On Wednesday the seventeenth of April the first and second year history students took a trip to the Dunbrody famine ship in New Ross.
The original Dunbrody was built in Quebec Canada in the year of 1844 by Quebec’s leading ship builder, Thomas Hamilton Oliver. In 1844 Hamilton received an order from New Ross company Graves & Sons and built the ship in less than six months.
The ship’s maiden voyage from Quebec to Ireland took place in 1845 under Captain John Baldwin. All this I learned on the trip!
The tour starts in the main building where there are posters to fill you up on facts like those given in previous paragraphs. Then we were ushered to a room (cleverly disguised as a cargo box) with three overhead projectors showing a video of the story of a family forced to emigrate to North America on a famine ship like the Dunbrody. We were told about the ships many functions and what each section of the ship was used for and then we were handed free roam above deck before heading below.
We witnessed two performances from two very motley passengers of the Dunbrody, one a peasant struggling to feed her family and the other probably a member of the mid nineteenth century protestant ascendancy. Eventually after added fact stating we were handed the same free roam below deck.
And so concluded the tour, probably best described as short and sweet, but definitely very helpful if one wishes to indulge themselves in one of Irelands more recent historic landmarks.