Irish Hunger Memorial Renovations Completed
By Mary Gallagher
The Irish Hunger Memorial was re-opened in late July 2017 after a year-long, $5.3 million renovation. The structure had suffered extensive water infiltration, particularly from 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, which it had not been equipped to handle in its original state. The restoration cost $4.5 million more than the initial placement of the structure, which was unveiled to the public in 2002 in an evocative launch by former Irish president Mary McAleese.
The memorial is a reconstruction of a cottage painstakingly transplanted from Ireland set amidst a structure reminiscent of a passage tomb and covered with Irish flora. The cottage, dating back to the 1820s, originally belonged to the Slack family of Attymass, County Mayo, one of the first areas to be struck by the tragic potato blight of the mid-1800s. The edifice stands in Battery Park City and the landscape it rests on was designed by artist Brian Tolle, a relative of the Slacks.
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