Donegal man designs first famine memorial in Glasgow

A DONEGAL artist has beaten thousands of other artists to be commissioned to build the first ever An Gorta Mor memorial in Glasgow.
The winning design for Glasgow’s first Great Hunger Memorial was unvelied at the Barras Art and Design Centre on Wednesday night.
John McCarron, from Buncrana, design called ‘The Silent Tower’ depicts three thin, gaunt, emaciated semi-abstract figures representing those forced to leave Ireland, sitting on a three-metre-high steel plinth with engravings of a verse from the poem The Stricken Land and the words An Gorta Mór written on it.
The design inspired both the Committee and the multi-generational Irish community of Glasgow, who took part in the public consultation last month and came again in large numbers to hear the winner announced.
The memorial was commissioned to commemorate the millions who died of starvation or were forced to flee the effects the Great Hunger from 1845-52. Hundreds of thousands of those displaced immigrated to Glasgow, making the city what it is today.
Jeanette Findlay, chair of CCAGM, said it has been a long journey having started this project in 2015.
“Tonight, is an important milestone for the project and for Glasgow. People had to emigrate or starve to death because of the British-engineered programme of starvation and eviction of the Irish people; hundreds of thousands came to Glasgow.
“It is only right their legacy and struggle are commemorated by their descendants in a permanent and fitting way,” she said.
John McCarron was delighted when he heard the news his submission was successful.
“The work submitted by my fellow artists was excellent, I felt honoured to have been part of the process and overwhelmed that my design has been picked.  A memorial to a terrible event is worthy of a powerful statement,” he said.

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