This page was created by Ellen Rethwisch.  The last update was by Ben Deetz.

Star of the Sea : A Postcolonial/Postmodern Voyage into the Irish Famine


The “Coffin Ship” National Famine memorial that is pictured is in Murrisk, Co. Mayo. The artist who designed it was named John Behan. It was completed in 1997 after being commissioned by the Irish National Famine Commemoration Committee. It was unveiled by the President of Ireland Mary Robinson. There are plaques in both Irish and English at this location. The English plaque reads “To honour the memory of all who died, suffered and emigrated due to the Great famine of 1845 – 1850 and the victims of all famines.” This quite masterfully captures empathy for those who have suffered in the past and makes a connection to relevance in conversation with the future. The memorial depicts a ship riddled with skeletons and bones serving as certain parts of the ship, reinforcing how tragic and deadly travel was in many immigration ships and reinforcing how awful conditions were in Ireland that people felt inclined to board one of these ships in hopes of starting a new life elsewhere.

Works Cited
Mark-Fitzgerald, Emily. "Irish Famine Memorials." Irish Famine Memorials. Wordpress, n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.
Researcher/Writer: Ben Deetz
Technical Designers: Abbey Benson and Ellen Rethwisch

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