FAMINE MEMORIAL GARDEN NEAR KILKENNY RAILWAY STATION
MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre located at the top of John Street next to Kilkenny Train station is the site of the former Kilkenny Union Workhouse and of the discovery of over 970 human remains in 2005 which were undocumented.
These people date from 1845 – 1852 and represent a cross section of Kilkenny inhabitants that befell starvation and disease as a consequence of the Great Famine. As the local graveyards filled the decision was taken to bury them within the grounds of the workhouse. This burial ground was then covered over by a thick layer of soil and later used as the workhouse garden.
In 2005 the remains were discovered whilst the site was being carefully prepared for the development of the Centre and they were removed under expert supervision and brought to the National Museum of Ireland. They were examined in detail by experts from around the world and this research offered never seen before insights into the living conditions and cause of death for famine population in Ireland. This has been described as the most significant discovery in the World relating to the Irish Famine. They were returned to in 2010 and respectfully reinterred in the Kilkenny Famine Memorial Garden at MacDonagh Junction.