An Irish family from Tallaght is leading the campaign for a monument to be built to the victims of An Gorta Mor in Glasnevin Cemetery, which is the biggest mass grave of Irish Famine victims.

The memorial, which is lobbied for by the Committee for the Commemoration of Irish Famine Victims (CCIFV), “will represent all of the unmarked Famine graves in Glasnevin Cemetery, across Ireland and overseas.”

Micheal Blanch, from Raheen, who founded CCIFV with his family, said: “Dublin was the epicenter of the Famine people flocking to the city for work, food, emigration and, sadly, dying when they got here.

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“That’s how Glasnevin Cemetery holds the most victims of An Gorta Mor in the world, and it’s important the victims are remembered with a fitting memorial – after more than 170 years of national amnesia.

“The memorial will symbolize all the victims of the Great Hunger who lie in unmarked grass on the island of Ireland, at the bottom of the sea in a watery grave and those overseas in unmarked graves – they will all be remembered in our national cemetery in Glasnevin.”

Blanch, who designed the memorial with the support of his business, Craft Monuments, says he is frustrated over the delay in getting the memorial approved.

CCIFV have asked county and city councils across Ireland to donate a flagstone with the county’s name on it, with each local authority paying for their own flagstone.

The organization is willing to pay for the memorial and is not seeking funding.

“This memorial will cost the Government or Glasnevin very little, so there really is no excuse,” Blanch said. 

“However, the memorial will only happen when the Government and Glasnevin are given a little hoosh by bringing it to the public’s attention, bringing it out for discussion.

“It is hard to defend the biggest mass graves of Famine victims in the world and no memorial to them, what sort of society are we to allow this to go on?

“The computer image of the memorial has been shown to many independent people and they have all said it is a fitting memorial, let the people decide.”

A Glasnevin Trust spokesman said: “Glasnevin Trust has had correspondence with Michael Blanch in which it has expressed its view that any famine memorial placed in Glasnevin Cemetery must be at the behest of the Irish Government and has advised that any application for such a memorial should have the full approval of the relevant government department together with agreed funding for the monument and its future upkeep.”

H/T: The Echo.