October 29th – The Great Irish Famine

Monument to the Great Irish Famine

The Great Irish Famine was a period between 1845 and 1852. Due to ongoing potato crop infestation over many years throughout all counties, the Irish population went into decline by up to 20-25% due to starvation, disease and emigration.

It is believed that 4114 Irish were brought from workhouses in Ireland to settle in Australia, a voyage that commenced in 1848, arriving in 1850. The majority of these migrants were teenage orphans.

The monument was designed by Hossein and Angela Valamanesh in the late 1990’s at a cost of around $350k. It was built into the southern wall of Sydney’s Hyde Park Barracks open courtyard, and features a glass wall with the names of 420 of the settlers, in recognition of the other 4000 travellers and those back home who did not survive the event.

Irish Famine Memorial website also contains links to databases for searches of names of the orphans, and the ships that carried them between 1848 and 1850.


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