This path was created by Derek James Rachel.  The last update was by Amanda Lundeen.

Star of the Sea : A Postcolonial/Postmodern Voyage into the Irish Famine

Emigration: The Last Resort

“Flanked by Skibbereen and Grosse Ile at either end of the voyage, the ‘coffin ship’ stands as the central panel of the famine triptych, depicting bondage and fever in the steerage, wailing children and mothers’ pleas from the darkness below decks, heartless captains and brutal crews, shipwreck, pestilence, and burial at sea. In its own smaller scale, the memory of the emigrant steerage has long been held, like the slaves ‘middle passage’ and the trains of the Holocaust, as an icon in Ireland’s oppression”
- Robert Scally (qtd in O’Grada 105-106).

After years of oppression from the British government and a famine, a large part of the Irish population chose to emigrate from Ireland in a final attempt to save themselves and their family. Conditions at home were uninhabitable, and therefore they chose to embark on a dangerous ship sailing to North America, Australia, or England. However, they were not prepared for the despicable conditions on the coffin ships, or the threat of famine diseases wherever they went. In this section you will find information on  emigration, coffin ships, and the destinations to which the coffin ships would journey to.
Researcher/Writer: Ellen-Marie Pedersen
Technical Designers: Derek Rachel and Amanda Lundeen

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