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Address: 1, Hawthorn Terrace | Custom House Quarter, Dublin, Ireland
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Recommended length of visit: <1 hour

'Famine' (1997) was commissioned by Norma Smurfit and presented to the City...

'Famine' (1997) was commissioned by Norma Smurfit and presented to the City of Dublin in 1997. The sculpture is a commemorative work dedicated to those Irish people forced to emigrate during the 19th century Irish Famine. The bronze sculptures were designed and crafted by Dublin sculptor Rowan Gillespie and are located on Custom House Quay in Dublin's Docklands.

This location is a particularly appropriate and historic as one of the first voyages of the Famine period was on the 'Perserverance' which sailed from Custom House Quay on St. Patrick's Day 1846. Captain William Scott, a native of the Shetland Isles, was a veteran of the Atlantic crossing, gave up his office job in New Brunswick to take the 'Perserverance' out of Dublin. He was 74 years old. The Steerage fare on the ship was £3 and 210 passengers made the historical journey. They landed in New York on the 18th May 1846. All passengers and crew survived the journey.

In June 2007, a second series of famine sculptures by Rowan Gillespie, was unveiled by President Mary McAleese on the quayside in Toronto's Ireland Park to remember the arrival of these refugees in Canada.

The World Poverty Stone

The World Poverty Stone is a commemorative stone marking the United Nations International Day for the Eradication of World Poverty. It is sited to the east of the Famine Sculptures on Custom House Quay in the heart of Dublin's Docklands.

This limestone memorial was commissioned as a gesture of solidarity with people living in poverty around the world. On the 17th of October 1987, in response to the call of Joseph Wresinski - founder of the International Movement ATD Fourth World - 100,000 defenders of human rights gathered in Paris to honour the victims of hunger, violence and ignorance, to express their refusal of extreme poverty and to call on people from all walks of life to unite to ensure respect for human rights. A commemorative stone proclaiming this message was inaugurated on this occasion on the Plaza of Human Rights and Liberties - where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948.

Since then, on the 17th of October each year, people from all walks of life, gather throughout the world to express their solidarity and commitment to ensure that everyone's dignity and freedom are respected. On 22nd of December 1992, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared 17th October the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. There are now over 30 replicas of the original stone now located around the world. These sites have become places of honour for people living in poverty in the world, places where people gather to reject the inevitability of poverty and social exclusion and places of friendship and solidarity where people from all backgrounds can gather together. Around the world, annual commemoration take place at the site of the stones to mark the 17th October UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

The artist - Stuart McGrath, based in Co. Wicklow, is a master craftsman; his training is in sculpture, architectural and classical stone carving. All of his stonecutting is done by hand using traditional methods.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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It just takes a few minutes to walk through this ensemble but it really spoke to me. As a descendent of an Irishwoman who left with her family to America, it struck a chord. Like... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
Silver Spring, Maryland
via mobile
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1,667 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,274: English reviews
Rota, Spain
Level Contributor
28 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

Interesting but not an exhibit I would go out of my way to see. If you are walking the north side of the river along the quay the stop and take a look, else observe it from one of the many bus tours around the city as you pass.

Thank Timm S
Dublin Ireland
Level Contributor
273 reviews
134 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Situated on the side of the river Liffey it is a symbol of what the famine in Ireland in the 1840's was like. Nice work but depressing and probably in the wrong place. Sorry but it does nothing for me and I wouldn't go out of my way to see it.

Thank keegan_9
Silver Spring, Maryland
Level Contributor
342 reviews
97 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

It just takes a few minutes to walk through this ensemble but it really spoke to me. As a descendent of an Irishwoman who left with her family to America, it struck a chord. Like some other statues in Dublin, it captures a feeling.

Thank JE01
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
40 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

The first time I saw these statues, I actually thought that they were actors playing the famine role as they are so life like. The fact that they are depicted as struggling to walk reinforces the type of struggle they had to endure those many years ago. Fantastic work of art.

Thank John F
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

But that´s only it. Harrowing figures for an important piece of Irish history. But it´s way over the docks by the Lieffey, so don´t go out of the way just to see it.

Thank brunocfer
Tobaccoville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

This is right by the river Liffey near the Jeannie Johnston ship and museum. Very simple and moving memorial.

Thank edgefield2017
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
18 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

A must for visitors to Dublin, and of course, free. It can also be quite hard hitting, but history is truth.

Thank timbookthree
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
47 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

A few statues but not much else. A photo opportunity - but no cultural or historical context about the Great Famine, the causes, the consequences, the numbers who died and emigrated - and the scale of human suffering in this great tragedy.

Thank John M
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

I visited the Famine Memorial which is located along the Quays in Dublin. The Famine Memorial remembers "the victims of the Great Famine and their descendants who have done so much to build Canada" Jean Chretien, Prime Minister of Canada. The Famine Memorial is made up of haunting sculptures which will no doubt touch the visitors' hearts.

Thank porterIreland
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
300 reviews
83 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

This whole area by the Liffey is worth exploring. The sculptures are harrowing when one considers the poverty and dire circumstances of the famine.

Thank Terence B

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