The Great Irish Famine Memorial
As you walk down Custom House Quay you will notice gripping statues. They are a striking reminder of a time gone when people who were suffering a great famine desperately emigrated from the country via ships out of Dublin.
Revealed in 1997 the Famine Memorial commemorates the large number of victims of the Great Famine (often referred to as the Potato Famine). The statues were designed by renowned Dublin sculptor Rowan Gillespie. They depict people who are starving walking towards the emigration ships on the Quayside.
During the the mid-19th century the staple diet of Ireland was the potato. The ultimate cause of the Great Famine was a result of the potato blight which attacked crops in Ireland during the 1840s. Due to the fact that so many were reliant on the potato crop for food, this blight caused a period of mass starvation, disease, and emigration. Around a million people died as a result of the Famine and another million people emigrated out of the country.
The census prior to the Famine recorded 8.1 million and after the Famine the population decreased to 6.5 million. Its estimated that the population should have grown to nearly 9 million within this time period. There was further decline in population following the famine and population of the entire Island is only approaching the 6.5 million figure now.