Orphan girls sent from Co Leitrim’s workhouses to the shores of Australia following the Great Famine, have been honoured as part of special ceremony in Sydney, Australia over the weekend.
The journey of more than 4000 orphan girls from Ireland to Australia in the mid 19th century was remembered as part of the global commemoration of the Great Famine last weekend. Girls from Carrick-on-Shannon, Mohill and the surrounding area were amongst those sent to Australia under the Earl Grey scheme.
Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan led the commemoration, which took place in front of a monument to the Great Irish Famine. Also present was Sydney Irish Consul General Caitríona Ingoldsby, former Irish envoy Richard O’Brien and many descendants of the young women who left Ireland’s shores.
The Scheme brought 4114 young women to three colonies in Australia, 2253 on 11 ships to Sydney, 1255 on 6 ships to Port Phillip (Melbourne) and a further three ships to Adelaide.