Memorial honours Irish Famine immigrants

By Adam Brazeau 
CORNWALL, Ontario – A new Celtic cross marks both a time in Cornwall’s history and the first phase of a local Irish Famine monument project.

At an unveiling ceremony in Lamoureux Park on Saturday, dozens marked the memory of 52 men, women, and children who left the famine-ravaged land of 1840s Ireland for Cornwall, Ont., only to die a few short years later of typhoid in a temporary hospital, known as a fever shed.

Katie Burke, Irish Memorial committee chair, told the crowd huddled inside in a large white tent beside the Cornwall Community Museum where the new Celtic cross towered in the rain that it was 167 years to the day that the hospital closed its doors.

“This memorial is for the survivors and their descendants who told their stories to keep them alive, and to all of us who have been marked by these events and now leave a marker to help others remember,” said Burke.

The committee thanked their supporters and announced that future fundraising projects will go towards inscribing the monument with the names of Dr. Bergin and Dr. MacDonald, whose public health practices ensured that Cornwall citizens were safe from typhoid, as well as the names of the Irish immigrants who perished in the fever shed.

Read our previous coverage here.

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