A pre-famine cottage from Caradoogan in the parish of Attymass was carefully dismantled in 2002 and rebuilt stone by stone in New York where it supplies the centrepiece of a Famine Memorial.
The cottage was a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Slack, and Mr. and Mrs. Chris Slack. The Slack family's occupancy of the cottage can be traced to 1820 when Slacks lived as tenant farmers on the land. The cottage was just one room through the famine years. In 1891, the Congested District Board provided support for upgrading rural housing. By 2001, the cottage had been abandoned. It was being used as a cow pen and was considered unsafe.
The memorial was formally opened in New York's Battery Park, with President Mary McAleese as guest of honour. Rather than create another statue or traditional monument, American sculptor Brian Tolle chose to use the quarter acre available to him to recreate a corner of rural Co. Mayo, complete with the reconstructed remains of the cottage from Attymass. Other features of the memorial include wild plants from Ireland and a stone from every County. This memorial in Battery Park is a much visited and appreciated site. – A little piece of Ireland in New York!
To mark the location of the ruins in Attymass a plaque as pictured below was erected in 2003.
By Della Ginley