Famine is a group of sculptures located on the bank of the River Liffey at Custom House Quay. The group consists of life size emaciated figures sculpted by Rowan Gillespie in 1997.


The sculptures commemorate those who were forced to emigrate during the Great Famine (1845-1852). Over one million people died during the famine and over 1.2 million people emigrated. The group consist of six figures and a dog. The emaciated and deathly appearance of the figures are mirrored in the sculptural technique. Not only are they depicted as mere skin and bone, these bronze sculptures are rendered in such a way to embody death and disease. The rough finish coupled with the weathered appearance of these sculptures add to the horrific effects of starvation and disease encapsulated in the Famine

Did you know?: The site at which these figures are located is that of Custom House Quay, where one of the first voyages took place. The Perseverance  set sail on St. Patrick’s Day 1846. This ship carried 210 souls across to New York, where they arrived safely 9 weeks later. 

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