The following is a statement from the people who wish to build a memorial in Glasgow to the An Gorta Mór.
We are building it!
Last May a number of groups and individuals came together to finally address the fact that unlike 140 other cities and towns across the world, the city of Glasgow, now home to the descendants of tens of thousands of those who fled hunger and persecution in Ireland in the late 19th Century, has no public marker of this tragic, human-engineered catastrophe, from which the population of Ireland has never recovered.
We immediately adopted the slogan ‘We are building it’ as a signal and testament to our determination that no matter what it costs and no matter how long it takes, there will be a fitting memorial to the near genocidal attack on our ancestors: to those who died and to those forced to flee the land of their birth and settle here in Glasgow and the surrounding areas. Those of us whose people came here in that period, and in subsequent waves of emigration, have made Glasgow our home, notwithstanding the fact that it took till 2001 for us to reach occupational parity with the indigenous population – something the descendants of those who made the longer journey to America achieved one hundred years earlier.
Our foothold in this country and our confidence in proclaiming Ireland as the country to which we still hold an allegiance has grown in the intervening period and now it is time to erect a permanent and fitting memorial to An Gorta Mór, to the tragedy of colossal proportions that it was and to its role in our history as the descendants of those who were forced to come here.
We began fundraising almost immediately to raise the funds necessary to fund a prize for the best design idea which we are opening to sculptors and artists at all levels. That competition will be launched very soon as we were able to raise the funds for this very quickly. We are investigating a number of sites on which the memorial could be erected and have taken advice regarding the permissions which will be required.
We have had a logo designed which is now available on t-shirts, hoodies, polo shirts and badges. This merchandise has proved very popular and will be a great means of fundraising for us. We have not yet got a site from which the merchandise can be ordered directly but we are working on that. In the meantime, we are happy for people to contact us by:
FB: An Gorta Mór Glasgow