Irish Canadian Famine Research

Irish Canadian Famine Research

Month: March, 2016

Montreal’s Irish Famine Cemetery: Maps and Images

From Donovan King: Commemoration Struggles from 1847 to the Present http://www.montrealirishmonument.com/sites/default/files/MontrealsIrishFamineCemetery.pdf

Black Stone 1.pngBlack Stone 2.pngMap 1.0. Excerpt from 1846 map of MontrealBlack Stone 3.pngMap 2.0. Excerpt from 1853 map of MontrealBlack Stone 4.pngMap 3.0 Excerpt from 1894 map of MontrealBlack Stone 5.pngMap 4.0. Proposed Irish Cultural and Memorial ParkFever Sheds PhotographPhotograph
Construction buildings from top of bridge, Victoria Bridge, Montreal, QC, 1858-59
William Notman (1826-1891)
About 1858-1859, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on card – Albumen process
25 x 30 cm
Gift of Mrs. Henry W. Hill
N-0000.392.2.2
© McCord Museum

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The Great Famine and its Impacts: Visual and Material Culture

Conference

The Great Famine of 1840s Ireland left a profound impact on Irish culture, as recent ground breaking historical and literary research has revealed. Less well documented and explored, however, is the relationship of the Famine and its related experiences (migration, eviction, poverty, institutionalization and urbanization) to the visual and material cultures of Ireland. This conference, which is hosted by Maynooth University and organised as part of the NWO-funded International Network of Irish Famine Studies, aims to consider broadly how the material and visual cultures of Ireland and its diaspora (including painting, sculpture, photography, drama, architecture, film, dance, ritual, musealisation, heritage, archaeology) intersect with the multiple impacts and experiences of the Famine.

Taking a broad approach to the impact of the Famine on visual and material cultures, the conference will bring together scholars from various fields to promote new, cross-disciplinary dialogues and deepen our understanding of the Famine’s cultural history.

Confirmed plenary speakers:

Professor Fintan Cullen, University of Nottingham
Dr Jason King, NUI Galway
Dr Emily Mark-FitzGerald, University College Dublin
Professor Chris Morash, Trinity College Dublin
Professor Niamh O’Sullivan, Curator, Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, Quinnipiac University

The conference featured a series of special events and activities, including:

  • A reading by acclaimed Irish author and Aósdana member Evelyn Conlon, whose most recent novel, Not the Same Sky (2013) draws on the social and material history of the Earl Grey-assisted emigration scheme, reimagining the story of three young women from amongst 4,000 Irish girls sent to Australia between 1848-50.
  • A presentation by Moonfish Theatre Company, whose stage adaptation of Joseph O’Connor’s Famine novel Star of the Sea has been on a sell-out national tour.
  • A talk by screenwriter and playwright Hugh Travers, Maynooth University’s Screenwriter-in-Residence who has been commissioned to write a sitcom on the Famine for Channel 4.
  • A special tour by curator Donal Maguire of the National Gallery of Ireland’s exhibition The Pathos of Distance, a collaboration with artist Sarah Pierce exploring the visual history of Irish emigration.

The conference took place at Maynooth University from 14-16 of March, and included a conference dinner at historic Carton House.

This conference has been funded by the Netherlandish Organization of Scientific Research (NWO) and Maynooth University.
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Maynooth University Logo_RGB_72dpi_0

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https://visualmaterialfamine.wordpress.com/

 

Ambassador Kevin Vickers recalls his Famine Irish ancestors and parallels with refugee crisis on RTE radio

 

http://www.rte.ie/radio1/marian-finucane/programmes/2016/0220/769570-marian-finucane-saturday-20-february-2016/?clipid=2108280#2108280

http://www.rte.ie/radio/utils/radioplayer/rteradioweb.html#!rii=b9%5F20938695%5F70%5F20%2D02%2D2016%5F

From: 20:00

My Mum’s people were Kingstons from Bantry Bay. .. Paul Kingston left Bantry Bay in 1826. And my Dad’s people, people down in Wicklow, presented me with a beautiful book with my complete family history saying that my great, great grandfather was James Vickers would have left Arklow [in 1847]. Minister Charlie Flanagan would take exception to that because he is pretty sure that I come from County Laois, and there is in fact a James Vickers  who did leave Laois in 1827.  Whether I am going to call myself a Wicklow man or a Laois man I am not too sure.

Where I am from in Miramichi, New Brunswick, it is all Irish. The names are all Irish: Shanahan, Flanagan, O’Neill, Butler, Murphy, O’Shea… [In Ireland] it feels like I have come home. It really feels like home.

middle_island_memorial (1)

In my home town there is a Celtic Cross on Middle Island. In 1847 three ships arrived from Ireland, and there are 240 people buried on the island, Middle Island, and we grew up with that… During the Famine in 1847 was the worst year. The three ships involved , the Bolivar, the Richard White and the Loostaulk, their crews were overcome with typhus and cholera, and they had to make for the nearest port.  So they arrived at our home town.  But the river pilots refused to get on board the boats, because there were so many corpses on the decks.  When they finally were allowed to come up and dock at Middle Island, in the first week there were over a hundred people who further passed away.   It is two hundred and some odd people altogether who are buried there, in Middle Island, where we have this large Celtic Cross.

Middle Island Historical Park Miramichi

In Canada we are now on track to receive 25000 refugees by the end of February, and we may get up to fifty thousand by the end of the year. Between the forties, fifties, and early sixties in Canada we had three hundred and fifty thousand Irish people arrive on our shores.  There is an island in the St. Lawrence, Grosse Isle, with over five thousand Irish people buried on it who were overcome with cholera and typhus.  So it is a big part of our history.  Some people do not realize that seventeen percent of our population in Canada, like me, claim direct descendancy from Ireland. That would be roughly seven million people, a third again of the population from Ireland.  That is part of who we are.

Ambassador Kevin Vickers has also discussed the Famine Irish in Canada and his Irish ancestry during recent visits to Wicklow:

Kevin Vickers in Wicklow

 

Kevin Vickeres at Coollattin House

Pictured at the Canadian Connection event at Coollattin House are Alison Kehoe, Victor Young, Kevin Vickers (Canadian Ambassador to Ireland) and Dermot Kenny. Pic: Christy Farrell.http://visitwicklow.ie/wicklow-tourism-meets-canadian-ambassador-kevin-vickers/

The Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency, Kevin Vickers, was “very honoured and exceptionally humbled to have the profound pleasure to be back in my ancestral homeland,” when he enthusiastically addressed guests in the Library of Coollattin House, near Shillelagh, for the launch of the Coollattin Canadian Connection.

The event was organised by Old Coollattin Country Ltd and is aimed at promoting a number cultural, social and tourism links between Wicklow and Wexford with Canada, stemming from the large number of local emigrants who took the ships from New Ross across the Atlantic between 1847 and 1853.

When people say ‘Welcome home, Kevin’ it always brings tears to my eyes,” said Mr Vickers, who added that his great-great grandfather, James Vickers, left here (Wicklow) in 1847. “It is a profound experience to come back home.”

Boost for tourism as Coollattin restores historic links with Canada