Monday 10 June 2019

Bones found on Canadian beach confirmed as 1847 Famine victims

The Canadian government has confirmed that the bones of three children washed up on a Quebec beach eight years ago were from the Carricks ship that departed County Sligo in 1847 at the height of the Great Irish Famine.

Cap des Rosiers lighthouse.
The ship was on its way to the Port of Quebec with 180 passengers and crew on board when it sank off the coast of Cap-des-Rosiers in Gaspé. Only 48 people survived. Historical accounts tell of 87 bodies recovered from the shipwreck being buried on the beach.

The initial discoveries in 2011 initiated an archaeologists' dig on the Cap-des-Rosiers beach and this has since uncovered the remains of a further 18 victims, most of them women and children.

Scientific analysis by the bio-archaeology lab at Montreal University revealed that the 21 individuals whose remains have been found had had a rural diet based chiefly on potatoes and suffered from diseases and complaints typical of the malnourished.

The remains will be buried near the existing Irish Memorial on Cap-des-Rosiers beach at a ceremony this summer.

Ireland's Josepha Madigan, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, has confirmed that her department will liaise with the Canadian authorities to consider what appropriate memorial can be organised.

There's more here: