National Irish Famine Monument (Scotland)
Located in Carfin Lourdes Grotto (the National Marian Shrine of Scotland)
Commissioned by: Irish Famine Commemoration Committee Scotland
Created by: John McGuigan (sculptor, McGuigan Memorials)
Carfin’s Irish Site
A majority of Catholics in Scotland are the descendants of immigrants from Ireland in the 19th and 20th centuries. This site was constructed in 2001 in recognition of the contribution made by the Irish to Catholicism and society in Scotland.
St Patrick, Ireland’s national saint and a patron of the Irish abroad. In front of an estimated 60,000 crowd, this statue was unveiled by Belfast MP, Joe Devlin in 1930.
During penal times in Ireland the saying of Mass was outlawed. In response, people and priests chose isolated spots in the country and hills to avoid the authorities. Mass was often celebrated using a rock as an altar. The Mass rock on this site was brought from County Down and situated in Carfin in 1934.
From 1845 until 1851, due mainly to the social, economic and political conditions in the country, Ireland suffered a great calamity in the shape of catastrophic Famine. During the Famine over one million people died and a million more emigrated. Around one hundred thousand Irish came to Scotland in this period. This monument was erected by the descendants of Irish immigrants to Scotland and the Government of Ireland. It commemorates those who perished and those who survived and made a life for themselves and their offspring in Scotland.
Inscription 2 (on memorial itself):
An gorta mór — the Great Famine
To honour the memory of all those who died, suffered and emigrated to Scotland due to the Great Famine in Ireland 1845-1851
Ar dheis dé go raibh a n-anamacha
This memorial was unveiled by An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern TD on 20 June 2001