National Famine Memorial, Murrisk in Co. Mayo

One million people died in Ireland from disease and starvation during the Great Famine of 1845 to 1849, arguably the single greatest disaster in Irish history.

In 1996 the Irish Government invited nominations for a suitable location for a National Famine Memorial to commemorate this great period of hunger and Murrisk was chosen as the appropriate site.

Renowned sculptor, John Behan, was commissioned by the Government to create a sculpture that would encompass the magnitude of the suffering and loss endured by the people of Ireland during the famine.

The result was the Famine Ship, a bronze memorial, with skeletal figures symbolising the many people who died in the "Coffin Ships" that set sail from Ireland in desperate hope of escaping to a better life.

President Mary Robinson unveiled this Memorial in July 1997.

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