About the Memorial:
The Oregon Irish Potato Famine Memorial was commissioned by Portland’s Ancient Order of Hibernians to promote awareness and understanding of the Irish Potato Famine, An Gorta Mor, a devastating catastrophe that struck Ireland from 1845-1851. With the loss of its potato crop for five successive years, Ireland’s rural population was decimated. One million died, while two million emigrated to save themselves from a similar fate. Most of those emigrated to America.
The Oregon Connection:
A great many Famine Irish who emigrated to America traveled the Oregon Trail to Portland, or sailed by ship around the Horn. Census records show that between 1850 and 1880, the Irish were Portland’s largest foreign born group, comprising almost ten percent of the City’s population.
The Memorial is a Celtic High Cross modeled after the ancient Cross of the Scriptures in Clonmacnoise, County Offaly, Ireland, which was carved in 916 A.D. The cross stands 14 feet tall and is divided into biblical and secular panel scenes. The remastered replica was hand carved in Donegal Town, Ireland, by Brendan McGloin, an Irish stone sculptor.
The Memorial was dedicated by Mary McAleese, President of Ireland on Saturday December 13th 2008.
The Memorial is located at the Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetary in Portland, Oregon. Click on Map/Location for detailed directions.
The Memorial is supported by Portland's Ancient Order of Hibernian's and on donations. Click here to make a donation...