The Dunbrody in New Ross is a replica of the original Dunbrody famine ship that was in action between 1845- 1875.
The original was a three-masted barque that was used to carry cargo such as timber and guano to Ireland. She was also used to help the Irish escape the potato famine.
The Dunbrody was built by Thomas Hamilton Oliver in 1845 and for six years during the Irish potato famine, she transported Irish people to North America. The conditions were terrible with four passengers sharing six square feet of space.
Dunbrody passengers had good life expectancy
Up to 50% of people died during the journey to America on some ships. However, passengers on the Dunbrody had a far greater life expectancy. Many passengers wrote home to their loved ones to praise the dedication of the ship’s captains; first John Baldwin and then John W. Williams.
In 1875, The Dunbrody was lost after she foundered on the coast of Labrador, Canada.
The replica was built in 2001. It is open to visitors at the quayside in New Ross. It has interactive exhibitions and a large database that contains the names of the emigrants who sailed on the Dunbrody from Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland to America during the 1800s.
Insight into life of emigrants
Tours of the ship are given by guides in full period costumes. Visitors get a real feel of the conditions that the passengers would have lived in while travelling to their new countries. The ship shows how life would have been for emigrants.
There is also an Irish America Hall of Fame which celebrates the Irish emigrants who have contributed to American history. It also includes Irish Americans who continue to shape the country to this day.