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Dunbrody Famine Ship

Built in 1845, a vessel for the thousands of famine emigrants to North America and Canada

  • 1 h
  • From 9 ευρώ
  • New Ross, Wexford

Service Description

Enterprising merchants, like the Graves family, took the opportunity to fit out their cargo vessels with bunks to meet the extra demand. Between 1845 and 1851, the Dunbrody Famine Ship carried thousands of emigrants to North America. A ship the size of the Dunbrody was allowed by law to carry anywhere from 160 to 300 passengers. In 1847 she is recorded as carrying 313 passengers to Quebec. Many of her passengers were tenant farmers from the estates of Lord Fitzwilliam in Co. Wicklow and of Viscount de Vesci in Portlaoise. Only two classes of passengers were carried by the Dunbrody— Cabin Passengers, who paid between £5 and £8; and Steerage Passengers, who paid between £3 and £4. As the average farm labourer could expect to make little more than £1 per month, even a steerage ticket was well beyond the means of many people. Cabin passengers had substantial food and services provided. Steerage passengers mostly had to fend for themselves. Ticket Office As you enter the exhibition, you arrive on the dock at New Ross Quay. The scene in front of you is William Graves’ ticket office and you overhear Ann Morrissey, a 25-year-old housekeeper from Glenmore, paying the balance of her fares. Departure Hall With Boarding Pass in hand, you join the throngs of emigrants gathering in the Embarkation area. Here you get a vision of what impoverished refugees, who risked everything they had, including their lives, might have felt as they stepped on board a ship setting sail for a dangerous journey to an American life. Guides in Period Costumes The next section of the exhibition, Voyage, takes place entirely on board the ship. Here, in the steerage accommodation, you meet fellow “passengers”, Mrs Anne White and Mrs Mary O’Brien, who engage you in conversation, freely sharing their opinions and experiences of the journey. Aboard the Dunbrody Close by is the crew’s quarters, the captain’s cabin and the much plusher accommodation for the “cabin” passengers. One area is given over to a selection of the cargo which the Dunbrody carried on her return journeys from America, the other half of the ship’s story. In the New World Eventually arriving in the New World of Savannah Georgia, you will hear heartrending tales of the tragedy at the quarantine station of Grosse Ile, and see how fellow emigrants adjust to their new environment.

Upcoming Sessions

Contact Details


O'Briens Depot, Garryduff, County Limerick, Ireland

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