- 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 Mirador Media was asked to develop a series of concepts for an 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 included a holographic projection of an emigration ship Captain heading for Canada with North Cork paupers, an interactive Morse Code installation, a projection of Jeremiah Burke and his cousin throwing a message to sea from the deck of the Titanic, and an interactive photographic collection display documenting the aftermath of the sinking of the Lusitania. Mirador Media has since completed further upgrades including a re-design of the visitor flow, graphic panels focusing on early immigration and transportation, ghostly projections, interactive touch-screens, set design, and a multilingual audio-tour as part of Ireland's Ancient East programme in 2016.