[Congressional Record Volume 146, Number 110 (Monday, September 18, 2000)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1518]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                        HON. DENNIS J. KUCINICH

                                of ohio

                    in the house of representatives

                       Monday, September 18, 2000

  Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Speaker, today I recognize Cleveland's new 
memorial, ``The Great Hunger,'' and honor the entire Northeast Ohio 
Irish community.
  Mr. Speaker, as you are aware, the Irish Famine of 1845-50, known as 
``An Gorta Mor,'' or the ``Great Hunger,'' was devastating to the 
people of Ireland. One-hundred fifty years ago, during the Irish Potato 
Famine, Ireland was exporting tons of grain and cattle to great Britain 
during the industrial revolution. This left most Irish peasants feeding 
on one crop--the potato. When the potato famine broke out, the majority 
of Irish went hungry or starved to death; those lucky enough to make 
the voyage across the Atlantic often died in the coffin ships common of 
the time.
  Of those who survived, many fled to the United States for freedom 
from the poverty, disease and hunger which claimed as many as one 
million lives. Large quantities of settlers, moved to the Cleveland 
area, where they were relegated to the swampy banks of the Cuyahoga 
River, an area which came to be known as ``The Irishtown Bend.'' Many 
died here, succumbing to cholera, tuberculosis and infections while 
living a harsh existence in terribly inadequate, tarpaper shacks.
  In memory of those who died and in recognition of the many who 
survived the horrors of poverty and disease, the memorial of ``The 
Great Hunger'' will be dedicated on September the sixteenth. After 
years of work, the Monument will finally be erected on the banks of the 
Cuyahoga River. Thanks to the effort of many Northeast Ohioans who 
worked earnestly on `Cleveland's Memorial to the Great Hunger 
Committee,' led by co-chairs Bishop James Quinn and former Congressman 
and Commissioner Robert E. Sweeney, this 11-ton monument will be a 
source of pride for all Clevelanders. Because of the work of countless 
county and city officials, especially Cuyahoga County Commissioners 
Jane Campbell, Jimmy Dimora and Tim McCormack, we can appropriately 
honor the Irish who enrich our Cleveland shores.
  Today, many of the two million Ohioans who claim Irish Ancestry are 
descendants of those brave souls who struggled through a famine and 
made the long journey to the United States. For the courage displayed 
by the Irish, and for the rich tradition they have provided the 
Cleveland area, I ask that my colleagues to honor with me and recognize 
these great peoples and the great monument, ``An Gorta Mor.''