Dunbrody Fieldtrip

On Thursday 1st February our class visited the tallship "Dunbrody". The Dunbrody is a replica of a famine ship that carried emigrants from Ireland to Canada during the potato famine of 1845-1849.

The new "Dunbrody" is almost complete.

It was being built in the dry dock in New Ross but since our visit it has been launched by former United States Ambassador to Ireland, Ms. Jean Kennedy Smith and has been transferred to the quayside in New Ross.

When we arrived at the shipyard we were shown a video detailing the ships history, planning and early construction. The original ship was built in Quebec in six months in 1845.

It was built for the Graves Family of New Ross. The Dunbrody was a cargo ship. It carried timber from Canada, cotton from America and guano from Peru. During the Irish potato famine of 1845-1851 it carried passengers from southeast Ireland to Canada. Most of the passengers were very poor people whose farms were affected by the potato blight and whose crops had failed. For this reason the "Dunbrody" was known as a famine ship. The "Dunbrody" was successful at bringing people to Canada and very few died, it was not a coffin ship.

There were two types of passengers, cabin and steerage. The people who could afford cabins received food and services. The steerage passengers all lived together on the accommodation deck and they had to look after themselves.

Colin Mudie, who also designed the tallship "Tenacious" that our class visited while on a visit to Waterford, also designed the "Dunbrody". The "Tenacious" is operated by the Jubilee sailing trust.

After the Introductory video we went on board the ship. The new "Dunbrody" is a 3 masted tallship. It has square sails and three decks. The main deck, the accommodation and lower decks. The "Dunbrody" has no ships wheel; ropes move the rudder. The ship is 176ft long. The ship a carving of a mans head for a figurehead. Carpenters, riggers and boat builders were busy completing the ship when we visited. We climbed down into the drydock. We saw the ships hull, rudder, and keel. They were planning to flood the drydock and float the ship out into the river the following weekend.

Mr. Kehoe's 6th Class,
St. Mary's National School,
Ballygunner,
Co. Waterford.