- cobhheritage.com Reviews: TripAdvisor
The Queenstown Story
From 1848 to 1950, over 6 million adults and children emigrated from Ireland – over 2.5 million departed from Cobh, making it the single most important port of emigration. This exodus from Ireland was largely as a result of poverty, crop failures, the land system and a lack of opportunity.
Irish emigration reached unprecedented proportions during the famine as people fled from hunger and disease. The famine resulted as a consequence of widespread potato crop failure. Failure of the crop was not unusual in Ireland so the partial failures in 1845 did not cause particular concern. In 1846 the potato crop failed completely and in the years 1847-1849 there was either total or partial crop failure of whatever potato crop could be planted. This had a devastating effect on the Irish population who largely depended on the potato crop as their main source of food. Escape was seen by many as the only chance for survival : between 1845 and 1851 over 1,500,000 people emigrated from Ireland. This was more than had left the country in the previous half century.
Many famine emigrants went initially to British North America (now Canada) because of fare structures and government regulations, but the majority subsequently settled in the United States.In early 2015 MMID/Mirador was asked to develop a series of concepts for the upgrade of the Queenstown Story exhibition with a view to roll-out individual installations which would complement and enhance the visitor experience at Cobh Heritage Centre.
The first phase of the project has been rolled-out in time for the summer season consisting of four installations:
1) Holographic projection of emigration ship Captain heading for Canada with North Cork paupers selected for the British plantation there. 2) An interactive Morse Code installation consisting of a touch screen computer with Morse code device attached to it. There visitors can learn about Morse and practice their skills using the interactive telegraph key 3) Projection of Jeremiah Burke and his cousin throwing a message at sea from the deck of the Titanic. The pair re-enact the event of composing the message, their fond memories of home and excitement of their lives ahead. Unfortunately they didn't survive the sinking and the actual bottle and message is on display under the projection. 4) Interactive Pool photographic collection display documenting the aftermath of the sinking of the Lusitania