Irish Famine Memorials in Massachusetts

(Clockwise: Boston Irish Famine Memorial, Deer Island Famine Memorial, Children of the Famine Memorial in Charlestown, An Gorta Mor Memorial in Lawrence, and Cambridge Irish Famine Memorial in Cambridge)

 Massachusetts has a number of Irish Famine Memorials throughout the state, to commemorate the Irish Famine of the 1840s, which killed one million people and sent an additional two million people into exile.

Many of the Irish who fled Ireland them arrived at Boston Harbor, starving and sick, and were quarantined at Deer Island before being allowed to come ashore. Many of them died on the island and over 800 are buried there.  In 1847 alone, 25,000 Irish arrived in Boston, according to historian Thomas O'Connor.  

Other Irish refugees arrived at other ports along the Eastern Seaboard, from New York to Montreal and St. John, NB, and made their way to Massachusetts and New England, often on foot. 

The Irish Famine is also known as An Gorta Mor, or the Great Hunger. Here are five memorials in Massachusetts. Funds were raised by local Irish-American communities, such as the Ancient Order of Hibernians and many others. 

Cambridge Irish Famine Memorial on Cambridge Common/ 1997

Boston Irish Famine Memorial in downtown Boston/ 1998

Lawrence An Gorta Mor Memorial in Lawrence / 2006

Children of the Famine Memorial in Charlestown/ 2009 

 Deer Island Famine Memorial at Boston Harbor Islands/ 2019

Learn more about Irish history, heritage and culture in Massachusetts by visiting and