Jeanie Johnston Famine Ship - Dublin
Jeanie Johnston Famine Ship is a replica of a 19th century three masted barque ship that took Irish emigrants to America during the famine years. This popular tourist attraction is a living history museum and is moored along Custom House Quay in Dublin city. The original Jeanie Johnson was built in 1847 by a Quebec shipbuilder who brought it over to Liverpool with a cargo of timber, that he then sold. The ship was subsequently sold to a Tralee merchant who used the ship to import timber from North America, on the outward journey the cargo was people. These emigrants were fleeing starvation and seeking a new life in Canada and America. In the 1840's more than a million people left Irish shores.
During the 1840s and 1850s there was mass emigration from Ireland, with famine and poverty causing hundreds of thousands of Irish people to leave. These ships were overcrowded, the conditions were unhygienic and disease was rife resulting in many of the passengers dying before reaching their destination, for this reason they were also referred to as "Coffin Ships". The Jeanie Johnston is famous for never having lost a single passenger to disease or the sea. She made sixteen Atlantic crossings from 1847 to 1858, taking over 2,500 people. The average crossing was forty-seven days.
This re-created ship provides visitors with a genuine insight into life onboard a wooden tall ship during the Famine times. Stepping on board this interactive experience, transports guests back 150 years to the time impoverished Irish emigrants would have boarded to make the perilous journey across the Atlantic. Guests go down into the dimly lit quarters below and the grim conditions awaiting the passengers quickly becomes evident. Accommodation comprised of bare bunks that were placed tightly together, four adults had to share a six foot square space. There are life-sized figures placed below deck and they are modelled on actual passengers that sailed this ship. Through their unique stories, the horror, difficulties and uncertainty of the emigrants are brought to life, during the fifty minute tour.
Up on deck guests can see up close the skill, ingenuity and craftwork involved in re-creating this authentic replica of a wooden tall ship. It was one of the last of its kind to sail the Atlantic in the 19th century.
The guides are animated and passionate and narrate the story of the history of the Irish Famine and Irish emigration in an captivating and interesting way.
Jeanie Johnston Famine Ship is open throughout the year. There are multi-lingual leaflets available. This attraction will intrigue and fascinate visitors of all ages.