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Caradoogan Famine house, attymass

The New York monumentA pre-famine cottage from Caradoogan in the parish of Attymass was carefully dismantled in 2002 and rebuilt stone by stone in New York where it supplies the centrepiece of a Famine Memorial.

The cottage was a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Slack, and Mr. and Mrs. Chris Slack. The Slack family's occupancy of the cottage can be traced to 1820 when Slacks lived as tenant farmers on the land. The cottage was just one room through the famine years. In 1891, the Congested District Board provided support for upgrading rural housing. By 2001, the cottage had been abandoned. It was being used as a cow pen and was considered unsafe.

The memorial was formally opened in New York's Battery Park, with President Mary McAleese as guest of honour. Download full transcript of speech.

Rather than create another statue or traditional monument, American sculptor Brian Tolle chose to use the quarter acre available to him to recreate a corner of rural Co. Mayo, complete with the reconstructed remains of the cottage from Attymass. Other features of the memorial include wild plants from Ireland and a stone from every County.


Caradoogan monumentA monument was unveiled in Caradoogan in 2004 marking the spot where the dismantled cottage once stood.

"We have to think back, reflect, understand, learn how the great starvation of 1845-1852 could have happened, not simply to be in a position to understand the history but to prevent it from ever happening again." Inscription on the Caradoogan monument

More details and pictures of the Famine House Monument can be found on the internet at:

The New York Times web-site
New York's Battery Park web-site