Boston Irish Famine Memorial – Boston, Massachusetts - Atlas Obscura

Boston Irish Famine Memorial

Dedicated to one of the darkest moments in Irish history, this memorial has faced its fair share of backlash.  

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The Boston Irish Famine Memorial is a popular spot that intersects the city’s Freedom Trail and Irish Heritage Trail. Unveiled  in June 1998, the Memorial has been viewed by millions of residents,  visitors and students, who have gained an historical perspective of one of the worst famines in human history, while learning an appreciation of the Boston Irish story.  

The memorial committee was led by Irish immigrant Tom Flatley and included noted Boston historian, teacher and author Thomas O’Connor of Boston College, plus the leading Irish-American organizations in New England.

The sculpture depicts two Irish families; one starving and emaciated while combating famine in Ireland, and another well-nourished Irish family thriving, having found prosperity in the United States. The memorial also features eight narrative plaques that provide historical context for the Irish famine as well as famines in modern times in Africa and other places.

The Boston Irish Famine Memorial is part of the city’s Irish Heritage Trail, which includes 40 landmarks in downtown Boston and the city’s neighborhoods. 

 

 

Know Before You Go

The memorial is located at the corner of Washington and School Streets, between Old City Hall and the Old South Meeting House.