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An Gorta Mór

Glasgow’s first dedicated memorial to An Gorta Mór

Over one million people fled starvation conditions in Ireland between 1845 and 1852. Around one in ten of them made their way to Glasgow. And yet Glasgow, unlike other diaspora cities, had no permanent memorial to those who died or were forced to emigrate.

Until now.

The Coiste Cuimhneachain An Gorta Mór (Great Hunger Memorial Committee) came together to build a fitting monument to the memory of those who were forced to flee their homes and those who were starved to death by the British government and British ruling class. 

Thanks to your overwhelming support, our design competition attracted some immensely talented sculptors and artists, and we would like to thank them for the powerful and moving tributes they proposed.

Following a public consultation, we selected John McCarron’s design “The Tower of Silence” to be erected in the grounds of St Mary’s in the Calton, a church and an area with deep roots in Glasgow’s Irish community.  

The memorial was unveiled in the grounds of St Mary’s on Sunday 25 July 2021 with hundreds of members of the multi-generational Irish community from Glasgow and beyond enjoying an immensely moving, long-awaited occasion.

Work will continue to enhance the site and ensure as many people as possible can visit, appreciate and reflect on the memorial and those it commemorates.

With your support for this project, you have given voice to the dead, the displaced and the desperate.

Thank you.

The Tower of Silence in the grounds of St Mary's. A steel patchwork column supports gaunt abstract figures representing the dead and the displaced
The Tower of Silence in the grounds of St Mary’s
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