Ireland Park

Kearns Mancini Architects, Ireland Park Foundation, 2007Paul Whelan has written about Ireland Park in the new issue of On Site.  It commemorates the huge wave of emigrants from the 1847 Irish famine.  Incredibly, over a six-month period, 37,000 immigrants washed through Toronto, population 20,000, on their way to both inland and to the United States. 

Walls with names seems to be a necessary memorial component now: these names of people who died on the voyage or shortly after, about 20% of the total, are inscribed in the interstices of a rough difficult craggy cliff. 
And, also necessary it seems, are the figurative statues, in Toronto's Ireland Park part of a set, the other half being in a park in Dublin: the wraiths who left, and if they didn't die, arrived in North America. 

Migration stories: is there a point at which oral history – the journeys, the reason for emigration in the first place, the subsequent struggle to re-establish a life –is lost?  And is that when we start to build memorials?