“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Downtown in Cleveland in Cuyahoga County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Irish Famine Memorial

Cleveland Remembers “The Great Hunger” — An Gorta Mór

— Ireland’s Potato Famine 1845–50. —

Irish Famine Memorial image. Click for full size.
By sculptor Paula Blackman and carver Eamon D’Arcy. Photograph by J. J. Prats, June 21, 2019
1. Irish Famine Memorial
Inscription.  This memorial commemorates the passing of 150 years since the misery known as “The Great Hunger,” a carnage visited upon the Irish nation diminishing her population by millions. As a result of imposed political and economic structures, many of the Irish were driven to the potato alone for survival. Consequently, Ireland’s people starved to death, or were forced to emigrate, many dying on “coffin ships” en route. This is one of the most tragic and significant events in Irish history.

LEST WE FORGET: To those who died, to those who came and enriched our Cleveland shores, we dedicate this monument to you.
Erected 2000 by the Greater Cleveland Irish Community on the anniversary of the “Great Hunger” in the year of our Lord, 2000.
Topics. This historical marker and memorial is listed in these topic lists: DisastersNotable Events.
Location. 41° 29.676′ N, 81° 42.153′ W. Marker is in Cleveland, Ohio, in Cuyahoga County. It is in Downtown.
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Marker is on Merwin Avenue north of Center Street, on the left when traveling north. It is under the Detroit Avenue (US Route 6) bridge. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1570 Merwin Ave, Cleveland OH 44113, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Alexis de Tocqueville (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ohio and Erie Canal (about 400 feet away); John D. Rockefeller, 1839-1937 / The Standard Oil Company (about 700 feet away); Moses Cleaveland’s “Capital Town” (about 800 feet away); Moses Cleaveland Survey (approx. 0.2 miles away); Industrialists & Early Skyscrapers (approx. ¼ mile away); Rockefeller Building (approx. ¼ mile away); Hardware Industry (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cleveland.
Regarding Irish Famine Memorial. The famine was exacerbated by the prevailing landlord-land manager-tenant system. When tenants did not pay their rents they were evicted and their homes torn down. See caption on image number 5.
Also see . . .  Wikipedia entry. “The famine and its effects permanently changed the island’s demographic, political, and cultural landscape, producing an estimated two million refugees and spurring a century-long population decline. For both the native Irish and those in the resulting diaspora, the famine
Irish Famine Memorial image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, June 21, 2019
2. Irish Famine Memorial
“Irish Famine Memorial. Dedicated September 16, 2000.” Celtic cross carved on the reverse.
entered folk memory. The already strained relations between many Irish and the British Crown soured further both during and after the famine, heightening ethnic and sectarian tensions, and boosting Irish nationalism and republicanism in Ireland and among Irish emigrants in the United States and elsewhere.” (Submitted on July 21, 2019.) 
Irish Famine Memorial image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, June 21, 2019
3. Irish Famine Memorial
This view is from Heritage Park, across the Cuyahoga River to the far bank. Monument is in Settler’s Landing Park.
Close Up of Brass Artwork on Monument image. Click for full size.
Artwork by Paula Blackman, September 16, 2000. Photograph by J.J. Prats, June 21, 2019
4. Close Up of Brass Artwork on Monument
It appears to be a depiction of Bridget O’Donnell and her two children, with a “coffin ship” sailing the Atlantic in the lower right.
Bridget O’Donnell and Her Two Children image. Click for full size.
Engraving in the Illustrated London News via Wikipedia Commons, December 22, 1849
5. Bridget O’Donnell and Her Two Children
“Her story is briefly this:-- ‘. . .we were put out last November; we owed some rent. I was at this time lying in fever. . . they commenced knocking down the house, and had half of it knocked down when two neighbours, women, Nell Spellesley and Kate How, carried me out. . . I was carried into a cabin, and lay there for eight days, when I had the creature [the child] born dead. I lay for three weeks after that. The whole of my family got the fever, and one boy thirteen years old died with want and with hunger while we were lying sick.’”
Credits. This page was last revised on February 4, 2023. It was originally submitted on July 21, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 712 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 21, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.

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Mar. 4, 2024