St Patrick’s Day concert: Cór Geal Choir

We are delighted to announce that this award-winning choir from Cork will be playing in St Mary’s Church, Abercromby Street, Glasgow on Saturday 16th March, 7.30 till 9pm. There is no entry charge but there will be a collection to support the An Gorta Mór memorial fund. Please come and join us in what looks like a great night and in aid of a fantastic cause!


The final of the design competition: winner to be announced 21st November

In what we hope to be another enjoyable and busy evening, the winning design of the An Gort Mór design competition will be announced on Wednesday 21st November at 7pm in the Barras Art and Design Centre, 54 Calton Entry, Glasgow. This important milestone in the campaign for a fitting and lasting memorial to those who died and those who were displaced, especially our ancestors who came to Glasgow and other parts of Scotland at that time, follows a three and a half year campaign by Coiste Cuimhneachain An Gorta Mór.

The extremely successful public consultation held in the same venue last month elicited a huge and warm response from the multi-generational Irish community in Glasgow. The excitement and engagement with the consultation was very heartening and very moving – this memorial will clearly fill a great need in our community to properly acknowledge and remember our past. The committee examined the feedback on the models derived from the consultation very carefully and, along with the other elements of the submissions the three bids were assessed against a set of pre-specified critera relating to the understanding of the project brief, understanding of the challenges of permanent works; ability to deliver to work with contractors and deliver to budget. Fortunately, the public consultation revealed that while people had particular favourites among the designs, the overwhelming majority also indicated that they were impressed by all three designs. Having worked reasonably closely with all three artists it was a very difficult decision by the committee and we felt the weight of our responsibility very heavily. It was a sad task to inform two artists that they had not been successful but we were able to assure them that their designs were very much appreciated and admired by the whole community albeit that, in the end, only one design could be chosen.

Wednesday’s event will kick off at 7pm and there will be a raffle for those in attendance, and to be drawn on the night, for the team shirt worn by Dublin’s own Jonny Hayes on National Famine Memorial Day in 2017. This will kick-start the fundraising task which is now all that stands between us and this memorial which is so needed and wanted.

During the evening, those in attendance will be treated to the first public performance by Boolavogue of the song specially written for this project by Kevin Smith, entitled, ‘We are Building it’. The committee is hugely grateful to Kevin for his contribution and we will be organising a download campaign of the song to raise funds and to publicise the project in the coming months.

We will be joined by the Irish Consul General in Scotland, Mark Hanniffy; the Chief Executive of Celtic PLC, Peter Lawwell and the Head of Sculpture and Environmental Art at the Glasgow School of Art, Paul Cosgrove who has offered advice and guidance to the committee throughout all the stages of the design competition.

So we look forward to seeing you all there to receive this long-awaited announcement and to enjoy a couple of hours of good company and some great music.

Public Consultation is a massive success

Around 200 people gathered last night in the heart of the Barras at the Barras Art and Design Centre to see, for the first time, the vision of the three finalists in the design competition to produce a fitting and lasting monument to An Gorta Mór and to the memory of those who died and those who came to Glasgow and elsewhere. The multi-generational Irish community gathered together to see the designs and to hear from the artists. There was a fantastic atmosphere as people went between the three models debating, deciding, changing their minds and going round again! For those who missed their chance, the models will be on display at St Mary’s on Sunday (13th) during the day but, in the meantime, here are the designs as introduced by the individual sculptors. The winning entry will be decided by 21 November so please email us your views by the first week in November. Then it will be full steam ahead to raise the necessary funds. Donations can be made via PayPal or by sending a cheque. Anyone who wishes to organise a fundraiser in their local area please let us know and we can provide merchandise or a speaker and help to publicise it. We are Building It!

Have your say on 10th October on the design of the memorial!

On Wednesday 10th October between 7 and 9pm the community is invited to come along to the Barras Art and Design complex at 54 Calton Entry, Glasgow G40 2SB to see models/maquettes of the three final designs for the memorial to An Gorta Mór which will be erected in front of St Mary of the Assumption Church in Abercromby Street, Calton. These are the final three designs from which the final design will be chosen.

The models will be available to view over the two hours and the sculptors will be there to discuss their work. The three sculptors will be saying a few words around 7.30pm so come along by then if you want to hear their views on the concept/vision they have tried to incorporate in their design.

There will be an opportunity to indicate your views/preferences in the form of a closed container in front of each sculpture in which you can put a card with either a few words or just blank to indicate that it is your preferred model. The committee will take the views of the community into account when making the final selection. The selection will be made and announced in November.

This is a very exciting time in the project and we want as many people as possible to have their say.

Thank you for all your support so far and remember We are Building It!

An Gorta Mór stall at Glasgow St Patrick’s Festival

We are delighted to announce that we will be at the St Patrick’s Festival (details here http://www.glasgowstpatricksfestival.com/family-fun-day ) in the Merchant City on 17th March.

We will have a fundraising stall with a full selection of merchandise (t-shirts, polo shirts and hoodies) and commemorative badges.

If there are items/sizes that we don’t have then orders can be taken on the day

Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhaoibh!

Another step on the road: initial designs now in

We are delighted to be able to say that the call for design ideas for the memorial has been very successful and we now have a range of artists who have indicated their interest and their initial ideas.  These are artists working in sandstone, iron and glass and many of them have a clear track record of delivering on public realm artwork.

The committee now have the difficult task of whittling down the entries to 6 artists who we will then invite to come and talk to us.  That should take about 3-4 weeks.  Thereafter, we will commission 3 of them to produce a fully costed and modelled proposal with a detailed plan for delivery.

This is a very important stage in the project and the first time we have actually been able to look at the ideas of interested artists.  More information to follow over the next month and more details of the fundraising efforts which are running in parallel will be available on this site over the next few weeks.

We Are Building it!

Design competition launched today – We are Building It

The details of a design competition which will produce a design for a permanent memorial to An Gorta Mór in Glasgow has been lodged with Creative Scotland today.  Subject to any discussions with Creative Scotland the competition brief will be as outlined here Project Brief for Memorial to An Gorta Mór January 2018

The schedule for the competition is as follows:


The initial stage of the competition will run from 8th January 2018 to 16th February 2018. Artists will be expected to provide the following:

  • a statement of intent with regards approach to the commission and engagement with the community. (A4 max
  • Some photographs of previous work (up to 12 photographic images or digital images on a CD)
  • A CV which should provide evidence of the ability to bring the project to completion

These should be delivered by post or hand to St Mary’s RC Church, 89 Abercromby Street, Glasgow G40 2DQ by 4pm on 16th February 2018.  If the item is too large to be posted through a letterbox then please contact us in advance to arrange acceptance.

  • From these applications a short list of 6 will be invited to interview to present their approach to the brief concept and community engagement
  • From these interviews, three will be chosen. The chosen three artists will be asked to produce a fully specified and costed monument design, a model of the design, and full details of timescale and all necessary instructions and details regarding groundworks and installation. The models produced will be owned by the Committee.
  • The payment for this work will be £2000 each. The designs and other materials specified must be delivered by 27th April 2018
  • The winning design will be announced at a gala fundraising event in May/June (the precise date to be arranged.
  • Relevant drawings of the front of the site are shown here Site drawing 1  and here Site Drawing 2 . The relevant area is the corner of Abercromby Street and Forbes Street.

Memorial Committee meets with experts from Glasgow School of Art

Today members of the committee met with two senior academics from the Glasgow School of Art in what was a very informative and productive meeting.  We discussed the scope of the project, the detail of how the design competition might be structured, ways in which we could involve the community in selecting between the designs and some resources which would help to guide us through the commissioning process.

The Dr Alastair Payne, Head of the School of Fine Art and his colleague, Dr Gina Wall, who is Deputy Head, very generously gave their time to give us the initial guidance that we needed.

The next step in the process if for a further meeting to be held with experts in the field of sculpture and environmental art who will be able to assist us further in designing the competition in detail.  Dr Payne kindly offered to facilitate this meeting and we hope to be able to do that very soon.

We are very pleased to be moving forward after such long delays into what will be a very exciting stage.

Watch this space!