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The Great Irish Famine -:¦:- Plus Quizzes

Updated on December 5, 2013

The Great Irish Famine - An Epic of Death and Immigration

A Monument to the Great Famine

In the shadow of Ireland's "holy" mountain, Croagh Patrick, stands a most unusual ship. It looks like a small 19th-century sailing ship with its prow pointing west toward the Atlantic Ocean. But this ship will never set sail. It is firmly fixed in a bed of concrete.

Interwoven among the masts are striking representations of human skeletons.

The ship is a large metal sculpture that was officially unveiled in 1997 to memorialize one of the greatest tragedies in the history of Ireland, the Great Famine. The skeletons and the ship are symbols of the death and mass immigration that marked the tragic years of 1845-50.

Questions to be Answered

1. What caused so great a famine?

2. What help was given to its victims?

3. What can we learn from this calamity?

To appreciate the answers to these questions, let us first briefly examine what Irish life was like in the years before the famine.

Before the Great Famine - Life was hard, but good

Ireland is not unique, of course, in experiencing famine. Many countries have suffered in this way. In many ways, though, the Great Irish Famine was exceptionally tragic. In 1845, Ireland's population was about eight million. By 1850, perhaps one and a half million had died as a result of the famine! A further million had migrated in search of a better life, mainly to Britain or the United States. A great tragedy? Most certainly!

Many of the Irish people were poor, but for the most part they were a happy lot. The women gathered in the evening to work on their lace, gossip and brag about their children's latest accomplishments. The men, tired from the day's work strolled down to the pub to be with their buddies and to have a pint of Guinness.

Trinity - Author - Leon Uris

A sweeping and powerful epic adventure that captures the "terrible beauty" of Ireland during its long and bloody struggle for freedom. It is the electrifying story of an idealistic young Catholic rebel and the valiant and beautiful Protestant girl who defied her heritage to join his cause. It is a tale of love and danger, of triumph at an unthinkable cost -- a magnificent portrait of a people divided by class, faith, and prejudice -- an unforgettable saga of the fires that devastated a majestic land . . . and the unquenchable flames that burn in the human heart.


The revelations I had as a result of reading "Trinity," written by Leon Uris, have altered my life permanently. While I always "felt badly" for oppressed cultures, since reading "Trinity" I understand more internally how heartbreaking it can be to live as a member of a subjugated and abused people.

May we learn from the past and, if it is in our power, never let it happen again.


By the start of the 19th century, Britain had extended its dominion over a large part of the earth. That included Ireland. Much of Ireland was owned by English landlords, many of whom resided in England. These absentee landlords extracted high rents from their Irish tenants and paid low wages for their labor.

Thousands of small farmers, or cottiers, lived in abject poverty. Unable to buy meat or many other foods, the people grew the cheapest, easiest, and most substantial crop they could under these circumstances, the potato.

This is what happened... - The Irish Famine #1

A short film produced by Pathe News around 1905 that brought attention to famine in Ireland in that year. The film has been altered and is used to draw similarities to the early famine of 1846-50.

The potato was introduced into Ireland about 1590. It was very successful because Ireland's wet and mild climate suited its growth and the potato could be grown in very poor soil. It was used as food for both man and animal. By the mid-1800's, just under a third of all arable land was being used to grow potatoes. Almost two thirds of them were for human consumption. The average Irish male ate potatoes every day - and little else!

Since so many people were totally reliant on the potato for food, that situation was a recipe for disaster. What would happen if the crop failed?

The famine started in September 1845 when blight was first noted in the country and by November half the potato crop was ruined.

The origin of Phytophthora infestans, can be traced to a valley in the highlands of central Mexico. The first recorded instances of the disease were in the United States, in Philadelphia and New York City in early 1843. Winds then spread the spores, and in 1845 it was found from Illinois to Nova Scotia, and from Virginia to Ontario. The disease crossed the Atlantic Ocean with a shipment of seed potatoes destined for Belgian farmers in 1845.

Symptoms of the potato blight were then recorded in Belgium in 1845. According to W.C. Paddock, Phytophthora infestans (which is an oomycete, not a fungus) was transported on potatoes being carried to feed passengers on clipper ships sailing from America to Ireland.

Second Crop Failure


The poor-quality seed potatoes that could be rescued were sown the next year, 1846, but blight also destroyed this second crop. As there was nothing left worth harvesting, many farm workers lost their jobs. Farm owners simply could not afford to pay them.

The government set up various relief works, hiring many of these poor folk, mainly for road building, so that they could provide for their families.

Some could only get work in workhouses. These institutions employed destitute people. In return for their labor, workers received food and lodging. The work was harsh. Often, the food was rotten, and the accommodations were very primitive. Many workers did not survive.

These measures did provide some relief. But there was worse to come. The winter of 1846/47 was extremely cold, and it curtailed most of the outside work. Various government agencies distributed free food. After two years, however, government funds for this relief work began to run out, and all the aid provided was hopelessly inadequate for the ever-increasing flood of physically weakened people. Then another devastating blow hit Ireland.

Evicted by absentee landlords

where to go now?

Absentee landlords, many facing large debts themselves, continued to demand their rents. Many of the tenants were unable to pay, and as a result, thousands were evicted from their land. Some tenants simply left the land and went to the cities hoping for a better life. But with no food, no money, and no housing, where were they to go? For growing numbers, emigration became the only option.

A few landlords assisted their former tenants. One, for example, chartered three ships and contributed toward the passage of a thousand of his tenants. Most emigrants, though, had to struggle to find their own fare. Often only one or two from a large family could afford the passage. Imagine the heartbreak at the dockside as thousands of family members said farewell, likely never to see one another again.

The Plight of the Emigrant

The picture below shows emigrants waiting on a quayside looking for passage to America. The signs are advertising services to Boston, New York and Quebec. Some were cheated out of the little money they had brought, to pay their fares, by "fast-talking rogues". In many cases, getting passage on a ship seems to have been a matter of waiting for an opportunity rather than booking tickets in advance.

Immigration En Masse

Immigration was not new. Since the beginning of the 18th century, there had been a steady trickle of immigrants from Ireland to Britain and America. After the winter of 1845, the trickle became a torrent! By 1850, 26 percent of the residents of New York were Irish - there were more Irish-born citizens there than in Ireland's capital city, Dublin.

*During the six years of the famine, five thousand ships made the hazardous 3,000-mile [5,000 km] journey across the Atlantic. Many of the ships were old. Some had previously served as slave ships. They only continued in service because of the emergency. Little improvement had been made in their claustrophobic living quarters. There was no sanitation, and passengers had to survive on only the barest rations.

Thousands of passengers, already weakened by the famine, became sick. Many died while at sea. In 1847, ships bound for Canada came to be called "coffin ships." Of the 100,000 or so emigrants they carried, over 16,000 died either at sea or soon after landing. Letters sent back to friends and relatives in Ireland told of these perilous conditions, but still the emigrants left in droves.

A Plea

"Ireland is in your hands, in your power. If you do not save her, she cannot save herself. I solemnly call upon you to recollect that I predict with the sincerest conviction that a quarter of her population will perish unless you come to her relief." Daniel O'Connell to the British House of Commons, 1847.

Disease and a Third Crop Failure


After two successive failed potato crops and mass evictions, the decimated population had to contend with yet another savage blow. Disease! Typhus, dysentery, and scurvy claimed more lives. Many of the survivors must have thought that things could not possibly get worse, but they were wrong.

Encouraged by a successful crop in 1847, farmers trebled the acreage of potato planting in 1848. Then came catastrophe! That summer proved to be very wet. Blight struck once more. The crop was lost for the third time in four seasons. Government agencies and charities were stretched to the breaking point. Even then, the worst was not over. In 1849 a cholera epidemic claimed the lives of a further 36,000.

The Aftermath

A turning point.

That epidemic, however, marked a turning point. The next potato crop was successful. Slowly, things improved. The government enacted new laws that canceled all debts resulting from the famine. The population began to grow once more. Although the blight affected a few crops in following years, there was never again anything approaching the scale of the horrors that accounted for the loss of over a quarter of Ireland's population during these tragic years of famine.

Today, all over Ireland, broken-down stone walls and ruined houses stand as stark reminders of the harsh times that resulted in the widespread Irish diaspora. In the United States alone, over 40 million can claim Irish descent. U.S. President John F. Kennedy as well as Henry Ford, inventor of the Ford motor car, were directly descended from emigrants who sailed from Ireland on famine ships.

The repeated failure of the potato crop was, of course, a major factor in this sad story of death and emigration. Another important factor was what the ancient Bible writer described as 'man dominating man to his injury.' (Ecclesiastes 8:9)

The Irish Famine Song

The music that accompanies these clips is, "The Famine Song."

If you read the comments, you will notice that there is still a lot of animosity between the Irish and the English.

The Great Famine of Ireland is memorialized in many locations throughout Ireland, especially in those regions that suffered the greatest losses, and also in cities overseas with large populations descended from Irish immigrants.

Whereas the landlord class had the resources to leave an indelible mark on the landscape, the Irish tenants lived in poverty and nothing of a physical nature has survived to commemorate their lives. Many memorials now serve to do just that.

Below you will find a list of memorials to all the sufferers of the great Irish famine. Not all are pretty but neither was the famine and what my Irish ancestors went through. Many questions are still asked about, how and why this happened. Were there people in high places who helped plan these horrific events as some believe? Or was it just time and unforeseen circumstances which tossed the dice with the wrong numbers for the Irish? A long time has gone by since this happened and it is not likely that we will become more enlightened than we already are, but perhaps we may learn something from the past . That is my prayer.

The Irish-Australian community's desire to place a sculpture at the Hyde Park Barracks to commemorate the passage of 150 years since the Great Irish Famine represented a huge challenge. The Barracks in Sydney is imbued with so much of this nation's history that it has almost sacred status in the minds of many Australians and was not taken lightly. The monument erected to the Great Irish Famine is an exception.

Famine Remembrance

Fatherless and motherless, no brothers have I

And all my little sisters in the cold grave lie

Wasted with hunger I saw them falling dead

Lonely and bitter are the tears I shed

To this haunting Irish air, 32 'orphan' girls carrying candles and lilies, and representing an orphan girl from each county of Ireland, walked in procession to the sanctuary. Accompanying each girl was a descendant of the original orphan girls. From the dais each girl read out the name of the orphan she was representing e.g. Catherine Naughton, 18, Galway; Catherine Kean, 17, Clare; Margaret Devlin, 16, Armagh; Anne Bracken, 16, Roscommon; Mary Cassidy, 15, Longford etc

The memorial, sculpted by Angela and Hossein Valamanesh, symbolizes the experiences of young Irishwomen fleeing the Great Irish Famine of 1845-49.

"The table, split in two, has on one end a simple bowl with a void in its base that continues through the table. At the other end is a simple institutional table-setting, with bread and utensils also cast in bronze. This further symbolizes the contrast between hunger and comfort, which underpinned the role of the Barracks as shelter. The suggestion of continuity in the two ends of the table represents the continuous and evolving relationships between the site and the lives of those who immigrated. The table and the more intimate spaces created within the rotated wall evoke the domestic nature of life and work for the majority of Irish women migrants while their simplicity and sparseness allude to the subject of the Famine." WGT

Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney, drawing by Hardy Wilson. National Library Australia

Migrants to Australia

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~ In Boston, Massachusetts, a bronze statue located at the corner of Washington and School Streets on the Freedom Trail depicts a starving woman, looking up to the heavens as if to ask "Why?", while her children cling to her. A second sculpture shows the figures hopeful as they land in Boston.

~ Buffalo, New York has a stone memorial on its waterfront.

~ Cambridge, Massachusetts has a memorial to the famine on its Common.

~ Chicago, Illinois has a Famine Memorial at Chicago Gaelic Park.

~ Cleveland, Ohio A 12-foot (3.7 m) high stone Celtic cross, located on the east bank of the Cuyahoga River.

~ In Fairfield, Connecticut a memorial to the Famine victims stands in the chapel of Fairfield University.

~ In Hamden, Connecticut, a collection of art and literature from the Great Famine is on display in the Lender Family Special Collection Room of the Arnold Bernhard Library at Quinnipiac University.

~ Irish Hills, Michigan - The Ancient Order of Hibernian's An Gorta Mor Memorial is located on the grounds of St. Joseph's Shrine in the Irish Hills district of Lenawee County, Michigan. There are thirty-two black stones as the platform, one for each county. The grounds are surrounded with a stone wall. The Lintel is a step from Penrose Quay in Cork Harbour. The project was the result of several years of fundraising by the Ancient Order of Hibernians in Lenewee County. It was dedicated in 2004 by AOH Divisional President, Patrick Maguire, and many political and Irish figures from around the state of Michigan.

~ Keansburg, NJ has a Hunger Memorial in Friendship Park on Main Street.

~ New York, New York has the Irish Hunger Memorial which looks like a sloping hillside with low stone walls and a roofless cabin on one side and a polished wall with lit (or white) lines on the other three sides. The memorial is in Battery Park City, a short walk west from the World Trade Center site. Another memorial exists in V.E. Macy Park in Ardsley, New York about 32 km north of Manhattan.

~ Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

~ Phoenix, Arizona has a famine memorial in the form of a dolmen at the Irish Cultural Center.

~ Hackensack New Jersey has a large stone located on the front corner of the Bergen County Government Courthouse on Main Street, honoring all of those who perished in the famine. Every year in October, numerous Irish-American organizations from northern New Jersey hold a ceremony to remember all of those who perished.


New Famine Memorial Monument
New Famine Memorial Monument

JERSEY CITY, NJ - The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Hudson County had their Famine Memorial Monument erected in Lincoln Park. The monument is an eighteen foot tall Celtic Cross made of Barre Grey Granite, weighing 17,000 lbs. The monument was designed by the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick of Hudson County to include various images and symbols to represent Ireland and the famine.

The official dedication of the Famine Monument fas held, May 7, 2011. The dedication began with a Catholic mass at St. Aloysius Church, Jersey City. At the conclusion of mass, there was a procession to the monument for dedication and blessing. A reception followed at Michael Anthony's Restaurant, Jersey City .

"The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Hudson County are elated to see this important monument finally standing in Jersey City," said Vince McHale, Chairman of the Famine Monument committee. "We are grateful to everyone throughout New Jersey who helped this project to be realized so future generations will remember the thousands of Irish, who in order to preserve their faith, suffered both famine and exile."

The Famine Memorial Moment project was started by members of the Friendly Sons in February 2003, as a way of remembering the lives lost in the Irish famine of 1845-1852. The monument also serves as reminder of the lives of the countless Irish men and women who immigrated to the United States during that time and helped to build the United States of America.

Since 2003, the Friendly Sons have worked diligently to raise awareness of the devastating Irish famine, known as An Gorta Mor, as well as the $40,000 to erect the Famine Memorial Monument.

The Boston Irish Famine Memorial is a tribute to an entire generation of Irish men, women and children whose lives were disrupted by a series of events that took place 150 years ago. Nearly one million Irish died of starvation and disease, and another two million fled the country, emigrating largely to North America. The remaining population was left to contend with death, dislocation, poverty, and the near ruination of a culture that had flourished for centuries.

Over 100,000 Irish refugees landed in Boston, taking a perilous voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. So many Irish died at sea that poet John Boyle O'Reilly called the Atlantic Ocean upon which they traveled "a bowl of tears."

Settling into overcrowded, unsanitary tenement housing along Boston's waterfront and in the North End, this generation of Irish endured great hardship and humiliation, plagued by poverty and disease. The average life span of an Irish immigrant in Boston was 14 years. They were met with a mixture of compassion and resentment. "Native Bostonians might have been willing to send money and food to aid the starving Irish as long as they remained in Ireland," wrote historian Thomas O'Connor. "But they certainly didn't want them coming to America." 'No Irish Need Apply' signs in newspaper ads and storefront windows were common, as native Americans, strenuously opposed to foreigners, continued to harass the struggling Irish.

Migrants to ... - United States of America

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The Irish Arrival in Boston - Signs - No Irish Need Apply

Throughout the Famine years, nearly a million Irish arrived in the United States. Famine immigrants were the first big wave of poor refugees ever to arrive in the U.S. and Americans were simply overwhelmed. Upon arrival in America, the Irish found the going to be quite tough. With no one to help them, they immediately settled into the lowest rung of society and waged a daily battle for survival.

The roughest welcome of all would be in Boston, Massachusetts, an Anglo-Saxon city with a population of about 115,000. It was a place run by descendants of English Puritans, men who could proudly recite their lineage back to 1620 and the Mayflower ship. Now, some two hundred thirty years later, their city was undergoing nothing short of an unwanted "social revolution" as described by Ephraim Peabody, member of an old Yankee family. In 1847, the first big year of Famine emmigration, the city was swamped with 37,000 Irish Catholics arriving by sea and land.

Proper Bostonians pointed and laughed at the first Irish emigrants stepping off ships wearing clothes twenty years out of fashion. They watched as the newly arrived Irishmen settled with their families into enclaves that became exclusively Irish near the Boston waterfront along Batterymarch and Broad Streets, then in the North End section and in East Boston. Irishmen took any unskilled jobs they could find such as cleaning yards and stables, unloading ships, and pushing carts.

And once again, they fell victim to unscrupulous landlords. This time it was Boston landlords who sub-divided former Yankee dwellings into cheap housing, charging Irish families up to $1.50 a week to live in a single nine-by-eleven foot room with no water, sanitation, ventilation or daylight.

In Boston, as well as other American cities in the mid-1800s, there was no enforcement of sanitary regulations and no building or fire safety codes. Landlords could do as they pleased. A single family three-story house along the waterfront that once belonged to a prosperous Yankee merchant could be divided-up room by room into housing for a hundred Irish, bringing a nice profit.

The overflow Irish would settle into the gardens, back yards and alleys surrounding the house, living in wooden shacks. Demand for housing of any quality was extraordinary. People lived in musty cellars with low ceilings that partially flooded with every tide. Old warehouses and other buildings within the Irish enclave were hastily converted into rooming houses using flimsy wooden partitions that provided no privacy.

A Boston Committee of Internal Health studying the situation described the resulting Irish slum as "a perfect hive of human beings, without comforts and mostly without common necessaries; in many cases huddled together like brutes, without regard to age or sex or sense of decency. Under such circumstances self-respect, forethought, all the high and noble virtues soon die out, and sullen indifference and despair or disorder, intemperance and utter degradation reign supreme."

The unsanitary conditions were breeding grounds for disease, particularly cholera. Sixty percent of the Irish children born in Boston during this period didn't live to see their sixth birthday. Adult Irish lived on average just six years after stepping off the boat onto American soil.

Those who were not ill were driven to despair. Rowdy behavior fueled by alcohol and boredom spilled out into the streets of Boston and the city witnessed a staggering increase in crime, up to 400 percent for such crimes as aggravated assault. Men and boys cooped up in tiny rooms and without employment or schooling got into serious trouble. An estimated 1500 children roamed the streets every day begging and making mischief.

No Irish Need Apply - The song.

The 1862 song, "No Irish Need Apply", was inspired by NINA signs in London. Later Irish Americans adapted the lyrics to include their own perception.

Anti-Irishism grows - Because of lack of jobs.

There were only a limited number of unskilled jobs available. Intense rivalry quickly developed between the Irish and working class Bostonians over these jobs. In Ireland, a working man might earn eight cents a day. In America, he could earn up to a dollar a day, a tremendous improvement. Bostonians feared being undercut by hungry Irish willing to work for less than the going rate. Their resentment, combined with growing anti-Irish and anti-Catholic sentiment among all classes in Boston led to 'No Irish Need Apply' signs being posted in shop windows, factory gates and workshop doors throughout the city.

The new perception - After 1862

These signs had a deep impact on the Irish sense of discrimination. This was a later version of the song with a new perception.

Hidden History of the Boston Irish - By Peter F. Stevens

When it comes to Irish America, certain names spring to mind Kennedy, O'Neill and Curley testify to the proverbial footsteps of the Gael in Boston. However, few people know of Sister Mary Anthony O'Connell, whose medical prowess carried her from the convent to the Civil War battlefields, earning her the nickname the Boston Irish Florence Nightingale, or of Barney McGinniskin, Boston's first Irish cop, who proudly roared at every roll call, "McGinniskin from the bogs of Ireland present!"

Hidden History of the Boston Irish: Little-Known Stories from Ireland's "Next Parish Over"
Hidden History of the Boston Irish: Little-Known Stories from Ireland's "Next Parish Over"

Along with acclaim or notoriety, many forgotten Irish Americans garnered numerous historical firsts. In "Hidden History of the Boston Irish," Peter F. Stevens offers an entertaining and compelling portrait of the Irish immigrant saga and pays homage to the overlooked, yet significant, episodes of the Boston Irish experience.


Irish stories wanted.

Have you a story to tell about someone you know who immigrated to your land?

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Emigration, Immitration, Emigrant, Immigrant or Migration .. what's proper???

For edification see a quote from Webster's New World Dictionary.


Websters New World Dictionary

Very Interesting!


specifically denoting the leaving of a country to settle in another


the coming into the new country


to move from one place to another; esp., to leave one's country and settle in another.

In writing this lens, I tried to use the proper wording .. at times it was almost impossible to decide.

N. Y. County Cork Benevolent, Patriotic & Protective Assoc. - Founded to help the Irish Immigrants.

The Cork Association was founded a little over 125 years ago. At the time New York's population was about 1,250,000 of which about 200,000 were Irish. The conditions of the immigrants were rather grim; unemployment was high and the few jobs advertised usually included the statement: "No Irish need apply." At its inception the Cork Club attempted to improve its members' conditions and to assist those in need.

The Irish Immigration Reform Movement (IIRM) was a grassroots organization established in 1987 whose primary objective was to ... Click here for more.

We Are The Irish - All Over the World

A song dedicated to all the Irish Immigrants all over the world.

"An Gorta Mor" The Great Hunger - Battery Park - New York, NY USA

The Irish Hunger Memorial (which takes its name from the Irish term for the famine of 1845-52, "An Gorta Mor," The Great Hunger) stands on a half-acre site at the corner of Vesey Street and North End Avenue in Battery Park City, between the Embassy Suites Hotel and the Hudson River.

Design Concept

The Memorial represents a rural Irish landscape with an abandoned stone cottage, stone walls, fallow potato fields and the flora on the north Connacht wetlands. It is both a metaphor for the Great Irish Famine and a reminder that hunger today is often the result of lack of access to land. Moving beyond the fixed dates of the Great Irish Famine, the Memorial is a living site. Over time, the landscape will change; the text will be updated; the visitor will be encouraged to become actively engaged in meeting the challenge of world hunger.

Famine Memorial - Dublin
Famine Memorial - Dublin

~ Strokestown Park Famine Museum, Ireland

~ Custom House Quays, Dublin, Ireland. Painfully thin sculptural figures, by artist Rowan Gillespie, stand as if walking towards the emigration ships on the Dublin Quayside.

~ St. Stephen's Green, Dublin, Ireland. "Famine", a sculpture by Edward Delaney.

~ Limerick, The 'Broken Heart' Famine memorial, Lower Mallow Street. The sculpture is a fountain in the shape of a broken heart in memory of the forced emigration of several thousands who fled to America and beyond from nearby Steamboat Quay. Also in Limerick city, the Pauper's Graveyard (now known as St Brigid's cemetery) in Killeely. Here a large timber cross was erected on the site of this mass graveyard. There are no headstones.

~ Murrisk, County Mayo, Ireland. This sculpture of a famine ship, near the foot of Croagh Patrick, depicts the refugees it carries as dead souls hanging from the sides.

~ Donaghmore Famine Museum - set in Donaghmore Workhouse in County Laois.

~ Doolough, County Mayo. A memorial commemorates famine victims who walked from Louisburgh along the mountain road to Delphi Lodge to seek relief from the Poor Board who were meeting there. Returning after their request was refused, many of them died at this point. This became known as the Doolough Tragedy.

~ Doagh Island, Inishowen, County Donegal, Ireland. Doagh Visitor Centre and Famine Museum has exhibits and memorial on the effects of the famine in Inishowen, Donegal.

~ Ennistymon, County Clare, Ireland. This was the first memorial in Ireland to honour those who suffered and were lost during the Great Famine. It is erected across the street from an abandoned workhouse where an estimated 20,000 Irish died and a mass graveyard for children who perished and were buried without coffins.

~ Sligo, County Sligo, has three memorial sculptures erected by the Sligo Famine Commemoration Committee. One is at the quayside, of a family comforting each other, where 30,000 people emigrated between 1847 and 1851. The other two are the gates of a famine graveyard and of a tree (called Faoin Sceach) in the grounds of the graveyard, where approximately 2,000 famine victims are buried.

~ Newcastle West, Co. Limerick, The Famine Graveyard is at the rear of modern day St. Ita's Hospital. Hundreds of people who died during the famine are buried there in unmarked graves. The cemetery is marked by a plain old cross. Close by stands the Workhouse.

~ Kilkenny in the McDonagh Junction complex. The memorial is marked by a small garden, where many bodies were found during an excavation.

~ Ballingarry Famine Warhouse 1848. Widow McCormack's house, the site of the 1848 rebellion, has now been converted into a museum.

List of Memorials to the Great Famine - United Kingdom

St. Luke's Church graveyard

~ Liverpool, England. A memorial is in the grounds of St Luke's Church on Leece Street, itself a memorial to the victims of the Blitz. It recalls that from 1849-1852 1,241,410 Irish immigrants arrived in the city and that from Liverpool they dispersed to locations around the world. Many died despite the help they received within the city, some 7000 in the city perished within one year. There is also a plaque on the gates to Clarence Dock. Unveiled in 2000, the plaque inscription reads in Gaelic and English: "Through these gates passed most of the 1,300,000 Irish migrants who fled from the Great Famine and 'took the ship' to Liverpool in the years 1845-52" The Maritime Museum, Albert Dock, Liverpool has an exhibition regarding the Irish Migration, showing models of ships, documentation and other facts on Liverpool's history.

~ Cardiff, Wales. A Celtic Cross made of Irish limestone on a base of Welsh stone stands in the city's Cathays Cemetery. The cross was unveiled in 1999 as the high point in the work of the Wales Famine Forum, remembering the 150th Anniversary of the famine. The memorial is dedicated to every person of Irish origin, without distinction on grounds of class, politics, allegiance or religious belief, who has died in Wales.

~ Carfin, Motherwell, North Lanarkshire. A Celtic Cross memorial unveiled by An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in the early 21st century.

Memorial at Ireland Park on Bathurst Quay, Toronto

~ Grosse-Ãle, Quebec, Canada, the largest famine grave site outside of Ireland. A large Celtic cross, erected by the Ancient Order of Hibernians, stands in remembrance overlooking the St. Lawrence River. The island is a Canadian national historic site.

~ Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, 12-foot (3.7 m) limestone cross donated by the government of Ireland in 1997.

~ Kingston, Ontario, Canada, has three monuments. Celtic cross at An Gorta Mor Park on the waterfront. Another is located at Skeleton (McBurney) Park (formerly Kingston Upper Cemetery). Angel of Resurrection monument, first dedicated in 1894 at St. Mary's cemetery.

~ Maidstone, Ontario, Canada, has a nine foot stone Celtic Cross at the cemetery outside St. Mary's Church

~ Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the "Boulder Stone" in Pointe-Saint-Charles

~ Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Four bronze statues arriving at the Toronto wharves, at Ireland Park on Bathurst Quay, modeled after the Dublin Departure Memorial. List of names of those who died of typhus in the Toronto fever sheds shortly after their arrival. Current memorial plaque at Metro Hall. Also a pieta statue outside St. Paul's Catholic Basilica in memory of the famine victims and Bishop Michael Power, who died tending to the sick.

Ireland......Iraq - Citizens oppressed or oppressors

I have cried for the oppressed and deprived. I believe that we should not bury our heads in the sand but learn from past history. Mankind, as a whole, doesn't seem to be learning. I know that, right now, some in our country definitely are being oppressed. (ie. the homeless)

You may think that times like the holocaust and the Irish famine are things of the past. Could a similar situation ever come to be in your country? What do you think? Why?

Ireland in the News - July 12, 2009

A boy climbs on a bonfire made of pallets and old tyres on the Loyalist Ballycraigy estate in Antrim, Northern Ireland, 11 July 2007. The bonfires are lit on the evening of 12 July, the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne. Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty

'Friendly' bonfires to mark Northern Ireland's marching season?

The bonfires of Northern Ireland have long been part of the rituals of the marching season. Now efforts are being made to convert the symbols into affirmation of the peace process.

The marching season in Northern Ireland comes each July with a host of symbolically and culturally significant actions which reinforce historic loyalties.

The challenge for leadership is the management of the meaning of such actions and images. This has become increasingly recognized since the publication of an influential article by Smircich and Morgan in the 1980s.

Leaders of the peace process rightly worry about the impact of symbolism and associated violence. But it is hardly surprising that efforts are being made to avoid counter-productive reactions by too direct action against such symbols.

The BBC reports a more subtle approach this year [July 2009]

Traditionally, bonfires are lit the night before the Twelfth of July and the aim is to make them as big - and as brutal - as possible. Over the years, for many loyalists the fires were not complete without an Irish flag, a Glasgow Celtic shirt or a Catholic emblem on the top for a ceremonial burning.

In the past, there have been so-called 'shows of strength' when hooded gunmen appeared from the shadows and fired bullets into the night air.

If all goes according to plan, a very different scene will be witnessed this weekend in loyalist parts of Belfast. The centre piece will be a custom-built beacon. Although technically bonfires are illegal, Belfast City Council is taking a pragmatic approach and trying to manage them rather than get rid of them.

The council's Good Relations Officer, David Robinson, explained: "People might say that bonfires are never going to be environmentally friendly, but this is about as close as we're going to get."

Communities willing to work with the new system will be eligible for a grant towards a street party.

Action and Reaction:

Maybe the initiative will trigger opposition. Bribery, cry some. But whatever happens, the sensitive management of meaning will remain in important aspect of any leadership within attempts to influence the processes of social and cultural change.


Image from The Guardian publicizing Unseen, issued by The British Press Photographers' Association from unpublished images from its members' back catalogue [ISBN 978-0-9561801-0-0] .

JFK Dunbrody

New Ross 800 Festival

A special theme of "Bringing them all Back Home," as the Irish Diaspora are invited to come to New Ross for a celebration of Irish - American Culture and the Immigrant Experience, featuring the unveiling of A "Wall of Honour" adjacent to the Dunbrody Famine Ship, dedicated to those who left Ireland's shores in times gone by, and an International Music Festival.

There are many events taking place in this year's Festival such as;

- Town Park Open Air Concerts

- Carlsberg pubs music trail

- Sporting events

For this years program of events, please Click Here


Address:New Ross, Wexford, Republic Of Ireland

Telephone: 051 421284


Books by Leon Uris - One of my favorite authors.

Here are a few books I have in my library. I truly recommend them.


Played out over the epic history is a storyline involving the Ben Canaan family, Kitty the American nurse, her surrogate Israeli daughter Karen, and Karen's sullen, rebellious, Sal Mineo-type boyfriend Dov. Uris knows what he's doing. He's constructing an argument in favor of the state of Israel, laid out against 70 years' worth rampant European anti-Semitism. The Holocaust is recounted in the eyes of a girl who escaped to relative peace in Jew-friendly Denmark, and then in the eyes of an Auschwitz survivor, The seeds of modern Israel are shown through a pair of mythic-quality Russian shtetl refugees who enter Palestine in the 1880s and begin transforming the soil, Palestine's struggles under the suffocating British mandate, and nascent Israel's miraculous victory over the various Arab states seeking to "push Israel into the sea".

A lot has changed since 1948. Israel was then associated with the political left; not anymore. The plight of the Palestine Arabs who were induced out of their land by the warfaring Arab states, however, has not been resolved. Those refugees are still right there, crammed along the Israeli borders in the same makeshift cities. Pages 551-554 of the book present a summary of this unconscionable situation, and just about every word is still true, 50 years later. The joyously pro-Israel strains of "Exodus" will probably now draw more cynicism than solidarity, in this brave new world of the New York Times headlines and Saudi peace proposals. However, I wouldn't change a word.

The Haj
The Haj

I enjoyed reading about the characters of the story, but often wanted to cry for them. The main character is Haj Ibrahim and the book is the story of him and his family. Some of the most poignant moments of "The Haj" occur during the flight of the Haj's family during the 1948 war and in refugee camps in Jordan. It was very sad to see how members of the same culture (the Arab culture) and most of the time the same religion (Islam) can be so cruel to each other. An endemic problem in the Arab world, some of the depictions of the relations between the city-dwelling Palestinian-Arabs and the nomadic Bedouin are among the saddest. To this day, there is still a strong hatred between these people. Why read "The Haj?"

Read "The Haj" because this is real information presented in a novel format that you can no longer get from most university classes about the Middle East. Read it to learn what AP and Reuters news services constantly gloss over in their writings used by newspapers around the world. Most of all, read "The Haj" to understand that one of the fundamental truths about problems in the Middle East is that the problems have less to do with Israel and Jews than cultural, political, and even religious problems and divisions in the Arab world. Israel is really a side issue at best (and excuse used by the Arab governments to cover their faults). Autocratic tyrannies (or gangster governments like Yassir Arafat's Palestinian Authority) are the true source of unhappiness in the Arab world. It's easy to understand that truth after reading "The Haj."

You can get this same information from a pile full of academic texts (and I do recommend reading more research about the Middle East after reading "The Haj"), but this is the easiest and quickest way to introduce yourself to the bitter realities of politics in the Middle East.


When reading the liner notes for this book, you expect to read the same horrors we have all been exposed to when exploring the events surrounding the Holocaust. While the more harrowing events can never be allowed to be forgotten, what is wonderful about this book is Uris never takes you on a frightful train ride in a closed-in boxcar or makes you watch a baby being murdered. Instead, in typical Uris fashion, he focuses on a completely different aspect of the Holocaust that allows us to travel from London to Borneo to Poland to Czechoslovakia to the southern United States to Sausalito, California. He cleverly divides the book into four gripping sections, the final of which will have you SNATCHING the pages out of the book you will be turning them so fast.

Mitla Pass
Mitla Pass

Mitla Pass is a layered, inspirational tale of love, war and portrays the main character in a realistic and gritty manner. Gideon Zadok's struggle is very moving and his remniscing of loved ones helps to emphasise his conflict with himself and those around him. Mitla Pass spans over generations, but contrary to what one might think, you don't lose track.Uris's writing style is exceptional and captures the different settings of the novel beautifully and brings out their individuality.

Mila 18
Mila 18

Within pages, you feel that you know the characters, and you begin to care deeply about them and their lives. Leon Uris did not glamorize the people or events- one heroine, a married woman with two children, is carrying on an illicit affair- but clearly defines them as heros in an impossible situation. This novel is well- researched, well- written, and will touch your soul.


Book turned into Movie - DVDs

I love to sit down with a good book but many of you may not have the time I have and would like to see the movie instead. Here is one I think you will enjoy.


Exodus is a sprawling, 3 and half-hour epic that sets several fictional characters against the backdrop of the founding of modern Israel after the Second World War. The story opens in Cyprus, where thousands of European Jewish refugees are being detained by the British. The refugees are trying to make it to Palestine--which the British control--and form a new Jewish state. Eva Marie Saint plays an American nurse, recently widowed, who becomes involved in the refugees' plight, especially that of a young girl, Karen (Jill Haworth), searching for her father. Paul Newman is an Israeli freedom fighter who is determined to get a shipload of the refugees out of Cyprus to Palestine--while finding time to romance Saint. Karen worries about her friend Dov (Sal Mineo), an Auschwitz survivor who wants nothing more than to join a Jewish terrorist organization, which happens to be facilitated by Newman's uncle (David Opatoshu).


Reading Group Feature

Featured at the Lost Art of Reading Group.

July 15, 2008

It was an honor to have been chosen to be a featured lens at Lost Art of Reading Group.

Thank you Kevin.




Thank you!

~ LaraineRose

Books about Ireland - by Frank McCourt

A dazzling writer with a unique and compelling voice. In his books McCourt takes us through his childhood to manhood. He describes the dignity and difficulties of a largely thankless profession with incisive, self-deprecating wit and uncommon perception. It may have taken him three decades to figure out how to be an effective teacher, but he ultimately saved his most valuable lesson for himself: how to be his own man.

'Tis: A Memoir
'Tis: A Memoir

This book is brutally honest on McCourt's part. Angela's Ashes was equally disturbing in subject matter and its description of poverty, but the story was told through the innocence of youth and a child. In 'Tis the subject matter can be equally disturbing, but the story is now told through the eyes of an adult and the innocence is lost. This is the

sign of a remarkable author, who can take his readers with him through is life and share the events as they appeared to him at the time. It is unrealistic to expect the poor child growing up on the Lane in Limerick to instantly grow into a noble and refined gentleman the way these readers expect him to. This book tells a disturbing and honest story of a man coming of age as an immigrant in New York.

Teacher Man: A Memoir (The Frank McCourt Memoirs)
Teacher Man: A Memoir (The Frank McCourt Memoirs)

This final memoir in the trilogy that started with Angela's Ashes and continued in 'Tis focuses almost exclusively on McCourt's 30-year teaching career in New York City's public high schools, which began at McKee Vocational and Technical in 1958. His first day in class, a fight broke out and a sandwich was hurled in anger. McCourt immediately picked it up and ate it. On the second day of class, McCourt's retort about the Irish and their sheep brought the wrath of the principal down on him. All McCourt wanted to do was teach, which wasn't easy in the jumbled bureaucracy of the New York City school system. Pretty soon he realized the system wasn't run by teachers but by sterile functionaries. "I was uncomfortable with the bureaucrats, the higher-ups, who had escaped classrooms only to turn and bother the occupants of those classrooms, teachers and students. I never wanted to fill out their forms, follow their guidelines, administer their examinations, tolerate their snooping, adjust myself to their programs and courses of study." As McCourt matured in his job, he found ingenious ways to motivate the kids. McCourt throws down the gauntlet on education, asserting that teaching is more than achieving high test scores. It's about educating, about forming intellects, about getting people to think.

McCourt's many fans will of course love this book, but it also should be mandatory reading for every teacher in America.

Angela's Ashes
Angela's Ashes

This story is taken from the memoirs of Frank McCourt, who recounted his childhood in Ireland in the 1930's and 1940's. It is a poignant and compelling story of a poor family struggling to survive. The images are powerful depictions of the indignity of indigence in a world where hunger and disease were common and people went almost as frequently to the cemetery as to the market.

When you start reading this book, you'll not want to put it down.

Ireland Ever: The Photographs of Jill Freedman
Ireland Ever: The Photographs of Jill Freedman

Jill Freedman, probably best known for her splendid documentary photographs of New York City police officers and civil rights demonstrations in Washington, DC. is also a superb documentary photographer of the Irish people and landscape. Her images show much empathy for both the people and landscape of Ireland, capturing both the honesty of its inhabitants and the beauty of its rural countryside. This book is a collection of the best images of her Irish oeuvre, accompanied by text written by the brothers McCourt.

Frank McCourt's The Irish and How They Got They Got That Way
Frank McCourt's The Irish and How They Got They Got That Way

This is a VHS I'm slipping in here. I haven't seen it yet but I'm going to definitely buy it! I'm sure it will have a few surprises for me and I'll enjoy it. If you have seen it already, I'd appreciate a bit of a review.


Irish Potato Famine Maps. - Books about the famine on eBay

Here are some new books relating to the Great Irish Famine. Very worthwhile reading!

Letters from the Irish Famine

Reader: Maggie O Neill (O'neal) and i think she was from Co.Clare.

This is very sad! Even sadder because of it's truthfulness.

Danny Boy

Although every one of these are Danny Boy YouTubes, I have chosen to present them because they are unique. Some have beautiful scenes of Ireland and/or fabulous voices singing "Oh, Danny Boy." (The second to the last clip is my favorite - sung by Nana Mouskouri.) I have added Sinead O Conner's video to this now. She sings it beautifully too.

Rebels Song - The Dubliners-Rising of the Moon

A great song sang by the Master himself. Luke Kelly.

This song is very famous and is about the 1798 rebellion.

Dark Lochnagar by Willie Clancy .. Piper - from LP "Mo Cheol Thu"

Introduction by Ciaran MacMathun

I do not know the origin of the tune but I think it must be related in some way to Lord Byron's poem of the same name which was translated into Gaelic by Donald MacIntyre of South Uist (1889-1964)

"Away ye grey landscapes, ye gardens o' roses In you let the minions of luxury rove. And restore me the rocks where the snowflake reposes If still they are sacred to freedom and love. Brave Caledonia, dear are thy mountains. Round their white summits though elements war. Though cataracts roar 'stead of smooth-flowing fountains, I sigh for the valley o' dark Lochnagar. Ah! there my young footsteps in infancy wandered. My cap was the bonnet, my cloak was the plaid. On chieftains departed my memory lingered. As daily I strayed through the pine-covered glade I sought not my home till the day's dying glory gave place to the rays o' the bright polar star. My fancy was cheered by the bold martial story as told by the sons o' dark Lochnagar. Years have rolled on, Lochnagar, since I left you. Years must roll on ere I see you again. Though Nature of verdure and flowers bereft you, yet still art thou dearer than Albion's plain. England! thy beauties are tame and domestic to one who has roved on the mountains afar. Oh, for the crags that are wild and majestic, the steep frowning glories o' wild Lochnagar. Ill-starred now the brave, did no vision foreboding tell you that fate had forsaken our cause? Yet were you destined to die at Culloden though victory crowned not your fall with applause. Yet were you happy in death's earthly slumber to sleep wi' your clan in the caves of Braemar. The pibroch resounds to the piper's loud number. Your deeds to the echoes of wild Lochnagar."

Cath Cheim An Fhia by Liam O Flynn - From LP "MO Cheol Thu"

Introduction by Ciaran MacMathun.

The photo of Liam O Flynn was found on the internet and the illustration beside it was taken from Cath Cheim an Fhiadh "The Battle of Keimaneigh" by Maire Bhui Ni Laoire "c.1774-1849) commemorates a "battle" which took place in 1822 at the Pass of Keimaneigh between Ballingeary and Kealkil Co Cork.

The Song

In the valley below Keimaneigh by the river that flows through Ivleary. Where at night the deer goes to sleep in pleasant repose I like to think things out in my head To sit a while and meditate, listening to the sweet birds all singing in the woods. When I heard the soldiers coming. Their horse hooves were drumming and their noise shook the mountains. A sound grating to the marrow. They came with vicious intent like a pack of venomous hounds from hell and I pity the fine men they left stretched in sorrow. No man woman or child bided by home or house but all were out with wails and piteous shouts. Watching the yeomen surrounding them in force. Firing at them as fast as they could reload; The cry went far and wide for help. They are princes all who answered the call and said, Get a move on, the battles under way. Lets all hurry to the fray. There they came those men so brave. Exulting with the great pride of their race. And they drove that paunchy bunch downwards and away. It wasn't long before a large force had us in a fix, sending our people out early in the mist. Barry the bumbailiff, Barnet and Beecher Hedges and the Whites and a thousand other such creatures. May the God of wonders reduce them without fame or standing, prosperity or fortune In the fires of hell stew them. And without cease abuse them. A thousand thanks to Jesus that we escaped the reckoning and can laugh about that days rout with each humorous retelling.

An Clar Bog Deil sung by Julie Mulvihil - from LP "Mo Cheol Thu"

Widely sung in Munster in the early decades of the 19th century, this song was originally written by an Augustinian friar, the Reverend William English of Newcastle West, Co. Limerick. Previous to his taking the Augustinian habit he produced many beautiful songs in Irish.

New Immigration Enforcement Plan

A good idea.

I've been wondering if there has been any consideration given to concerns current citizens of Canada and USA have regarding the screening of emigrants into our countries. Although I am all for helping other nations I am happy to note that there are now more precautions taken than ever before. The following article explains what some counties have in place.

Bucks, Montco Join New Immigration Enforcement Program

By Michael P. Tremoglie, The Bulletin

Published: Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Justice (DOJ) launched the Secure Communities program this month in Bucks and Montgomery counties. These are the first counties in Pennsylvania to join this program, which is administered by DHS's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), will enable authorities to better identify and remove criminal aliens from these communities.

They will now be able to check the immigration history of every individual booked into detention facilities in the two counties. Additionally, ICE will be automatically notified when non-U.S. citizens are in custody to determine if follow-up action is necessary.

"Secure Communities will create a constant ICE presence at every local jail, allowing us to identify and ultimately remove dangerous incarcerated criminal aliens from our communities," said Executive Director for ICE Secure Communities David Venturella.

Famine Art Show - Irish Museum of Modern Art - Ellis Island, New York

An exhibition bringing together some 20 works dealing with the Irish Famine of 1845-48 is open to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Representations of the Famine is drawn from the relatively small body of visual depictions of the subject and highlights the often inaccurate nature of these representations, the reasons for this and ongoing sensitivities about dealing with the Famine in visual art.

Representations of the Famine includes a small number of paintings from the 19th and early 20th century and also pieces, in a variety of media, by contemporary artists who have taken the Famine as a key subject. These are shown alongside a body of new work by women from Voices from the Tower, a community arts development project based in Knocknaheeny, Cork. The exhibition was developed as part of the Museum's National Programme and has already been shown in Belfast, Cobh, Castlebar and Derry.

Representations of the Famine explores the ways in which artists have dealt with the Famine in their work and the particular problems which that subject brought with it - the difficulty of recounting the full horror of the event while showing respect for its victims and the political sensitivity of representing Irish hardship in a colonial context. Daniel McDonald's 'The Discovery of the Potato Blight' is one of only a handful of responses by visual artists who lived through the disaster. McDonald overcame difficulties and resistances which prevented many other Irish artists from addressing the subject.

Henry Jones Thaddeus and Lady Elizabeth Butler are much better known as painters of picturesque Breton fishermen or calls to arms than for the spectacular but rare eviction pictures shown here, while Daniel McLise's watercolour for the monumental painting 'The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife' can be read as an overtly political commentary on Anglo-Irish relations in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. Erskine Nicol's paintings and the graphic illustrations from Punch magazine demonstrate the official disregard of the authorities and the unsympathetic climate in contexts to which many of the survivors fled.

Commenting on the exhibition Catherine Marshall, Senior Curator of the Museum's Collection, said: "The historical works were exceptional in their time. For well over a century the horror of the event and the guilt of the survivors meant that the Famine was rarely represented visually. Only now is it possible to claim the dead as ours, to suffer with them as Geraldine O'Reilly does in 'Register and Emigrants Letter', to mourn for them as Alanna O'Kelly does in 'Sanctuary Wasteland' and the women from Voices from the Tower in 'A Famine Cry.' The somewhat strained relationship between art and the Famine is an indication of the importance of bringing a particular selection of works together, both in terms of remembering the Famine and its history, and understanding a change in the role of the visual artist."

Peopling of America

Ellis Island Museum to expand immigration story

NEW YORK - The immigration story at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum will be broadened to include those who arrived in America before and after the peak years between 1892 and 1954.

The museum foundation announced that it was creating The Peopling of America Center within the existing museum to tell the stories of those immigrants.

Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation President Stephen Briganti says it will focus on the arrival of Native Americans, Europeans from the 1600s through 1892, slaves brought from Africa and today's immigrants from all over the globe.

Work on the new $20 million exhibition space began in September. Upon its completion in 2011, the museum was renamed Ellis Island: The National Museum of Immigration.

Ellis Island National Monument - Frequently Asked Questions

Visiting Ellis Island can be a rich and rewarding experience. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions.

What is Ellis Island?

Ellis Island was the former federal immigration processing station which processed over 12 million third class and steerage immigrants between 1892 and 1954 and was named after the former owner of the island, Samuel Ellis. The island was added to the National Park System in May of 1965 by Presidential Proclamation however it took over a quarter of a century for part of the island to be restored. In September of 1990, the main building re-opened as the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. The park, comprised of Liberty and Ellis Islands, is administered by the National Park Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Interior.

Did My Ancestors Go Through the Island?

Third class and "steerage" immigrants, coming through the Port of New York, were the largest group processed at Ellis Island. First and second-class immigrant travelers were processed on-board steamships entering New York Harbor due to their improved financial risk and the decreased likehood of these types of passengers having severe health issues .

Where were immigrants processed before Ellis Island opened?

Before Ellis Island opened, immigrants were required to be processed by the State not the federal government. Castle Garden, a previous fort built for the War of 1812 and located in Battery Park, NY. processed immigrants between 1855 and 1890.

Can I find out if my relatives went through Ellis Island?

Yes, the more information you know, the easier this search can be. The National Archives and Records Administration is the official repository for the nation's manifest documents. Original manifests are on microfilm at the National Archives. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Foundation opened the American Family Immigration History Center at Ellis Island in 2001 which contains a database of copied manifests for Ellis Island and the Port of New York between 1892 and 1924. The center's database is also on-line at:

Why does our database end in 1924?

Changes in immigration laws were put in place requiring immigrants to be pre-processed and inspected at an American Embassy or Consulate in their country of origin before making the journey to America. This started Ellis Island's change in importance and usage from an immigrant processing center to a detention facility for enemy aliens, those over-staying their leave, and any potentionally undesireable immigrant and those with questionable cases.

Can I visit other buildings on the Island? Currently, the main building is open for visitation every operating day. In April 2007, the restored 1930s Ferry House was opened to the public. This art deco styled facility is open for limited guided tours when staffing permits. These programs are led by a team of "Save Ellis Island" volunteers or by National Park Service Rangers. Nearly 30 additional buildings, mostly medical facilities, remain un-restored.

For more information on the Ellis Island National Monument, what you now can find there and the awards presented to immigrants and/or their descendants click on the following link.

Irish Immigrants Arriving Ellis Island

New York - Ellis Island Trivia

Did you know?

Twenty, fifty or even one hundred years ago imagine looking out of the windows of Ellis Island and seeing a city that you had never seen before and, only dreamed about. There to be seen were, tall buildings all lit up with something you had never had, electricity.

(Annie Moore statue pictured here.)

Ellis Island Quizzes

The Plight of Some Immigrants Now - Scam-of-the-day affecting Immigrants.

Home Sale Fraudsters

About this time last year I read an article about the scam-of-the-day for fraudsters.

Posing as city officials or homeowners, a team of 15 criminals fradulently sold 82 unoccupied houses to unsuspecting buyers over 5 years. These homes were in poor neighborhoods and were sold for as little as $6,000. They were often sold to non-English speaking immigrants, and often for cash.

According to the article, this group of fraudsters were caught and proceeds from the scheme was estimated at several million dollars.

In hard times fraudsters come out in full force. One of such ones took propective buyers on a tour of the empty properties, telling them they were owned by the city and for sale. He posed as a city employee and told them that he could have the houses' title transferred to the buyer. Most of the buyers never received deeds, only a document that claimed to give them the right to enter the property.

In some cases the buyer began to renovate. Both buyer and owner suffered: the families who paid cash for "buying" what they never would own and spending more money for rehabiilitation of the properties, and the rightful homeowners who had to hire attorneys to get their rightful property returned to them.

Many large cities are now vunerable to such schemes because of a declining population leaving them with more houses than people to occupy them, creating a growing number of vacant properties.(Ex. Philadelphia) Those who buy investment property in the city, when it doesn't work out, just board up the house and leave it. There are whole blocks of empty boarded up homes in the city, creating dangerous environments and opportunity for the fraudulent schemes as mentioned above.

Irish Work & Rebellion Music - Sung before, during and after the Great Famine

The Irish people have endurance. They sing when, happy, as they work and even when severely oppressed.

Here are some songs I remember my ancestors singing and even though many of these songs originated during hard times ... they are as dear to me as the loved ones who sang them.

PLAY THIS PLEASE ..You'll love it!

A Parting Treat

This is so lovely - I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did. Lovely music and big, beautiful pictures of Ireland. Believe me it is worth watching! Enjoy!

A Traditional Irish Blessing For You

Consider Irish Coffee - Is it for you?

It is not a drink to be gulped down like water, say those who favor it. It is not merely for washing down food. No, they claim, Irish coffee is a drink to be savored. For enjoyment it must linger as it passes over the taste buds. Some persons derive the greatest pleasure from drinking it first thing in the morning. Others prefer it after their meal. But multitudes are ready to drink it at any old time. It is truly the beverage of millions.

Here is something I've been wondering:

Do you love Irish Coffee?

Many thanks to the SquidTeam

The Great Irish Famine - An Epic of Death and Immigration received a Purple Star on October 4, 2010.

The Purple Star Program!

According to the Purple Star Program, purple stars are awarded to Lenses that are: "Masterpiece lenses. Lenses making a name for themselves. Lenses trying new things."

What an honor! Thank you!

~ LaraineRose

If you want to make a lens ...

Try it - you'll like it!

If you are interested in publishing a page like this please don't hesitate. It is really quite easy. Just Click Here to a free account and start your own "lens" here on squidoo on a topic of your choice.

This lens used:


Irish Famine Monument, Sydney, Australia

Francis Greenway,

More on Australia in WGT's Archives

More on An Gorta Mor in WGT's Archives

More on The Golden Door To America

Photo Source: Wikipedia .. Irish Famine

After you have commented (and given me a thumbs up, ha ha) you are invited down for a lovely traditional Irish blessing. Scroll down just a wee bit.

This Wee Lassie's Guestbook - Please sign in and comment.

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    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 2 years ago from Australia

      Laraine, I enjoyed revisiting your Irish history. I remember it well from several years ago and was delighted to read your thoroughly researched work again, despite the tragic sadness.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 3 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Digory LM: Thank you I appreciate your comment!

    • Digory LM profile image

      Digory LM 3 years ago

      Marvelous lens. I have read Trinity as well as several books on Ireland's history. Your research and scholarship here is impressive and much appreciated.

    • MVKilgore profile image

      M. Victor Kilgore 3 years ago

      Thank you for an enjoyable lens...good job on getting the purple.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 3 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Thank you chrisi .. for visiting.

    • chrisilouwho profile image

      chrisilouwho 4 years ago

      Thank you, and congrats on the Purple Star!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 4 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Thank you ever so much for the attention you have given to this important subject. I pray the Irish never again have to go through troubles such as these.

      Thank you,


    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      This is my second visit to this wonderful lens. So much information that is obviously fueled by your family histrory. I think you would like Roddy Doyle's novels: I read the first one of the trilogy A Star Called Henry and was just taken away but how hard things were. Even before the famine it was not unusual to find children dead in the streets. I agree that you could write several lenses from this, but even more so I think you could write your own non-fiction book for Kindle, or even your own novel. I really appreciated the information about the Irish famine monuments - all over the world I guess. Bookmarked.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      This is a brilliant lens and well deserving of all the Purple Star.

    • SavioC profile image

      SavioC 4 years ago

      I had never known about this earlier. Cannot imagine what those people must have gone through. Touched.

    • LoriBeninger profile image

      LoriBeninger 4 years ago

      You could make this into several lenses...there is so much here. Sad and touching and very informative. Thank you so much.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      What a fascinating lens! Pinned to my history board and out by g+

    • profile image

      ConvenientCalendar 4 years ago

      Great quiz!

    • Underrated profile image

      Underrated 4 years ago

      Really enjoyable lens.

    • Fridayonmymind LM profile image

      Fridayonmymind LM 4 years ago

      I love the blessing, thank you. I have just read another lens about Irish Stew, must be something Irish in the air today.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      Awesome lens and very informative :)

    • GardenerDon profile image

      Gardener Don 4 years ago

      Whew - that was one long lens, but captivating. I see why you have so many Purple Stars! Nice work...

    • PinkstonePictures profile image

      PinkstonePictures 4 years ago from Miami Beach, FL

      Great quiz, great lens

    • suepogson profile image

      suepogson 4 years ago

      this was a great read! Thanks.

    • dingbat1932 profile image

      dingbat1932 4 years ago

      wow! Aced it, greta lens and quiz

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Just peeking back in when I saw you had added quizzes here and only missed the first one...almost! This just gets better and better. Oh, wanted to mention that since the quizzes no longer let us know the right answer if someone gets one wrong, I've added a key to answers at the end of some of mine....its a good update and some folks really want to know what the correct answers are. I'll be stopping by again!

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      laurenrich 5 years ago

      This lens is wonderful. It has great information and beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      RuralFloridaLiving 5 years ago

      Hi - Just wanted you to know that I posted this lens as my favorite that I read in 2012--and I read a lot of lenses! Thanks for writing such an interesting article. It's stayed with me for months and months and months. Beautiful work. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Willz_Zone 5 years ago

      Wow what a great lense..

      Please kindly like and visit my lense


    • laptop89 profile image

      laptop89 5 years ago

      Great lens. Thanks for sharing !

    • sageinacage lm profile image

      sageinacage lm 5 years ago

      Great lens! So comprehensive yet easy to read!

    • shewins profile image

      shewins 5 years ago

      Wow! That's a lot to take in at one sitting. That's a lot of heartache, I guess even with the "great recession" we've been going through we still have a lot to be thankful for.

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 5 years ago

      What a very informative and comprehensive lens. I knew little of the Irish or their cultural background before I read this article and appreciate the knowledge. Blessed!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @flinnie lm: Thank you, flinnie! I appreciate the blessing, like and comment. I am honored to be added to your lens! Thanks again!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Noveliaa: Thank you for visiting!

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      Gloria Freeman 5 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi great lens, thanks for sharing. I learned a lot. Blessed and added to my lens...Squid Angel flinnie.

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      Noveliaa 5 years ago

      Thanks for the great information.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @donnetted: Those statues are so life-like that it really drives the famine lesson home to those who see them. How people suffered then. So sad, so sad!

      Thank you for visiting this lens, your comment and, of course, your blessing!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Rangoon House: A return visit is always welcome. Thank you!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Melissa Miotke: What's the name of the book you are reading? Thank you for your Irish blessing on this lens.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Diva2Mom: Thank you so much for blessing this lens. I really appreciate it! Hugs!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @happy-birthday: You're welcome. Thank you for visiting!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: Thank you!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Diva2Mom: Thank you for your comment. Yes, potatoes to the Irish were life-sustaining .. if they had any that weren't rotten. Many died from eating the rotten potato because they had nothing else. What a sad time!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @tonybonura: Thank you for visiting and leaving a like and comment!

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      Donnette Davis 5 years ago from South Africa

      How wonderful is this lens.... I have a great book on the Famine, gifted to me by close friends in Dublin. I also took so many photographs of the statues outside Jury's Inn, the tribute to those who suffered during the Great Famine. Blessed x

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      I have spent the last half hour truly enjoying my repeat visit to this true masterpiece. I wish I could bless and bless again, but I already did that.

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 5 years ago from Arizona

      I'm very interested in Irish history since I'm of Irish decent. I'm actually reading a really intersting book right now about Irish Immigrants that come during the famine to America. An Irish blessing from me!

    • Diva2Mom profile image

      Diva2Mom 5 years ago

      Had to fly over here to generously BLESS this well-deserved lens. Great job! God bless you, dear LaraineRose!

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      Birthday Wishes 5 years ago from Here

      Amazing lens! Thanks for sharing!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wonderful chronicle!

    • Diva2Mom profile image

      Diva2Mom 5 years ago

      WOW, impressive lens, LarainseRose!!! I really enjoyed this lens very much! Your presentation on this interesting topic is amazing! You definitely captured my attention. I learned a lot about Irish famine back then, and now it makes sense why my dear Irish friend who came to visit me 5 years ago had told me that they'd eat potatoes every single day in Ireland. I didn't realize that there was story behind it. I remember her telling me how important potatoes were to them. Oh LaraineRose, thanks so much for sharing a lot of great information about Ireland. Excellent work indeed! God bless you dear LaraineRose! Huge hug----muah!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: Thank you!

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      Tony Bonura 5 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      Very interesting lens. Very interesting stories that you told. Thanks for the effort.


    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      As an interesting read, I recommend it to my lenses.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Ardyn25: Thank you for visiting me here ardyn25 and thank you for liking my lenses. I will be visiting you soon.

    • Ardyn25 profile image

      Ardyn25 5 years ago

      You are a wonderful writer and talented researcher. I've enjoyed reading this lens. So much here its like a living record. Thank you for putting it all together. Oh and I somehow managed to answer a poll above and it posted twice..sorry. Just delete the one.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @siobhanryan: Thank you very much!!

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 5 years ago

      Came back to sprinkle Angel Dust

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @nickybutler: Thank you, Nicky. I'll be visiting your lenses soon.

    • nickybutler profile image

      nickybutler 5 years ago

      Fantastic lens, very informative... thanks for sharing :)

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Gypzeerose: Thank you for all of your support it means a lot to me. I am very happy that you appreciate this lens!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @goo2eyes lm: Thank you for returning and doing the quizzes, Gloria.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      My quiz score WAS perfect - I got everyone wrong! Oh well, back to school. I will read this great lens again - what an exceptional effort. Excellent research. And Angel Blessed, and sent out by Twitter, Google Plus - and Facebook liked, and Stumbled. I just love this lens!

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      thank you for finding me again. the blessing button was not on green so i thought i missed blessing this wonderful lens. i checked and i did bless it already. you have added some quizzes but my score was not perfect.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @xriotdotbiz lm: That is true! There were a few who heard about the Irish peoples plight and they did what they could to help and this they were thankful for. Most of what was sent to them (ex. corn) was doled out to the Irish in such a small quantity that it did very little to help them or was offered "for sale" to the Irish who had nothing with which to purchase it.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @BabyGirl1940: I'm so happy you had time to read about this. Thank you for your visit.

    • xriotdotbiz lm profile image

      xriotdotbiz lm 5 years ago

      My knowledge of the Great Irish Famine (before reading this leans) is that the Native American Choctaws, who did not have much themselves after the Trail of Tears, heard of the plight of the Irish and sent money to help in relief of the famine.

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      BabyGirl1940 5 years ago

      Very nice. Thank you for the history.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @sandi_x: Thank you, Sandy. I appreciate your visit. I'm on my way to visit you now.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Hypersapien2: Thank you for your visit and comment. I appreciate it!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @OliviaDaughter LM: Thank you! I will visit you soon.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @RuralFloridaLiving: Thank you! :)

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @dellgirl: Thank you for returning to bless this lens. I really appreciate your support!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Rankography: Thank you! What an honor to have two lenses now on your Best Lenses lens and also your angel blessings.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: Thank you, Tipi. I am truly honored!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: Thank you, Tipi. I am truly honored!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @rallo-smith: Thank you for viewing my lens. I'll be seeing you soon.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Johanna Eisler: Yep, skipped right to the front page. Ta rah!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @KathyMcGraw2: So true, Kathy. It would be nice to believe that it will never happen again.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @perter: As they should be. :)

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @cleanyoucar: Thank you so much!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @blanketstar: Thank you for your comment.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @ElizabethSheppard: I agree, it is sad. I do believe that it is necessary to learn about it as we don't want it to happen again, ever. Thank you for your comment.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @aaxiaa lm: Thank you, my dear.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @jlshernandez: Thank you for your blessings! I am so happy to share this history with you .. even though it is sad.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: I'd love to hear your family history. Please email me if you have time.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @bwet: I believe this information must be here for the younger generations but we must not forget about these things ourselves.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Whitwillow LM: Thank you for your visit.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @SteveKaye: Thank you, my friend. This is a subject that has touched my heart .. we must not forget.

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      sandi_x 5 years ago

      Great lens

    • Hypersapien2 profile image

      Hypersapien2 5 years ago from U.S.

      Great lens. Lots of insight about the Great Potato Famine.

    • OliviaDaughter LM profile image

      OliviaDaughter LM 5 years ago

      Excellent lens. thanks for sharing.

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      RuralFloridaLiving 5 years ago

      Wow - terrific lens...

    • profile image

      dellgirl 5 years ago

      I have been by before and LIKED this wonderful lens. I'm back again spreading my newly acquired wings, spreading angel dust over it. **Blessed by a Squid Angel**

    • Rankography profile image

      Rankography 5 years ago

      Wow Larraine I don't know how I missed this lens when I was last on your profile. This is an incredible lens with a fascinating story. I had heard about the Famine but really did not know much of the details. I have added it to my Best Lenses lens and also sent you Blessings. Great job.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Congratulations on front page honors!

    • rallo-smith profile image

      rallo-smith 5 years ago

      Your lens was very touching and educational thanks for sharing.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image

      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      Top o'the mornin' to you! I was happy to find you on the front page today! :)

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 5 years ago from California

      This was indeed a horrible time in history. You have showcased things that I am sure many would like to forget, but if we forget we never learn.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @microfarmproject: Thank you for your visit. I'll be seeing you soon.

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      perter 5 years ago

      Australians are so proud of their Irish roots

    • profile image

      cleanyoucar 5 years ago

      Great lens! Well deserved of the purple star.

    • profile image

      blanketstar 5 years ago

      hey I just Squid liked you and I'm in desperate need of 20 Squid likes to make my lens pubic. so i would really appreciate it if you do me a favore and return the favor by SquidLiking me. Thank you in great lens!

      here's the url to my lens:

    • ElizabethSheppard profile image

      Elizabeth Sheppard 5 years ago from Bowling Green, Kentucky

      It is such a sad thing to learn more about the Irish Famine. Some people helped a lot, and others were so full of hate. What an awful time.