We have built it!

Thanks to your support, Glasgow can finally be counted among the diaspora cities with a dedicated memorial to our ancestors who died and were displaced by An Gorta Mór.

Hundreds of supporters enjoyed glorious sunshine as Jane McCulloch, Consul General of Ireland, and Eddie Marley, representing the parish of St Mary’s where the monument stands, unveiled the memorial yesterday.

The monument in the grounds of St Mary’s

Created by Donegal sculptor John McCarron, ‘The Tower of Silence’ combines a stainless steel column representing the industrial city of Glasgow with steel patchwork echoing the stone cabins the rural Irish were forced to leave. Semi-abstract steel figures on top of the column show the desperation of those who fled to these shores, often carrying nothing but themselves and their children. The column contains the final verse of the poem ‘The Stricken Land’ written in 1847 by Lady Jane Wilde under the name ‘Speranza’.

Detail from the column showing the extract from ‘The Stricken Land’

Live stream replay and programmes still available

A full replay of the live stream of the unveiling ceremony will be available at www.westreamitservices.co.uk/mor for the next 27 days.

The memorial is in the grounds of St Mary’s church in Abercromby Street, Glasgow and can be seen from the pavement whether the church is open or closed. When the church is open, the last remaining programmes will be on sale.

This is your memorial. You have built it

None of this – not the moving occasion of the unveiling or the permanent memorial to honour our ancestors – would have been possible without your support.

You have ensured long overdue recognition for the dead, the displaced, the desperate. And for the contributions of their descendants.

From Coiste Cuimhneachain An Gorta Mór, thank you.

Live stream and in-person information for Sunday’s unveiling event

After so long, we’re counting down until the unveiling of Glasgow’s first permanent memorial to An Gorta Mór this Sunday. Here’s all you need to know:

Watch a live stream

If you don’t have a ticket to join us on the day, the event will be livestreamed from 2pm on Sunday. Please visit www.westreamitservices.co.uk/mor and follow the on-screen instructions.

Information for those attending

If you’ve booked your free ticket to join us on the day, here’s what you need to know:

  • – The event will start at 2pm and is outdoors at St Mary’s, 89 Abercromby Street, Glasgow, G40 2DQ
  • – Commemorative programmes will be available for £5. This cost will contribute to future improvements on site. Please note we can only accept cash payments
  • – The majority of the crowd will be standing. We will have an area set aside to ensure people can view the event if using a wheelchair, and a small number of seats for those who need them. If you’d like to access this area, please approach a steward when you arrive
  • – Please don’t attend if you feel unwell or have been advised to isolate
  • – We are asking all attendees to maintain physical distancing between households, use hand sanitiser, wear masks and abide by current guidelines
  • – Scotland is in level 0 coronavirus restrictions, meaning you should try to avoid sharing a car with people outside your household. If travelling by public transport, remember masks must be worn
  • – The event will be live streamed and available for public viewing online

We look forward to marking this momentous occasion with you this Sunday.

Additional tickets released for memorial unveiling

With the change in covid restrictions, we’re pleased to be able to offer additional free tickets to the unveiling of Glasgow’s first permanent memorial to An Gorta Mór.

The memorial will be unveiled in the grounds of St Mary’s in the Calton at 2pm on Sunday 25 July.

Ticket holders will still be required to follow current guidance on masks and physical distancing, and we’re hoping to be able to share a live stream or recording for those who can’t be there on the day.  

Book your free ticket now.

We look forward to marking this long overdue occasion with you.

Limited tickets available for memorial unveiling

We’re looking forward to unveiling Glasgow’s first permanent memorial to An Gorta Mór on Sunday 25 July.

Tickets are now available for those who would like to be present on the day. These tickets are free of charge but numbers are limited to allow us to abide by covid restrictions. We are working on plans to live stream or record the event for those who aren’t able to join us on the day and will share details when we can.

Book your free ticket now.

We look forward to marking this long overdue occasion with you.

Date announced for memorial unveiling

Glasgow’s first permanent memorial to An Gorta Mór will be unveiled on Sunday 25 July 2021.

The sculpture, ‘The Tower of Silence’ by John McCarron, will stand in the gardens of the church of St Mary’s in the Calton, which itself was built thanks to the generous donations of the Irish community.

Having delayed the unveiling of the memorial to ensure members of the community could attend, we are making plans for an event to mark the unveiling in line with Level 2 conditions in Glasgow. Although we will still be limited in the numbers who can attend, we look forward to marking this significant milestone with as many of you as possible.

We’ll share details of how you can apply for tickets as soon as we can, and we’ll continue to update our plans if there are any changes to Level 2. Keep an eye on our website, twitter and sign up for our email alerts.

It’s only due to your support that the dead and displaced of An Gorta Mór will finally have a long-overdue memorial in the city where so many of their ancestors built a new home.

Thank you.

Jeanette Findlay

Chair, Coiste Cuimhneachain An Gorta Mór

Final planning permission received

The committee are delighted to announce that we’ve received final planning permission for the installation of the memorial in St Mary’s in the Calton.

While the installation of the sculpture will be delayed until it’s safe to bring our community together in celebration and commemoration, this planning permission is final confirmation that Glasgow will finally be home to a memorial to the dead and displaced of An Gorta Mór.

As soon as we can, we’ll share details of the unveiling on Facebook and Twitter and through our email updates.

In the meantime, please do what you can to keep yourself and your community safe, and stay up to date with the latest NHS advice.

We are building it. 

Memorial unveiling delayed due to coronavirus

Since you pushed the appeal over our fundraising target late last year, the committee have been working on plans for the installation and unveiling of the memorial.

Our final planning application is in and we had hoped to make an announcement soon about an unveiling celebration in May.

Sadly, due to the risks posed by the current coronavirus pandemic, it will not be possible for us to hold this celebration as soon as we would have liked. Work on the memorial is progressing and as soon as it’s safe to do so, we intend to hold a community celebration marking this significant milestone for Scotland’s Irish community.

We’ll keep you up to date with a new date for the unveiling on Facebook and Twitter and through our email updates.

In the meantime, please do what you can to keep yourself and your community safe, and stay up to date with the latest NHS advice.

We are building it.

Fundraising target smashed on unforgettable night in Paradise

More than five hundred people turned out to dance, sing and celebrate community at our fundraising dinner dance at Celtic Park in November.

Members and friends of Scotland’s Irish community were treated to a great set from Boolavogue, scooped match-worn Celtic shirts and hospitality packages in our raffle, and made generous bids on our one of a kind auction items, including a coin collection depicting all signatories of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic. As Committee Chair Jeanette Findlay said on the night, “the excitement around this memorial project is palpable, and it clearly fills a genuinely felt need of our community to have our history and our existence recognised.”

Thanks to your incredible support, the night raised £21,475, taking us past our £80,000 fundraising target.

Not only does this secure the installation, maintenance and insurance of Scotland’s first permanent memorial to the tragedy of An Gorta Mór, it will also allow the committee to look at options to enhance the memorial site, such as lighting, information boards and bench seating.   

None of this would have been possible without the generosity of the suppliers and performers who supported the fundraiser, those who donated raffle and auction prizes, everyone who attended on the night and each and every single person who has donated along the way.

With fundraising complete, we’ll now focus on planning the installation and unveiling of this long-awaited memorial. Sign up for email updates and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to ensure you stay up to date.

It’s happening. Thanks to you.

We are building it!

Fundraising Dinner Dance, Celtic Park, 16 November

Join us in the Kerrydale Suite at Celtic Park for the biggest fundraiser yet in support of Glasgow’s long overdue memorial to An Gorta Mór.

The Coiste Cuimhneachain An Gorta Mór will host a dinner dance on Saturday 16 November, featuring music from Boolavogue as well as a fundraising auction and unmissable raffle prizes.

Tickets are priced at £35 each and are available on a first come, first served basis by emailing angortamorglasgow@gmail.com or sending us a Direct Message on Twitter to let us know how many individual tickets or tables of ten or twelve you’d like to reserve. We’ll hold your places while we send you a PayPal link and confirm your booking once payment is received.

Thanks to your support, work is already underway on John McCarron’s powerful design. This fundraiser will help us complete a fitting memorial in the city which received over one hundred thousand people fleeing starvation in Ireland.

Places are limited so get in touch today to secure your tickets and help build Glasgow’s first permanent memorial to An Gorta Mór.

We are building it!

Work underway on memorial as fundraising passes 60%

Donegal sculptor John McCarron has commenced work on “The Tower of Silence”, the design chosen in our public consultation to be the first permanent memorial in Glasgow to the dead and displaced of An Gorta Mór.

John’s design made a strong impression on those who viewed the model. Made of steel to reflect Glasgow’s shipbuilding industry it depicts three unclothed, emaciated figures, representing the 100,000 who fled here in desperation. The plinth underneath the figures will be engraved with a verse from “The Stricken Land” by Lade Wilde which conveys the injustice of the suffering they were forced to endure. The memorial will stand 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 wouldn’t be reaching this significant milestone without your fantastic support.

Over £52,000 has now been raised, which takes us to 65% of our fundraising target, and donations continue to come in. The pre-match bucket collection at Celtic Park in March 2019 generated £20,100 and we’ve been overwhelmed by the level of support you’ve given to the cause.

A grand total of £5,000 has been donated by Celtic fans from all over Ireland who attended the Ballymena Shamrock CSC dinner dance on 21/6/19  while a fantastic £868 was donated in one night of fundraising in the parish of St Maria Goretti in Glasgow. Over €480 has been raised so far in the Badass Café in Dublin, while countless other people are holding events, collecting change and donating online.

There’s a lot more to come and we need your continued help to raise the rest of the money required to create a fitting tribute to the memory of our ancestors. Stay tuned for news on future fundraisers, including details of song downloads and how you could own a match worn shirt from Jozo Simunovic or Scott Sinclair featuring the National Famine Day Memorial logo.

How you can help:

Thank you for your support.

We are building it!