Monday 20 January 2020

Dunbrody set to become Emigration History Centre



FAILTE IRELAND have approved a ¤1.88 million grant under the National Development Programme for the expansion of the Dunbrody Visitor Centre.

The grant will allow the Dunbrody to extend its visitor centre to become a fully fledged National Emigration History Centre and add to the range of services it can offer to tourists.

The funding will also assist with the provision of a genealogy facility celebrating the success of Irish emigrants to America; new interpretative facilities to enhance the visitor experience and an extension of the on-shore buildings to replace existing facilities. Hull repairs to the ship will also be carried out.

'Fáilte Ireland considers Dunbrody to be an iconic flagship attraction of the highest international standards and on this basis are willing to further invest in the project to bring it to an even higher level, making it a national centre celebrating the amazing achievements of the Irish diaspora,' said Seán Reidy, JFK Trust CEO.

Mr. Reidy paid tribute to the voluntary Board of Directors led by Chairman Colm Caulfield, who give of their time and expertise and to the dedicated and committed staff members.

The new centre will feature an exhibition on Ireland in Famine times, in which the scene will be set for the experience on board the Dunbrody.

Visitors will arrive into a reconstruction of a New York streetscape and will experience the difficulties faced by the Irish arriving in America.

It will then trace the progression of the Irish in America, culminating in the Irish American Hall of Fame.

This section will feature exemplary examples of the success of the Irish in America, in particular focussing on the stories of famous descendant of New Ross emigrants such as President John F Kennedy, literary genius Eugene O'Neill, and the giant of the business world Donald Keough of Coca Cola.

'The new development will bring a completely new dimension to the visitor experience and will attract even more people to the town,' said Mr. Reidy, adding that there was now a profound responsibility on him and Board of the JFK Trust to deliver the project in an expeditious manner.

'I am absolutely delighted that the Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism has agreed to provide this funding to the Dunbrody,' said Deputy Seán Connick.