The Irish Government’s Office of Public Works commissioned a Famine Ship Sculpture, entitled “Arrival” by artist John Behan, which the Taoiseach was presented to the Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Anan, in December 2000.
The bronze sculpture, measuring some 7 metres in length and 8 metres in height, is a variation on the National Famine Memorial at Murrisk, Co. Mayo, on the West Coast of Ireland. In place of the heavily symbolic skeletal rigging at Murrisk, the human element in the UN sculpture is represented by survivors of the trip disembarking in the United States of America. A total of some 150 figures was cast in bronze, the majority on deck, with a small number descending the gangplanks.
The sculpture was cast at a foundry in Kilmainham, Dublin 8. Sculptor, John Behan is one of Ireland’s leading artists, his work is included in collections owned by, amongst others, President Clinton, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Placido Domingo and the late Samuel Beckett.