For 20 years, the people of Charleston have waited to honor their Irish roots. Finally, that idea has been realized with the building of the “South Carolina Irish Memorial” which will open to the public on 10 June.
The $2.4 million Irish Memorial features a concrete pier extending over the water, a raised 30-by-24-foot carved granite map of Ireland and newly planted Oak trees, while plaques containing period and historical quotes on Irish immigration face the water.
The design is by landscape architect Sheila Wertimer and includes a cul-de-sac leading into five grassy panels and brick walkways heading toward the pier.
Charleston’s modern-day Irish community raised about $400,000 for the memorial, with another $50,000 dedicated to maintaining it. Local paper The Post and Courier said that, “advocates wanted to memorialize some of the city’s earliest residents and some of the families which contributed to the local tapestry.”
“Irish roots in Charleston and the state run deep,” they wrote, “South Carolina Irishmen gained fame for fighting in the Civil War and worked on bridging the harbor. They signed the Declaration of Independence and ran the city as powerful mayors. Others played more unsung roles from the bottom of the social ladder.”
The Irish ambassador to the U.S., Michael Collins, along with other dignitaries from Ireland, including from Charleston’s “twin” locale, County Clare, are set to attend the opening ceremony on 10 June at 10.30 a.m.