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A Long Farewell at Fort Dunree 02.10.19

IT is estimated that some 10 million people emigrated from Ireland over the last two centuries. Fort Dunree is curently hosting an extraordinary exhibition about emigration by women from the county.
“This powerful exhibition tells a remarkable story and uncovers a part of Donegal’s history that has been far too little examined,” according to Assistant Curator of the County Museum, Caroline Carr.
“This exhibition charts the story of women’s immigration to countries such as Great Britain, the United States, Canada and Australia; from the horror of the coffin ships of the famine years to the post-war immigration to Great Britain.
Caroline says Donegal women ventured all over the world to countries such as the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. “Many women, once they were settled they sent home money and helped other family members to follow them, a process known as chain migration. People might be surprised to hear that between 1871 and 1891, 56,000 women left Ireland for the US, slightly higher than the number of men. The Irish were the only immigrant group in which women outnumbered men.”
A Long Farewell - The Emigration of Donegal Women 1845 - 1950 at the Saldanha Suite in Fort Dunree.
The exhibition shows how emigration changed over the century from the original main destinations of the US, Australia and New Zealand, to the 1940s when approximately three out of every four Irish emigrants were destined for Britain, and one out of eight for the United States. With few opportunities for women at home, emigration provided not just employment but a chance for education and social freedom.
“The powerful images of women at work gutting fish in Dundee and tattie hoking in Scotland show that they were strong and resilient women who were far from home,” explains Caroline.
The exhibition can be viewed from 10.30am until 4.30pm at the Saldanha Suite at Fort Dunree in Linsfort. It opened last Friday, 27th September and runs until Sunday, 6th October. On Saturday and Sunday, it will stay open until 6pm. For more information visit www.donegalconnect.com .
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