Suitable setting for a famine memorial

AS today has been designated National Famine Memorial Day by Eamon O Cuiv to commemorate the greatest tragedy inflicted on Ireland, it is fitting schools and sporting associations have indicated they will observe a minute’s silence this weekend.

May I suggest a more tangible memorial be commissioned by the state. It has been reported Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown county councillors have opposed the return of the Gateway sculpture near the Pavilion Plaza there and a subsequent number of calls have been made to the local council to initiate a contest inviting sculptors to create something more appropriate for the area.

What could be more appropriate than a sculpture of a replica famine ship in memory of the vast army of our unfortunate ancestors who left these shores, many from the Dublin port, to escape the starvation, disease and destitution that ravaged our land during the Great Famine, at a time when Ireland remained a net exporter of food to Britain and the world.

May I further suggest that this memorial, if sanctioned, be located adjacent to the recently-restored Victoria Fountain, erected in honour of Queen Victoria, Ireland’s “Famine Queen”.

Tom Cooper

Delaford Lawn

Knocklyon

Dublin 16

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