News from Executive Director

Fall 2015

October 2015 marks the third anniversary of the opening of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University. Thanks in large part to our many donors, the museum continues to fulfill its mission of educating the world about the Great Hunger. Almost 25,000 visitors from the U.S. and abroad have traveled to the museum, and the feedback continues to be resoundingly positive. Looking ahead, we have many exciting plans underway, which I would like to share with you.

Upcoming Exhibition

First, many of you have expressed the desire for a new exhibition at the museum and we want you to know that we have heard you! From January 20, 2016, through April 17, 2016, the museum will present In the Lion’s Den: Daniel Macdonald, Ireland and Empire. This exhibition, the first of its kind in the United States and the most comprehensive ever mounted, will reevaluate Daniel Macdonald as an artist. Macdonald holds the distinction of having produced the only known painting of the Famine, An Irish Peasant Family Discovering the Blight of their Store, exhibited in London in 1847, now in the National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin (bequeathed by the pioneering Famine historian Cecil Woodham-Smith, author of The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-49).

Due to the generosity of our donors, we recently acquired Daniel Macdonald’s Returning from an Irish Funeral (1842, pen and ink on paper) seen below.

macdonaldThis work will be part of the exhibition, and will be a wonderful addition to the remarkable works that will be on loan from museums and private collectors in Ireland.

Donor Highlight

Hamden resident George Waldron has been a constant presence and supporter of the museum since its opening. Waldron is a 1980 Quinnipiac School of Law graduate, and has also taught as an adjunct professor in the Legal Studies Department at Quinnipiac. He is president of The Connecticut Irish American Historical Society, and has been actively involved in educating the public about Ireland’s history.

Waldron’s mother, Mary Waldron (1910–2013) was born in the village of Killeenagher, County Mayo. She immigrated to the United States in 1928 at the age of 17, and raised eight children in Hamden. She died in 2013 at the age of 103.

When asked about the museum, Waldron commented, “The causes and consequences of Ireland’s Great Hunger are stunning and heart-wrenching. This museum documents and presents this tragic period of Ireland’s history in an extraordinary and moving manner. We are grateful to Quinnipiac University for building this excellent facility as a testament to the memory of all who suffered from the Great Hunger.”

Update on Acquisitions Appeal

In May 2015 we launched our first acquisitions appeal with the intent of raising enough money to acquire an important work that would enhance the educational value of the collection. I am happy to report that we are only $6,000 away from reaching our $50,000 goal. Thank you to all who have donated thus far. For those who would like to donate, please consider helping us reach this goal. To do so, visit and click the “Support” tab.

Famine Folios Launch – Second Series

Famine Folios are a series of paperback bound essays, covering many aspects of the Famine. A unique resource for students, scholars and researchers, as well as general readers, the folios are published by Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum and Quinnipiac University Press. The essays are interdisciplinary in nature, and make available new research in Famine studies by internationally established scholars in history, art history, cultural theory, philosophy, media history, political economy, literature and music.

Last year, we launched the first four folios in both Hamden and Dublin to great critical acclaim. We are very pleased to announce that these folios were awarded second place in the New England Museum Association’s Publications Competition in the books category. The next four folios will soon be published, and we will celebrate with a launch at the museum on Wednesday, October 14. Three authors will be on hand to discuss their work, and the following four folios will be released and available for purchase:

Notice to Quit: The Great Irish Famine Evictions by L. Perry Curtis Jr.
Death in Every Paragraph: Journalism and The Great Irish Famine by Michael Foley
“I mbéal an Bháis”: The Great Famine and the Language Shift in Nineteenth-Century Ireland by Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh
Black Roads: The Famine in Irish Literature by Robert Smart


We invite you to join us for this exciting event. Please register online.

Educational Outreach

While students enjoyed their summer break, we were hard at work creating materials for teachers and students, and promoting field trips to the museum. We worked with an educator to produce classroom materials aligned with the Common Core and Connecticut State Frameworks. This material will be available on our website by mid-September. We sent notices to schools across Connecticut inviting them to visit the museum. If you are a teacher or a scout leader, consider organizing a field trip to the museum. Tours are free for students and teachers! Contact Claire Puzarne at 203-582-6574 or to schedule a tour.

Easter Rising 1916 Anniversary Events

As many of you are aware, 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising. The museum, along with Quinnipiac University’s College of Arts and Sciences and Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute, are planning a full program of events related to the 1916 Rising. More information will be available later this fall, but programming will include films, poetry readings, visiting lecturers and theater performances.

Thank you again for your interest and ongoing support of the museum. A special thank you to all who donated this past year (list attached). Your enthusiasm, feedback, ideas and generosity continue to amaze me, and you have my full gratitude. For those who are interested in supporting the museum, please visit the museum website to complete our online giving form. Or mail a check made payable to “Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum” to Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, 275 Mount Carmel Avenue, Hamden, CT 06518-1908.

I look forward to seeing you at the museum again soon.

Grace Brady
Executive Director

Donors to Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum
(6/13/2014 to 8/31/2015)

Mary Jane Alexander and Don McMahon in memory of Bill Kick
Kathleen Allen and Gerard Leonard in honor of Kathleen Allen, gifted Montessori educator, historian, and dedicated keeper of her family genealogy
Marla and Kelsey Batchelder
Ellen R. Beatty in memory of Edward Beatty
Prudence G. Beck in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Mason
Barry L. and Jacqueline A. Bestle
Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Brady    in memory of Christopher F. Brady, Jr.
Grace Brady in memory of Christopher F. Brady, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Mark Brady in memory of Christopher F. Brady, Jr.
Maureen Brady     in memory of Christopher F. Brady, Jr.
James Brennan
Judith Brennan
Mr. and Mrs. Christopher A. Brzenchek
Mr. and Mrs. Brian P. Burns
ML Byrne and John McIntyre in honor of their Irish ancestors: Clan of Byrne, Meenagh and Mcleer
Brigid A. Cahalan
James M. Cahill
Mary N. Cain
Nicholas Chocas
Patrick J. Conaboy
Mr. and Mrs. Ed Cortright
Catherine Cosgrove
Mr. and Mrs. John R. Coyle in memory of Ray and Barbara Carrington and John and Barbara Coyle
James Crozier
Lewis Perry Curtis Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Dempsey
Judy Desouza
Michael J. Dougherty
George A. Dunn in honor of the Dunn and McElroy families
Mary Emanuele
Gina M. Falcigno in honor of John and Dorothy Rooney
Mr. and Mrs. Mark Feeley
Michael T. Fiske
Pat and Dennis Fleischmann
Edward Fogarty in memory of Edward J. Fogerty
Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Freedman
James J. and Patricia A. Grace in honor of Grace, Cole, McDonnell, Price, Culbert and Brown families
John Haren
Mr. and Mrs. Jon Hedgepeth
Mr. and Mrs. Brian Heery in memory of Mary Waldron
Mr. and Mrs. Reinhold Hekeler in memory of John Vincent McDonnell
Janice P. Holland
Helen Hyland in memory of Mna na Garvey
Jo and John F. Ingman Jr.
Doug E. James and Kay Mollick
T.J. Kehoe
Mr. and Mrs. Laurence Kelly in memory of John and Lizzy Kelly
Terrence J. Kenneally
Karen Fraser King and Kevin John King
Douglas Kopp
Ken Kraetzer
Dr. and Mrs. John L. Lahey
Eileen LeMonda
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Lipuma in memory of Elizabeth Brady and Elizabeth Egan
David A. Magee
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Mullaney
Eileen Murray
Eileen A. O’Connor
Sean O’Connor
Mr. and Mrs. Peter O’Hagan
LDCR Florence Lahey Ollinger, USN Foundation
Gregory J. and Dianna L. Pategas in honor of Ted Welsh
Katharine Perkins
Michael and Kathleen E. Regan
Robert H. Reginer and Jean Kenny Reginer in memory of James Dennis Kenny and Anne Kenny
Alex Reiniger
Joseph Ryan
Thomas P. Ryan
Patricia Ryan-Krause
Michael and Helen Shea in memory of Mary Fracasse
Ellen C. Sheehan
Amy Lynn Silverman on behalf of the Brandeis Hartford Group
Thomas F. Slattery III in honor of Christine Kinealy
Tom Soboleski
Nancy Sullivan
Cindy R. and Peter S. Thompson
Various Donors
George A Waldron in memory of David Waldron and Mary Waldron
Catherine A. West
Dale C. White
Mr. and Mrs. Leonard J. Wyeth
Martin Yanell

Brandeis Hartford Group
Connecticut Humanities
Ethnic Services Roundtable of the New York Library Association
Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
Friendly Sons of St. Patrick
Friends of the South Windsor Public Library
General Electric Foundation
The George Link Jr. Charitable Trust in honor of Peter Halas
Hamden High Class 1959
Institute for Learning in Retirement Inc.
JR Crozier & Co.
Ladies of the Ancient Order of Hibernian
Litchfield Historical Society
Mohawk Fine Papers
New England Association of Professional Genealogists
Pfizer Global Research & Development
Prospect Senior Center
Stone House Historical Research
Town of Bethlehem
Town of West Hartford Elmwood Senior Center
Women’s Club of Danbury/New Fairfield
Woodbury Women’s Club


Click the links below to read previous issues of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum’s newsletter.

IGHM Update for Friends and Donors June 2014

Jack B. Yeats ‘Derrynane’ acquisition – January 2014

April 2013

September 2012