An ad hoc Irish Great Hunger Deer Island Memorial committee last month continued to plan for the installation of a Celtic Cross to memorialize the Famine-era Irish buried in unmarked graves on the island. The memorial stone, currently being cut in a Pennsylvania quarry, is expected to be delivered to Deer Island in the early spring.
The memorial was a longtime dream of a Duxbury couple, Dr. Bill O’Connell and his wife, Rita O’Connell,who set out some 20 years ago to establish a proper memorial for the more than 800 Irish souls whose remains are interred there. The O’Connells are each now deceased, but their vision appears about to become a reality.
Site preparation work (in photograph at right) is nearing completion, and current plans call for a Memorial Day weekend unveiling and dedication ceremonies on Saturday, May 25. A website is under development at deerislandirish.com.
(Photo courtesy Mike Carney.)