Irish Canadian Famine Research

Irish Canadian Famine Research

Category: Ciaran Reilly

The Strokestown Park Famine Archive and New Research

Ciaran Reilly 5

On day five of the walk, the walkers met with Dr Ciarán Reilly who gave them a tour of the Carton House estate near Maynooth. Dr Reilly is the leading expert on the Strokestown Park Archive and one of the most distinguished scholars in the field.  His book Strokestown and the Great Irish Famine (Four Courts, 2014) combines incisive analysis of the records in the archive with high quality reproductions of some of its most important documents.

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Ciaran Reilly’s book Strokestown and the Great Irish Famine is:

‘The most in-depth study of the effects of the Famine on a landed estate and its community … With the help of this book, we are brought deep inside the actuality of life during the Famine era. Some of our preconceived ideas of what actually transpired during that appalling era are challenged. Highlighted too is the important role played by the Irish National Famine Museum at Strokestown’, from the foreword by Mary McAleese, former President of Ireland.

Strokestown Famine Archive 3

The Strokestown Park House archive is one of the largest Irish estate collections in existence, with more than 50,000 documents comprising rentals, leases, accounts, correspondence, maps, drawings, architectural plans and photographs. Of particular importance are the papers that relate to the Great Irish Famine. This book aims to introduce the reader to the archive and to provide a fascinating and detailed insight into the many and varied experiences of the Famine for those who inhabited the estate in the 1840s.

http://www.fourcourtspress.ie/books/2014/strokestown-and-the-great-irish-famine/

In Strokestown and the Great Irish Famine, Reilly traces many of the 1490.  In his own words:

While the Strokestown Park archive provides a fascinating insight into people who emigrated during and immediately after the Famine, their fate afterwards is more difficult to track. For the vast majority we are offered only fleeting glimpses of their lives after leaving Ireland. An example is John Coleman, one of ninety-nine emigrants who left the townland of Curhouna during the assisted emigration programme of 1847. Having survived the crossing, Coleman made his way to New Orleans where by 1851 he was listed as being a patient in the city hospital. One of 1,100 men and women, including over 20 Roscommon natives, who sought medical treatment in the hospital in 1851 alone, the ultimate fate of Coleman is unknown. Likewise, Margaret Flynn, aged 24, and her son John, aged one, who were described as “destitute”; having survived the voyage on board the Virginius in July 1847, they made their way inland to St John, New Brunswick, where they found shelter in the city’s almshouses in 1851 (139-142).

More information about Margaret Flynn and her son John can be found here:

http://archives.gnb.ca/Irish/Databases/Almshouse/ImageViewer.aspx?culture=en-CA&mode=s&record=23605&fond=MC2700&series=MS2A3

http://archives.gnb.ca/Irish/Databases/Almshouse/ImageViewer.aspx?culture=en-CA&mode=s&record=23604&fond=MC2700&series=MS2A3

Ciarán Reilly has also co-authored Women and the Great Hunger  with the Famine walkers Christine Kinealy and Jason King (Cork and Quinnipiac University Press).

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http://www.corkuniversitypress.com/Women-and-the-Great-Hunger-p/9780990945420.htm

http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/women-and-the-great-hunger-review-new-takes-on-an-irish-tragedy-1.2982060

Ciarán Reilly has also published The Famine Irish: Emigration and the Great Hunger (History Press, 2016), which includes Jason King’s chapter about the 1490 entitled “Une Voix d’Irlande: Integration, Migration, and Travelling Nationalism Between Famine Ireland and Quebec in the Long Nineteenth Century”, 193-208.

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New Publication: Women and the Great Hunger (Christine Kinealy, Jason King, Ciaran Reilly)

 

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http://www.corkuniversitypress.com/Women-and-the-Great-Hunger-p/9780990945420.htm

Even considering recent advances in the development of women’s studies as a discipline, women remain underrepresented in the history and historiography of the Great Hunger. The various roles played by women, including as landowners, relief-givers, philanthropists, proselytizers and providers for the family, have received little attention.

This publication examines the diverse and still largely unexplored role of women during the Great Hunger, shedding light on how women experienced and shaped the tragedy that unfolded in Ireland between 1845 and 1852. In addition to more traditional sources, the contributors also draw on folklore and popular culture.

Women and the Great Hunger brings together the work of some of the leading researchers in Irish studies, with new scholarship, methodologies and perspectives. This book takes a major step toward advancing our understanding of the Great Hunger.

Christine Kinealy is Director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University. Jason King is Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Research Fellow, National University of Ireland, Galway and Ciarn Reilly is a Research Fellow, Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses & Estates, Maynooth University

Contents

Introduction. ‘This expertise is hard won’. Women and the Great Hunger in Ireland

Steadfast Women

‘Never call me a novelist’: Cecil Woodham-Smith and the making of the Great Hunger – Christine Kinealy (Quinnipiac University)

Asenath Nicholson and school children in Ireland – Maureen Murphy (Quinnipiac University)

Agency and Action

‘Nearly starved to death’: The female petition during the Great Hunger – Ciaran Reilly (Maynooth University)

The women of county Leitrim respond to the hunger – Gerard McAtasney (Independent Scholar)

‘Meddlers amongst us: women, priests, and authority in Famine-era Ireland’ – Cara Delay (College of Charleston)

‘Nearly naked’: clothing and the Great Hunger in Ireland – Daphne Wolf (Drew University)

Hidden Histories

The Famine Irish, the Grey Nuns, and the fever sheds of Montreal: prostitution and female religious institution building – Jason King (National University of Ireland, Galway)

‘Permanent deadweight’: female pauper emigration from Mountbellew Workhouse to Canada – Gerard Moran (Maynooth University)

The Lore of women: Irish expressive culture in New England after the Great Hunger – Eileen Moore Quinn (College of Charleston)

Publicizing Pain

Keeping hope alive: Jane Elgee and the Great Famine Matthew Skwiat – (Rochester University)

‘Skeletons at the feast’: Lady Wilde’s poetry and 19th century Irish critiques of famine and empire – Amy Martin (Mount Holyoke College)

‘Revolting scenes of famine’: Frances Power Cobbe and the Great Hunger – Maureen O’Connor (University College Cork)

 

New Directions

Nature and nurture: The Great Famine and epigenetic change in Ireland – Oonagh Walsh (Glasgow Caledonian University)

Amongst strangers: The Sisters of Charity and the New York Famine Irish -Turlough McConnell (Turlough McConnell Communications)

Lady Sligo and her letters: mounting an inaugural exhibition – Sandy Letourneau O’Hare and Robert A. Young, Jr. (Arnold Bernhard Library, Quinnipiac University)

The Earl Grey Irish orphan scheme, 1848 -1850 and the Irish diaspora in Australia – Rebecca Abbott (Quinnipiac University)

Postscript and A woman’s place is on the curriculum – Ruth Riddick (Open Door Counselling)

CFP: Children and the Great Hunger in Ireland Conference

cfp-children-and-the-great-hunger-in-ireland-2017

Call for Papers: Children and the Great Hunger in Ireland

Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University, in partnership with the Irish Heritage Trust at StrokestownPark, is hosting an international conference,

“Children and the Great Hunger in Ireland.” In any sustained period of food hunger and famine, children are one of the most vulnerable groups in terms of disease and mortality. The Great Hunger that occurred in Ireland between 1845 and 1852 is no exception. This conference will explore the impact of famine on children and young adults. While the focus will be on Ireland’s Great Hunger, a comparative approach is encouraged. It is anticipated that a selection of papers will be published.

  • Children and poor relief •Children and philanthropy •Abandonment and societal shame •Children’s literature and children in literature •Visual representations of children and young adults •Childhood diseases •Vagrancy and prostitution •Children and crime •Averted births and demography •Proselytizing the young •Children in print and material culture •Teaching the Great Hunger •The Earl Grey Scheme •The churches and children •Children in folklore •Sport and leisure •Famine and the family •Children of the Big House •Children and emigration •Memory and survivors’ accounts •Witness accounts •Memorializing the young

Papers are welcomed from all disciplines and from both established scholars and new researchers. Abstracts of 250-300 words for 20-minute papers or proposals for roundtable sessions on specific themes, together with 100-word biographical statements, should be directed to:

Professor Christine Kinealy: christine.kinealy@quinnipiac.edu And Dr Jason King: faminestudies@irishheritagetrust.ie

Deadline for receipt of abstracts 31 January 2017

New Book on The Famine Irish: Emigration and the Great Hunger with chapters on the Famine Irish in Quebec

Famine Irish Emigration and the Great Hunger

‘Une Voix d’Irlande’: Integration, Migration, and Travelling Nationalism between Famine Ireland and Quebec

Dr. Jason King (Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Research Fellow, National University of Ireland, Galway)

Languages of Memory: Jeremiah Gallagher and the Grosse Île Famine Monument

Michael Quigley (Editor, Canadian Association for Irish Studies Newsletter, former Action Grosse Île Historian)

 

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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https://visualmaterialfamine.wordpress.com/

 

2015 Annual Famine Commemoration Newry International Conference, September 23-26, 2015.

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On Saturday 26 September the National Famine Commemoration took place in Newry, County Down.  As part of the Famine Commemoration, an international conference on the the theme of “John Mitchel: The Legacy of the Great Irish Famine” was organized by Anthony Russell, Tommy Fegan, and Paddy Fitzgerald.  This is the first time the event will be held in Northern Ireland and follows on from a successful hosting in Strokestown, county Roscommon in May 2014.

Full details of the conference programme below:

Wednesday 23 Sept 7.00pm Official Opening of the Conference 7.00pm A Hedge School Event Ulster and the Legacy of the Great Famine Chair: Tommy Graham (History Ireland) Panellists: Professor Mary Daly, Professor Christine Kinealy, Professor Peter Gray and Dr Ruan O’Donnell

Newry John Mitchel statue

Thursday 24 Sept

10.00am Anthony Russell, Mitchel’s Town and The Famine in Two Ulsters

10:45am Professor William Smyth – Reflecting on the Atlas of the Great Irish Famine

11:15am Dr James Quinn – John Mitchel, the Irish Peasant and the American Slave

2.00pm Pechakuchas – 7 Presenters, 7 Slides, 7 Topics in 7 Minutes 1. Slavery, A Biblical Perspective – Nigel Agnew 2. Seven Famines – Dr Paddy Fitzgerald 3. Belfast Famine– Eamon Phoenix 4. Newry Workhouse – Hugh McShane 5. Famine Commemoration– Michael Blanch 6. A Famine Family – Lynn McAreavey 7. Strokestown – John O’Driscoll

Lady C

Friday 25 September

Morning Session

10.00am Christine Kinealy, The wee-men of Belfast. Female Philanthropy and the Great Famine

10.45 am Dr Laurence Geary, The Great Famine and Medicine 11:15am

Cathal Porteir, What folklore can tell us about the Great Famine that the documents cannot

11.45 am Dr Jason King, Irish Famine migration to Montreal, Toronto and New Brunswick

Newry faminecommemoration

Afternoon Session

2:00pm Dr Ciarán Reilly – ‘Famine has made sad savages among its poor’: the world of the Ulster cottier in the 1840s.

2.30pm Dr John Nelson – Like Father, Unlike Son: The Rev. John Mitchel

3.00pm Cormac O’Grada – Eating People is wrong:Thoughts on Famine

3:30pm Reflections on the Conference – Professor Christine Kinealy

Famine Programme Newry

Saturday 26 September

10am ‘The Famine Plot – A discussion on the Great Famine and Culpability’ Chair: Robert Kearns – Ireland Park Toronto; Panellists: Tim Pat Coogan, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Professor Liam Kennedy, Brian Patterson.

Newry Famine Graveyard

Walk to recall Famine victims offered flight or starvation

From Irish Times

Walk from Roscommon to Dublin honours the ‘missing 1,490’ Strokestown tenants

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Frank Hanly and Caroilin Callery at Strokestown Park prepare for Walking in the Footsteps of the Missing 1,490 – A Famine Emigrant’s Walk. Photograph: Brian Farr

Marese McDonagh

Sat, Apr 18, 2015

When Caroilin Callery was a teenager, her father Jim bought the 300-acre Strokestown estate in Co Roscommon from Olive Hales Pakenham.

“It was as if the family had just walked out the door. All their belongings were around; even the family portraits were hanging on the walls. I used to love wandering through the house,” Callery says.

The house was full of history: Pakenham’s ancestor Major Denis Mahon was a landlord who was murdered during the Famine in 1847.

But Jim Callery was less interested in Strokestown House or its history than he was in the lands around it. Indeed, he had only been in the drawingroom of the house at the time he did the deal in 1979. But he needed a few acres to expand his business, and the entire estate was what was on offer. So he took it.

He was somewhat taken aback a few years later when he discovered more than 55,000 musty documents, many relating to the Famine, in the house. For better or worse the family had been entrusted with safeguarding part of the legacy of the Famine, and the National Famine Museum is just one manifestation of that responsibility.

On Saturday, when she and a group of neighbours walk 155km from Strokestown to the Dublin docks, Caroilin Callery will be retracing the steps of the “missing 1,490”, the starving tenants who set out on foot from the estate in May 1847. Major Mahon had offered them the choice of emigration through “assisted passage”, starvation on their blighted potato patch farms or a place in the terrifying local workhouse.

Coffin ships

After walking for days along the tow paths of the Royal Canal to Dublin, the weary men, women and children were put on boats to Liverpool, and from there to Quebec aboard four notorious “coffin ships”.

Caroilin Callery says the Royal Canal was “the N4 of that time” and was the most likely route for Mahon’s tenants.

It was one of the largest “assisted emigration” schemes of the Famine era, a mass movement of people with impossible choices.

While initially dubious about the scheme, the landlord notoriously booked passage for his tenants on cargo ships, rather than passenger ones, and according to some estimates, as many as 50 per cent did not survive the journey to Canada.

“Another very sad and ironic fact is that these people initially travelled to Liverpool on boats loaded with grain from Ireland. They were lying under tarpaulin on deck, on top of this wheat,” says Callery.

She is director of the inaugural Irish Famine Summer School which takes place in Strokestown House from June 17th to 21st . It will be launched by Minister for the Arts Heather Humphreys when she greets the walkers on the Jeanie Johnston on their arrival in Dublin on Wednesday.

Callery says she will be thinking of the tenants as she follows in their footsteps today.

“I will be thinking of the children walking barefoot, the hungry mothers carrying babies, the corpses they must have seen along the canal.

“ I will be thinking about Mary Tighe who is often in my mind, who left with her brother and her five children after her husband Bernard died.”

Survivors

Mary Tighe and three of her children died before their ship docked at Grosse Île. Her son Daniel (12) and daughter Catherine (9) survived, and two years ago Daniel’s great-grandson Richard Tye visited Strokestown in one of the more moving visits of the Gathering.

Callery and her neighbours will spend five days walking, overnighting in Abbeyshrule, Mullingar, Enfield and Maynooth. They are hoping that hundreds will join them along the route.

The scale of the exodus from Strokestown was discovered by Dr Ciarán Reilly from Maynooth University, author of Strokestown and the Great Irish Famine. He says estate bailiff John Robinson, who was paid two shillings to escort the tenants to Liverpool, was “given strict instructions that none were ever to return to Roscommon”.

In November 1847 Major Mahon became the first landlord to be murdered during the Famine.

“Word got back about the condition of the ships. There was a lot of anger,” says Callery

Irish Famine Summer School 2015 at Strokestown Park House and Irish National Famine Museum (June 17-21)

Irish Famine Summer School at Strokestown Park House

Irish Famine Summer School at Strokestown Park House Programme

PROGRAMME

Wednesday 17th June

9:30am – 1:00pm

The Great Irish Famine: New Perspectives

Prof Christine Kinealy- Quinnipiac University, Connecticut, USA
Dr Ciaran Reilly – Maynooth University, Ireland
Dr Jonny Geber – University College Cork, Ireland

2:30pm

Tour of Cruchain Ai- Royal Celtic Site, Tulsk & the 18th Century Windmill, Elphin.

Bus departs – Event Tent – Bawn Street
Booking and tour fee Required

2:00pm – 3:30pm

Local Craft Display – Percy French Hotel

Free

3:30pm

Blas na Gaelige

learn a few phrases of Irish, Town Libary
Free

4:00pm

Secret Areas of Strokestown Park House Tour

Booking and tour fee Required

FREE EVENING

Thursday 18th June

9:30am – 1:00pm

The Great Irish Famine Abroad

Prof Mark McGowan – University of Toronto, Canada
Dr Patrick Fitzgerald – Mellon Centre for Migration, Omagh NI
Dr Perry McIntyre – Global Irish Studies Centre, University of New South Wales

2:30pm

Tour of Rindoon Deserted Medieval Village

Bus departs – Event Tent – Bawn Street
Booking and tour fee Required

2:30pm

Genealogy Centre Workshop

Free

4:00pm

History Walk of the Town

(Meet at the Event Tent) Free

8:00pm

Drama – The Murder of Major Mahon, 1847

Strokestown Park House, Library
Booking and tour fee Required

Friday 19th June

9:30am – 1:00pm

The Great Irish Famine Remembered

Dr Emily Mark-Fitzgerald – University College Dublin, Ireland
Dr Marguerite Corporaal – Radbound University, Nijmegen, Holland
Dr Jason King – NUI, Galway, Ireland

2:30pm – 5:30pm

Tour of Roscommon Workhouse & Quaker Meeting House

Bus departs – Event Tent – Bawn Street
Booking and tour fee Required

1:00 – 3:00pm

Secret Tour of Strokestown…

ending with “Taste of Famine Times’ Soyer soup and Maize Bread
Woodland Walk Restaurant
Booking and tour fee Required

3:30pm

Sliabh Ban Walk through the Ages

(Meet at the Event Tent)

8:00pm

History Hedge School – The Great Irish Famine: Past, Present and Future

Prof Christine Kinealy- Quinnipiac University, Connecticut, USA
Prof Mark McGowan – University of Toronto, Canada
Dr Ciaran Reilly – Maynooth University, Ireland

Percy French Ballroom – Small Entry Fee €

Saturday 20th June

9:00am – 5:00pm

The Local and Regional Impact of the Great Irish Famine

Keynote Speaker: Prof Peter Gray, Queens University Belfast, NI

8:00pm

Conference & Summer School Dinner

Strokestown Park House
Pre Dinner Drinks in the Library
Booking Required – € 50

Sunday 21st June

9:00am – 12:30pm

The Local and Regional Impact of the Great Irish Famine

Closing remarks and discussion

3:00pm

History Walk of the Town

(Meet at the Event Tent) Free

1:00pm – 5:00pm

Olde World Fayre

Bawn Street

Children’s Events – Workshops on Sat / Sun

Facepainting / Fancy Dress / Ice Cream