I was at the midpoint of my two month trip when I left England and headed for Ireland by Ferry. The week before had been pretty stressful. I lost my passport in Belgium and had to get a new one. Then a ferry strike occurred and I had to re-route. And on top of that, I had gotten a cold with a bad cough.
I was in that poor condition and mood when I arrived at the port of Dublin. I didn't have change for the city bus into town and no one would change my bills which frustrated me to no end, because it was the last bus of the evening. I ended up missing that bus and I was pretty upset and feeling sorry for myself. I decided to walk into the center of Dublin since it was only a few kilometers away and it was light outside. As I walked, it was hard for me to stay upset seeing Dublin in the summer. People were out and about in a festive atmosphere. I saw boys jumping off a bridge that were having the time of their life enjoying being the center of attention.
After I passed the boys, I saw the "Famine" Memorial. It is a group of bronze sculptures that represent the starving and dying population of Ireland that were forced to emigrate during the Potato Famine from 1845 – 1848. More than one million people died from the Famine and one and a half million emigrated from Ireland during that time. The sculptures were commissioned by and donated to the city of Dublin by Norma Smurfit and were built by Dublin sculptor Rowan Gillespie. They are located in Custom House Quay in Dublin's Docklands.
The scultures are quite shocking to see and I instantly gained some perspective of what serious travel stress was all about. My problems of that past week seemed petty and ridiculous. This memorial does a great job capturing the hardship people were facing and it's almost like you're thrown back to the past as you past by.
What a contrast of conditions from the Potato Famine to now in Ireland. I think those who went through the famine would be happy to see the prosperity of the country today. As for modern day Ireland, the famine and emigration is still remembered.