Irish Famine Memorial
St Luke's Church, St Luke's Place / Leece Street, Liverpool L1

Picture by Dave Wood 
Sculptor: Eamon O’Doherty

Ireland is unique in Europe, its population today barely more than it was in 1850. The Great Hunger (An Drochshaol in Irish) saw around one million Irish people die in the three years from 1846 to 1849. Approximately 1.3 million people emigrated to or through Liverpool, where 7000 died from the diseases of famine and squalor in one year alone. Some estimates suggest that 300,000 arrived in Liverpool during the famine and the response of the authorities of the time was far removed from the model of paternal assistance that is sometimes portrayed. Martial Law, forcible deportation to the colonies or back to Ireland and indifference or hostility from the general public (save for the existing Irish community) were the order of the day. O’ Doherty is one of Ireland's most famous public artists whose work may be seen in many of its major cities. Visitors to the centre of Dublin will be familiar with his sculpture depicting Anna Livia Plurabelle, affectionately nick-named the 'Floozie in the Jacuzzi' by the city's residents.


Alan Maycock 2008

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