This was definitely the highlight of the visit. I didn’t even know of the existence of this amazing sculpture. It the Great Hunger Memorial by Eamonn O’Doherty (1939-2011). It was was unveiled on June 24, 2001 to commemorate the suffering of millions of Irish peasants who died from the potato famine or were forced to leave their country. According to O’Doherty it consists of three parts. The first represents five members of an Irish family group.

The second element depicts the deserted shell of the homestead they were forced to leave.

The third element refers to the potato blight and consists of an overturned basket from which potatoes, as they spill onto the ground, metamorphose into skulls.

After its dedication in June 2001 the monument received widespread critical praise and won several awards, including American Institute of Architects’ community recognition as Most Outstanding Work of Public Art.

A plaque on the monument reads in part:

The Great Hunger Memorial of Westchester County.

For several hundred years the Irish suffered religious, political, and ethnic persecution, and through expropriation and exploitation had become totally dependent on the potato.

During “An Gorta Mór”, the Great Hunger of 1845-1851, the potato crop failed and starvation swept the country. Other crops were not affected but were withheld from the peasantry. While millions starved, an abundance of food was exported for commerce.

Tragically, this situation still exists in the world today.

More than one million died of starvation and three times that number chose or were forced to emigrate. The great majority came to America where they contributed greatly to the economic, cultural and political life of the new land. Ireland’s loss was America’s gain.
This monument is dedicated to those who emigrated to Westchester County and to the dispossessed of all of the countries who strive together for the ideals of freedom and equality in the land of liberty.

Taken with a Sony A6000 and 7artisans 25mm f1.8 lens.

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