Irish Canadian Famine Research

Irish Canadian Famine Research

Category: Irish Famine Theatre

Outstanding new documentary by Viveka Melki, Carricks, dans le sillage des Irlandais, featuring Charles Kavanagh, descendant of Famine Irish Survivors of the Wreck

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Carricks, dans le sillage des Irlandais (in French, with English subtitles)

Le 17 mai 1847, le navire irlandais Carricks fait naufrage à Cap-des-Rosiers, à quelques centaines de mètres au large des plages gaspésiennes, avec à son bord 187 passagers irlandais et un violon signé Stradivarius.

http://ici.radio-canada.ca/audio-video/media-7693449/carricks-dans-le-sillage-des-irlandais

La quête de Charles Kavanagh est aussi celle de bien d’autres descendants d’immigrants irlandais; à travers l’histoire du naufrage du bateau Carricks en 1847, il ne lève pas seulement le voile sur l’histoire de sa famille, mais aussi l’héritage des Irlandais au Québec.

On May 17, 1847, the Irish ship Carricks was wrecked at Cap-des-Rosiers, a few hundred meters off beach in Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula, carrying 187 Irish passengers and a Stradivarius violin.

Charles Kavanagh’s quest is also that of many other descendants of Irish Famine immigrants to learn more about their origins. He seeks to trace the story of the sinking of the Carricks Famine ship from which his ancestors Patrick and Sarah Kaveney survived in May 1847, and unveils the history not only of his family, but also the legacy of the Irish in Quebec.

The film is directed by Viveka Melki and narrated by Charles Kavanagh, in collaboration with the archaeologist Martin Perron and the historians Simon Jolivet and Jo-Anick Proulx.

 

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Carrick 5Carrick monument-irlandais-carrick-parc-forillon

Carricks bell

Margaret Grant MacWhirter, Treasure trove in Gaspé and the Baie des chaleurs (1919), p. 13.

Cap de Rosier has a tragic interest on account of the tales of marine disaster with which it is associated. The story is still told in Gaspe village of the good ship “Carricks” which sailed from Sligo, Ireland, in May, 1847.

And old lady, perhaps the sole survivor, remembered the occurrence when interviewed by the writer. She, a child of twelve years, was one of seven children, and like all the passengers, her family were emigrants. After a rough and uncomfortable passage of twenty-three days, the captain missed his reckoning in a blinding snow-storm, and in the darkness of the night, struck the cruel cape.  One stroke of the angry wave swept her clean. Comparatively few were saved, after hours of cold, hunger and fear such as may be imagined. The inhabitants came to the rescue, and treated the pitiable survivors with kindness. Truly the beach presented a gruesome spectacle the following day, strewn for a mile and a half with dead bodies.  For a whole day two ox-carts carried the dead to deep trenches near the scene of the disaster. In the autumn the heavy storms sweep within sound of the spot.  Thus peacefully, with the requiem of the waves and winds they rest. In recent years a monument has been erected to their memory by the parishioners of St. Patrick’s Montreal. Alas! this is only one of the many sorrowful tales which are related of Cap de Rosier.Carricks Downpatrick Recorder cropCarrick Downpatrick Recorder 2 crop

Petition for Reimbursement for Expenses in Caring for Carricks’ Survivors:

Carricks Petition 1

Carricks Petition 2

From Sligo Champion (April 22 2017)

http://www.independent.ie/regionals/sligochampion/news/canadians-walk-in-famine-ship-ancestors-footsteps-35622856.html

Canadians walk in Famine ship ancestors’ footsteps

Canadian descendants of a family who fled Sligo during the Famine returned last weekend to retrace their last journey on Irish soil.

Rose Marie and Terry Stanley walked the Famine Trail from the Caves of Keash to Sligo Quay on Saturday to mark the 170th anniversary since their forefathers, Patrick and Sarah Kaveney and their six children left Cross on the 5th of April 1847.

They were joined by eight Canadian family members, their Ward cousins from Keash and the Keaveneys from Dublin. On their arrival at the Quay the group were honoured at a civic reception at City Hall hosted by Mayor of Sligo Municipal District Cllr Marie Casserly.

Rose Marie expressed her appreciation to the Mayor and spoke of the impact of the walk together with the unexpected gift of finding the family’s Sligo roots and connecting with cousins here in Ireland. She committed to returning in 2021 to walk the Famine Trail again.

While here Rose Marie will present a play called ‘EMIGRANT’ based of the epic journey of her ancestors, Patrick Kaveney and Sarah McDonagh. It will be presented in Cliffoney Hall on Thursday, 20th April at 8.30 pm, and in White Hall Keash on Saturday 22nd April again at 8.30pm. In Cliffoney Anne Hoey and Frank Kielty will assist the presentation.

Patrick and Sarah,their six children and 172 other emigrants from Lord Palmerston’s estates sailed on board the Carricks of Whitehaven to Quebec.

The ship ran into a late winter storm and was shipwrecked on 28th April 1847, in the Gulf of St Lawrence, just off the coast of Cap des Rosiers, Canada. Only 48 survived, including Patrick and Sarah together with their son  Martin, but their five daughters perished.

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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

Launch of the “Saving the Famine Irish” Exhibit at Montreal’s Centaur Theatre

http://mtltimes.ca/saving-famine-irish-exhibition-comes-montreal-2/Famine-Exhibition-Map-FT5S

The Montreal Irish Monument Park Foundation is hosting “Saving the Famine Irish: The Grey Nuns and the Great Hunger,” at the Centaur Theatre from April 11th until April 17th. It is arriving from the Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University, Connecticut, which hosted the exhibition, curated by Dr. Jason King and Dr. Christine Kinealy, from March 17th, 2015 until March 17th, 2016.

This moving exhibition tells the story of the religious orders in Montreal whose members gave selflessly to Irish immigrants during the summer of 1847 – their time of greatest need.

Many thousands of people fled from Ireland during the Great Hunger and immigrated to Canada, the only doors never closed to the Irish. Famine immigrants to Montreal were not only among the poorest of the poor, but many of them arrived already sick with typhus fever. Despite this, a number of people in the English and French Canadian communities provided the ailing and the dying with shelter and support. At the forefront of this compassionate movement were the Sisters of Charity, also known as the Grey Nuns.

“The story of the Grey Nuns, and of the other religious orders who helped the dying Irish immigrants, is one of kindness, compassion and true charity,” Christine Kinealy, founding director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac and a professor of history,  said. “Nonetheless, almost 6,000 Irish immigrants perished in the fever sheds of Montreal. They had fled from famine in Ireland only to die of fever in Canada. This is a remarkable story that deserves to be better known.”

This exhibit is being hosted by the Montreal Irish Monument Park Foundation to help underscore the need to create a suitable memorial at the site of the “Black Rock” , which marks Montreal’s Irish Famine cemetery. This new green space would honour the 6000+ Irish immigrants who died and were buried in the area in 1847; as well as the many Montrealers who went to their aid, including John Easton Mills, the Mayor of Montreal at the time. He personally provided care and comfort to these unfortunate immigrants, caught typhus, and died as a hero. It would also honour the many brave French-speaking Quebec families that adopted more than 1000 Irish orphans, resulting in an estimated 40% of Quebecers having Irish ancestry today.

WWL

 

 

Grosse-Île: A Choral Story/ Une Histoire Chorale

Grosse-Île: A Choral Story/ Une Histoire Chorale

March 12th and 13th:  50 artists will take the stage at the Palais Montcalm in Quebec City to sing the story of Grosse-Île quarantine station, summer 1847.  Projections depict the island and relics of that summer; lighting and period costumes set the mood; first person narrative brings memory to life.  Supported by a musical trio of piano, guitar and flute, the voice of each singer will echo across the sea of time calling to us in the 21st century. Employing four languages, French, English, Gaelic and Latin, John Halpin’s lyrics capture a complex cultural mosaic.   Crisp vocal rhythms and rich four-part harmonization support lyrical solo performances, speaking of starvation, hope, desperation, sharing, illness, comforting, death, loss, and the will to carry on.

On the island we meet an elderly couple, Sean and Brigid, the story narrators, remembering their childhood experience in the summer of 1847; Eileen, a suffering Irish immigrant; Darah and Donal, a young Irish couple struggling to heal and restore their people; Skews, an English ship mate stricken by typhus; Doctor d’Amour, searching desperately for a ‘cure’; Father Charles, struggling to be the hand of God amidst a sea of pain and misery.  Over 5000 Irish immigrants died and were buried on Grosse-Île that fateful summer.  The authenticity of Sean and Brigid’s first hand experience of the quarantine station is tempered by the filter of time, the joy of the years won with their own survival and the courage and strength they attribute to the remarkable people they encountered on Grosse-Île.  In the end, it is the heart felt appeal of Father Charles to the faithful parishioners of Montmagny that opens the doors of the Québecois to the stranded Irish orphans.  This is the message of hope at the heart of Grosse-Île:  a story as much for our time as any; a story of anguish relieved by welcome… A story that must be told!

Grosse-Île: A Choral Story/ Une Histoire Chorale is a 2 hour narrative musical performance, written by three Quebeckers, Margaret Forrest, John Halpin and Hubert Radoux, and produced by Les Productions Cibles.  The 40 voice choir, Dal Segno, under the direction of Guillaume St. Gelais is joined by 7 soloists.

Grosse Île musical commemorates Quebec’s Irish heritage

Grosse Île musical commemorates Quebec’s Irish heritage

The bilingual production of Grosse Île: Une Histoire Chorale, which was shown last Saturday and Sunday at the Palais Montcalm, pulls at the heart strings.

“I hope that people feel the pain,” said co-author Margaret Forrest.

In 1847, immigrants traveled across the ocean from Ireland to get away from famine.

“They have to hope and come to Quebec, but then the landlords and the people on the boats are not necessarily nice to them and they get sick,” explained Marie-Maude Potvin, a singer and actress in the musical.

Suffering from cholera and typhoid fever, when the Irish finally arrived in Quebec, they were quarantined on Grosse Île.

“I was surprised that I didn’t know about the story,” said Katee Julien, another singer and actress.

“I think it’s important for us people from Quebec City to know about that because it’s about us. You don’t know why some streets have Irish names.”

This original play – and original score – commemorates the over 5,000 Irish immigrants buried on the island.

Greg Halpin plays two characters, both of whom die from disease.

“Throughout the play, there’s just constantly this chorus that keeps echoing back, of hope and how you get through these kinds of tragedies,” said Halpin.

The story takes place almost 170 years ago, but the imagery is all too reminiscent of Syrian refugees who have died in similar journeys by boat.

“People who were actually dying on the shoreline and they had no place for these people. They had no place to bury them,” said Radoux.

“It is so timely,” said Forrest.

“We’re so estranged to this notion of people having a right or a need to change the place they live. We tend to say ‘pull up your boot straps and change your own place’…but this is the time to open our arms.”

Forrest insisted Quebecers should welcome newcomers, who so quickly become part of our heritage.

 

 

Annual Famine Commemoration: Newry, September 26th, 2015.

Commemoration hears of famine’s heavy toll on Ulster

Cavan lost 43% of its population through death or emigration between 1845 and 1851

Irish Times, Saturday, September 26, 2015.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/commemoration-hears-of-famine-s-heavy-toll-on-ulster-1.2368184

Newry Famine Commemoration 1

Stormont culture minister Caral Ni Chuilin, Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Minister for Heritage Heather Humphreys in Newry, Co Down at the National Famine Commemoration ceremony. Photograph: Paul Faith.

Ronan McGreevy

The tragedy of a coffin ship which hit an iceberg and sank was recalled at the first National Famine Commemoration event to be held in Northern Ireland.

Hannah left Warrenpoint in April 1849 with approximately 170 passengers and crew on board.

She sank in the Gulf of St Lawrence on April 29th, 1849 with at least 49 deaths though the ship’s list was lost and nobody knows exactly how many people were on board.

The annual commemoration was held at Albert Basin, Newry. Nearby Warrenpoint was a major port of emigration during the famine years. Hannah sailed from there on April 4th.

Most of those on board Hannah were from south Armagh. Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys referenced the Murphy family from Mullaghbane who lost two of their children in the sinking and whose descendants still live in North Crosby, Ontario.

Stormont minister for culture Carál Ní Chuilín gave an account of the sinking of Hannah. One mother lost her six children, she said.

The ship struck an iceberg in the middle of the night and many of the children were trapped below deck. The ship sank in just 40 minutes and survivors clung to ice floes, but many died from exposure.

One eyewitness reported of the survivors: “No pen can describe the pitiful situation of the poor creatures. They were all but naked, cut and bruised and frostbitten. There were children who lost parents and parents who lost children. Many, in fact, were perfectly insensible.”

HANNAH_0001-copy_Page_01

Dr Eamon Phoenix, a member of the famine memorial committee, stated the catastrophe directed impacted at least 3.5 million in Ireland. The population of the historic province of Ulster dropped by 16 per cent between 1845 and 1851. The worst affected county was Cavan where 43 per cent of the population was lost through either death or emigration.

Dr Phoenix pointed out that the famine affected both Catholic and Protestant communities in the North.

The famine had a “seering impact on the traditionally prosperous parts of east Ulster,” he said, adding that it was particularly notable around Lurgan and Portadown in Armagh.

In Newtownards the potato crop failure coincided with a downturn in the linen industry which devastated the area leaving “emaciated, half-famished souls”, according to a local newspaper account.

The workhouse in Newry saw a rise in numbers from 465 in 1845 to 1,100 in 1847.

The service was hosted by Newry and Mourne District Council. The National Famine Commemoration was first established in 2008 and is held in a different part of the country every year.

Representatives of the diplomatic corps from more than 30 countries attended the event and laid wreathes.

Mrs Humphreys will also unveil a commemorative plaque in Warrenpoint, Co. Down on Sunday in honour of those who emigrated and all of the people who suffered on the island of Ireland as a result of the famine.

 

Performing Famine Memory: Irish Theatre and the Great Hunger Symposium (NUI Galway Feb 12-13)

Druid Program 2

Performing Famine Memory: Irish Theatre and the Great Hunger

Performing Famine Memory:
Irish Theatre and the Great Hunger Symposium
National University of Ireland, Galway, February 12-13, 2015.

Date: Thursday February 12, 1-7pm. Friday February 13, 10am -12pm.

Venue: Hardiman Research Building, G010.

Conference Convener and Contact: Dr. Jason King (Jason.king@nuigalway.ie)

This symposium examines Irish Theatre and Famine Memory between the periods of the Irish Revival and the rise and fall of Ireland’s Celtic Tiger.  It places special emphasis on the performance of Famine remembrance to register moments of national crisis and forced migration in Ireland, both past and present.  The symposium brings together leading Irish theatre and famine scholars and theatre practitioners to explore recent productions about the Great Hunger in the era of the Celtic Tiger, such as DruidMurphy’s revival (2012) of Tom Murphy’s Famine (1968), Sonya Kelly’s How to Keep An Alien (2014), Moonfish Theatre’s bilingual English and Irish language adaptation of Joseph O’Connor’s novel Star of the Sea (2014), Jaki McCarrick’s Belfast Girls (2012), Fiona Quinn’s The Voyage of the Orphans (2012), Caroilin Callery and Maggie Gallagher’s “Strokestown – Quebec Connection Youth Arts Project – ‘The Language of Memory and Return’” (2011-2014), Donal O’Kelly’s The Cambria (2005), and Elizabeth Kuti’s The Sugar Wife (2005).  Representations of the Great Famine during the Revival in Maud Gonne’s Dawn and early plays staged at the Gate Theatre will also be discussed. The performance of traumatic remembrance of the Famine and pivotal historical events in W.B. Yeats’s The Dreaming of the Bones (1916) will be explored in a keynote address by Professor Chris Morash.  Dr. Marguérite Corporaal will also deliver a keynote address on the development of international Famine studies and research networks and opportunities for collaboration.
Food Demonstration in Dungarvan
Symposium Schedule Thursday Februrary 12:

1-2pm. Irish Famine Memory and Migration in Contemporary Theatre Productions:

Barry Houlihan (NUIG), Overview of Irish Theatre Archival Resources at NUI Galway.

Dr. Jason King (NUIG): “Performing the Green Pacific: Staging Female Youth Migration in  Jaki
McCarrick’s Belfast Girls (2012) and Fiona Quinn’s The Voyage of the Orphans (2012)”.

Dr. Charlotte McIvor (NUIG): ‘The Cambria (2005) and How To Keep An Alien (2014): Famine Traces and the Palimpsestic Time of Irish Migration’

 2-3pm. Staging Famine Memory: Theatre Practitioner Perspectives  

Máiréad Ni Chroinin (NUIG and Moonfish Theatre): “Moonfish Theatre’s production of Star of the Sea, based on the novel by Joseph O’Connor” (2014).

Caroilin Callery (Cultural Connections Theatre Group): Strokestown – Quebec Connection Youth Arts Project – ‘The Language of Memory and Return’.

3-3:30pm coffee break
Druid Archive 1

3:30-5pm. DruidMurphy and Early Twentieth-Century Representations of the Great Famine on Stage:

Professor Patrick Lonergan (NUIG): DruidMurphy (2012) and Abbey Productions of Tom Murphy’s Famine.

Dr. Marguérite Corporaal (Radboud University Nijmegen): “Starvation in the Shadows: (Un)staging the Famine in Maud Gonne’s Dawn (1904)”.

Ruud Van Den Beuken (Radboud University Nijmegen): “’My blessing on the pistol and the powder and the ball!’: Prospective Memories of Landlord Murders in the Earl of Longford’s Ascendancy (1935)”.

6pm. Keynote address: Professor Chris Morash (MRIA, Trinity College, Dublin):

“Re-placing Trauma: Yeats’s The Dreaming of the Bones”.

Druid Archive 2
Symposium Schedule Friday February 13 (10am-12pm)
Venue: Hardiman Research Building, G010.

Plenary Workshop: Dr. Marguérite Corporaal, “Building Irish Famine Research Networks”.

Deputy Thom Kluk from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands will introduce keynote speaker Dr. Marguérite Corporaal (Radboud University Nijmegen). Dr. Corporaal will discuss her European Research Council funded project Relocated Remembrance: The Great Famine in Irish (Diaspora) Fiction, 1847-1921 (http://www.ru.nl/relocatedremembrance/) and her Dutch Research Council funded International Network of Irish Famine Studies (INIFS) (http://www.ru.nl/irishfaminenetwork/). She will consider the challenges of building international research networks and explore the opportunities and themes for research collaboration.  

Claddagh

Irish Famine Summer School in Strokestown officially launched

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http://www.shannonside.ie/news/irish-famine-summer-school-in-strokestown-officially-launched/

The Irish Famine Summer School in Strokestown has been officially launched during the recent Roses of Tralee visit to the town.

The summer school to be held in June 2015 follows the success of the International Famine Conference and the National Famine Commemoration held in May.

The summer school is a joint initiative between the Irish Famine Museum, Strokestown Community Development Association, Roscommon County Council and the Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates at NUI Maynooth.

It will also be supported by Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University and St Michael’s College, University of Toronto.

A former student of the University, the Toronto Rose Katie Blundell officially launched the school this week with Roscommon Cathaoirleach John Cummins.

The school will run next year from June 17th to June 21st and will include lectures, workshops, drama, music and excursions of the historic sites in Roscommon.