Praise for the Memorial
"I, of course, never met my great grandparents. Nor did I meet their son
Dennis. All were born before Abraham Lincoln's time. But today they live.
They live in the Irish Famine Memorial. I will now visit them in Boston on
every occasion I visit the city, and my four children and my grandchildren
will also visit this shrine. My great grandparents are in residence at the
corner of School and Washington Streets, in as striking, and monumental a
memorial as has been conceived by man. Sunday, June 28, 1998 was a moment to
"I write not as an art critic, but as a descendant of immigrants who suffered
the pangs of hunger and poverty in Ireland, and then the triumph of
opportunity in America. My soul was stirred as I sat and gazed at the statues
of the Irish Famine Memorial."
"Marie Paquet of Boston said that the sense of dignity conveyed by the figures
at the Irish memorial inspires its viewers to be strong in turbulent times.
"They have the look, not of great joy, but of determination -- of going
ahead," she said, motioning toward the bronze statues. "It's an inspiration
for all the world, because somewhere in the world there are people who are
still living like this. And this memorial shows us that with a little break
in life, with a little understanding, there is hope."
"Two sculptures by Robert Shure show one Irish family in agony from the Great Hunger stalking the land and another hopeful as they arrive on America's shore. They're meant to depict the odyssey of the Irish immigrant from tragedy to triumph over the past 150 years. They're also meant to remind those who stop and look to remember that we must never be indifferent to the suffering of others."
"Beyond its particularly Irish dimension, the memorial marks the beginning of
the waves of 19th and 20th century immigration that have made Boston the
variegated place it is today. Thousands more would come: Italians, Jews,
Greeks, Lithuanians, Chinese, Haitians, Dominicans, blacks from the American
South, and other ethnic groups, all seeking in Boston a refuge from poverty
and oppression. The triumph of the Irish is a parable of America."
"There are religious and secular monuments to the influence of the Irish all
around Boston, but nothing that marks the Gaelic contribution to the city and
to this state the way the Irish Famine Memorial will."