Ireland’s Great Hunger Collection will be transferred by Quinnipiac University to the Gaelic-American Club of Fairfield. This means that the Collection, which tells a story not only at the heart of Irish identity and history, but also American history, will be in the custody of and shared widely by the Irish-American community of Connecticut.
“In light of the university’s decision not to reopen the museum in Hamden, the Gaelic-American Club is thrilled to have forged a solution that keeps the treasured IGHM collection in Connecticut and safeguarded and shared widely by the Irish-American community,” said Amy O’Shea, a representative from the GAC. The Club’s Vice President John Foley added: “Our intent is to work with Irish and Irish-American community to build a new home for the collection, that will not only allow the collection to thrive, but to grow and become a way for our children to understand who we were, who we are, and even who we could be. Now that a clear path forward has been established for the collection, it is time we unify our collective efforts and all rally around the shared goal of ensuring the future visibility and impact of the collection and the story that it tells.”
The GAC has already begun working with many people who are connected with the collection to create a new vision moving forward. This will include cooperation with various universities who are interested in connecting to their own Irish studies programs. The aim is to provide educational opportunities to many institutions to provide a deeper understanding of the causes and consequences of the Great Hunger in Ireland, and by extension, the pressing issues of food security and migration more globally.
The Collection will also be accessible to the public as well as various civic and cultural groups from around the world.
As part of the GAC’s plans, the museum will sit within the Fairfield Historic District, alongside other local museums and the downtown shopping district, and within walking distance of the headquarters.
It is cause for great celebration that the Great Hunger Collection will not remain shuttered; that this remarkable and terrible part of the story of Ireland will once again be shared and understood alongside the equally remarkable and brilliant paths that Irish people – many of whom became Irish Americans – have forged. We thank you for your support and interest in this project that we can all share.