of Ireland is marred with episodes of famine, fighting and
the hard times many young people left or were deported to
were split as some sons emigrated to the United States, Canada,
and South America while others headed in the direction of
Australia and New Zealand.
Scotland, and other European countries provided work for thousands
of Irish fleeing the starvation of the potato famine and the
hardships imposed by British laws.
show that about half of the immigrants who came to the US
and Canada during the Diaspora were young, single women. These were boys
and girls who were barely in their teens. Many families of
Irish descent have stories of their grandparents being sent
off. Mothers and fathers sending their children away to provide
them with a chance to survive.
difficult to understand the loss these emigrants suffered.
Today, family is at most just an email away, but in those
days a letter could take months to be delivered. Leaving Ireland
meant saying a very permanent good-bye to family, friends
and home. The courage of the Irish people and their ability
to overcome even the worst hardships was never shown more
strongly than in the Diaspora.
gathered together in foreign lands to replace the support
and comfort of the families that were left behind. Communities
of the Irish of the Diaspora sprang up around the world and
the culture, music and celebrations of the Irish were added
to the lands where they lived. Hundreds of thousands of refugees
left behind the greens of the Irish countryside during this
time and contributed their spirit and talents to building
other nations. Ireland's loss was the world's gain.
debt is owed to the brave young lads and lasses who sailed
into the unknown, adding a Gaelic flavor to every place they
More about the Irish famine and Diaspora around the Web:
Irish (in countries other than Ireland) - This is
a Catholic site that focuses on the number of Catholic Irish
who were part of the Diaspora. They cover immigration to America,
Australia, Canada, Great Britain - including Scotland, South
Africa and South America. Well researched with solid facts
and interesting information...
Irish World Heritage Center - "The Centre is
dedicated to Irish people world-wide and is committed to the
recognition of their achievements and the positive contributions
made by the Irish Diaspora."