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Wreath laying marks 10th anniversary of hunger memorial

It was first revealed to the world that summer of 9/11, a heart rending tribute to the victims of a great tragedy. Just a few weeks afterwards there would be another heart rending tragedy just a few miles to its south.

The Westchester County Great Hunger Memorial and September 11th are thus fated to share big year anniversaries.

And it was in acknowledgment of the passing of a decade that had current Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino, and James Houlihan, the driving force behind the memorial, lay a wreath recently at the memorial which is located in V.E. Macy Park, which straddles the Westchester villages of Ardsley and Irvington.

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The bronze sculpture monument was created by Dublin artist Eamonn O'Doherty and is located in a woodland grove close to a lake in the park that now bears the name "The Great Hunger Memorial at V.E. Macy."

The memorial, which depicts a family turning its back on its Irish home during the Great Famine, was made possible by a fundraising campaign led by the Great Hunger Memorial Committee, which was itself chaired by Mr. Houlihan, a partner in the Westchester real estate company of Houlihan Parnes.

The committee ultimately raised nearly $800,000 in state, county, and private funds to complete the memorial project.

The memorial comprises five statues, the tallest reaching nine feet, depicting an Irish family walking away from two pyramid-shaped gable walls representing the ruins of their home. On the ground is a sculpture depicting an overturned basket of blight-stricken potatoes.