Famine Sites in Sligo

by St. Brendan's N.S.
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A lot of people emigrated during the Famine. This means that they left Ireland to move to another country.

During the Famine years, the coffin ships sailed from Sligo Port. Before they reached their destination, some of the passengers would already have died. So they were buried at sea.

Families emigrated from Sligo to go to places such as Canada, America, England and Australia.

It was approximately £12 for a family to buy a ticket for an emigration ship.
The ships were full of disease, and were not very comfortable. Many died on route to their destination. For this reason, they are known as coffin ships.

The point for departing Sligo was at the Quays.
Many people who emigrated would send money home to their relatives to help them to buy a ticket too.

This sculpture represents how hungry and poor the people in Sligo were during the famine. It depicts a family waiting for one of the many ships which left Sligo port for Canada and America in the 1840s and 50s.

The family was ravished with fear and uncertainty as they huddled together on the quay side in Sligo. They seem to realise that this will be the last time that they will set foot on their native soil.

It is a very thought provoking scene and evokes great sadness in those who gaze upon it.

Long ago when the famine was in Ireland there were many workhouses.
Lots of people who were homeless tried to live in the workhouses.
There were too many people living in these workhouses and they all got separated- the men in one place, women in another and also children living in another part.
Many children and parents died from diseases and starvation.
Unfortunately 60,000 children were left orphaned or abandoned at the end of the Famine. Their parents had died either with disease or starvation. The government tried to open souphouses. These souphouses had many diseases and weren’t healthy, and some people died before they even got there.
There was a Workhouse in Ballytivnan since 1841. The whole of the County formed one union. During the famine it was extended to accommodated over 2,000 paupers. Things were so bad other buildings were commandeered to house children and orphans. Over 25,000 poor went through the workhouse system in the worst of the famine. 2,530 people died here bewteen 1841 and 1850. Things were so bad two others workhouses were built in Sligo. .