Georgia Southern students take Savannah to Ireland

A new exhibit showcasing the connection between Savannah and Ireland has been established in Dunbrody Emigrant Experience Center in New Ross, Ireland, thanks to several Georgia Southern University students and staff.

Jenna Wiley

A new exhibit showcasing the connection between Savannah and Ireland has been established at the Dunbrody Emigrant Experience Center in New Ross, Ireland, thanks to several Georgia Southern University students and staff.

The students and staff conducted research at the city archives in both Savannah and New Ross. Their findings resulted in an exhibit that is being established in the historic Dunbrody Center.

The Dunbrody Center’s main attraction is a full-scale, three-mast replica of a sailing ship, named the Dunbrody. The center sees 110,000 visitors annually.

“Our students determined that the Dunbrody’s first ever commercial voyage was to Savannah, seeking Georgia timber and that subsequent voyages by it and its sister ships brought immigrants from southeastern Ireland to the Hostess City,” Howard Keeley, Ph.D., director of Georgia Southern’s Center for Irish Research and Teaching said.

This connection was solidified by an invoice found during the research. The invoice, dated Feb. 8, 1847, was from Savannah-based factory Andrew Low & Co., requesting different types of timber.

Seán Connick, director of the Dunbrody Emigrant Experience Center, said the Dunbrody was widely accepted to be only a famine ship, a ship used by Irish citizens to escape the Great Hunger. This information being brought to light has opened more avenues that could begin to make other connections more prevalent.

The project had been given more than $40,000 in funding, with half of the amount as a matching grant from stakeholders in Savannah.

The student and staff project also augments the TradeBridge initiative a “collaboration between C.I.R.T., the Savannah Economic Development Authority and Ireland-based partners that, in its first 10 months, has secured major European distribution deals for several Savannah companies and has seen an Irish maritime company establish its U.S. headquarters in Savannah,” Keeley said.

For more information visit https://www.dunbrody.com

Jenna Wiley, The George-Anne News Candidate, [email protected]