Famine emigration stories being told in a new exhibition over the summer
The stories of Irish people who fled the famine are being told in a new exhibition in Dublin over the summer; marking the 170th anniversary of the Famine year 1847.
It looks at how the famine gripped the country and how workhouses, emigration or starvation became the only options for hundreds of thousands of Irish people.
Between 1845 and 1851, around 1.2 million people left Ireland and it continued at a high level after the famine with five million people emigrating by 1910.
Father Theobald Mathew
Father Mathew was a Catholic Priest who became known as “The Apostle of Temperance”.
After being responsible for a large reduction in the sale of liquors in Ireland and England, Father Mathew, in 1849, came to the United States, and met with even greater success than in Europe.
According to New York Public Library, the photograph is a cabinet card by James M. Landy.
During the Famine, Father Mathew corresponded by letter with Charles Trevelyan, the British civil servant responsible for Irish Famine Relief, updating him on the distresses he witnessed, and urging the British Government to do more.
He also turned his house in Cork into a soup kitchen for the starving and concentrated his energies on relief work.
Hannah (or Honna) Rafferty
Hannah, or Honna, Rafferty was 17 when she arrived in Sydney in April 1849 on board
Her mother and father had died either before or during her stay at the dismal Castlerea Workhouse in County Roscommon
She was transferred to Bathurst in November 1849, probably after misconduct at Hyde Park Barracks.
A year later, Honna married goldminer Charles Edwards at Holy Trinity, Kelso, and raised seven children before his accidental death in 1866.
Details of her second marriage, to Frank Green, remain unclear. Hannah died on 24 May 1900, aged 66, and is buried in Bathurst
Hannah and Father Mathew’s story are featured in a wonderful new exhibition on the Irish Famine taking place in Dublin this summer.
Gerard McCarthy has produced the exhibition himself over the past six months, including a 15 minute film, 19th century photos, contemporary accounts and drawings, all telling the story of the Famine in an easy to understand yet emotive fashion.
The exhibition, which is on the top floor of St Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, runs from 29 May – 30 September.
See theirishpotatofamine.com for more details.