".


Address:Macquarie Street, Hyde Park Barracks Museum, Sydney, 2000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.869567
Long: 151.212383
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Disaster
Approx. Event Start Date:1845
Approx. Event End Date:1848
Designer:Paul Carter (soundscape)
Artist:Angela & Hossein Valamanesh


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 28th August, 1999
Front Inscription

An Leacht cuimhneacháin Astrálach i gcomóradh
           an Ghorta Mhóir i n-Éirinn


Hyde Park Barracks, built in 1817-1819 to house male convicts, 
was adapted in 1848 as an Immigration Depot for unaccompanied 
female migrants. Many of these women and girls were refugees from the 
Great Irish Famine of 1845 - 1848.  This monument is a memorial to the Famine and a celebration of the Irish contribution to Australia.

Artists Hossein & Angela Valamanesh. 1999

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au