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August 3, 2019

Funeral lays 21 Irish Famine victims to rest in Canada

172 years after the Carrick coffin ship from Sligo sank off Cap-des-Rosiers, in Quebec the remains of 21 Irish victims of the Great Hunger, mainly women, and children, were laid to rest

The  Carricks had been transporting 180 people from Sligo in 1847, at the height of Ireland’s Great Hunger, when it sank just off the coast of Canada. Only 48 passengers survived, 87 others were buried in a mass grave.

Irish Memorial to the victims of the shipwreck

The bones of three children washed up on the shore in 2011 after a harsh storm, and the remains of another 18 individuals were unearthed in 2016 before a beach restoration. Bones from 21 individuals found over 5 years suggest rural Irish origins based on diet. tells us that:

We are indebted to Messrs. Pembertons for the following extract of a letter giving the melancholy account of the loss of the brig Carricks, of Whitehaven. R. Thompson, master, from Sligo to this port, with passengers:--
"Cape Rosier, 19th May, 1847.
"I am sorry to inform you that the brig Carricks, was wrecked about four miles to the eastward of this place, and shocking to relate, out of 167 passengers, only 48 reached the shore-the crew, except one boy, were all saved. Little will be saved, but what there is, together with the wreck, will be sold for the benefit of all concerned on Saturday next."-(Exchange Register.)


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