A Long Farewell at Fort Dunree
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
“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
A Long Farewell - The Emigration of
Donegal Women 1845 - 1950 at the Saldanha Suite in
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