The perilous journey made by Ireland’s emigrants came to life once more when a handcrafted replica of an old travel box was presented to the JFK Trust.
Handcrafted by prisoners in the Irish Prison Service, the travel box is an exact replica of an old travel box used by those who boarded emigrant ships in the 1800s. It was presented by chairman of the Committee for the Commemoration of the Irish Famine Victims Michael Blanch, along with assistant chief officer of the Irish Prison Service Mark O’Brien.
‘We were delighted to receive the box,’ said CEO of the JFK Trust Sean Connick. ‘It is a beautiful piece of work that was manufactured by members of the prison service.’
Imprinted on the box are snippets of historic importance such as photographs of the emigrant ships and papers owned by some of the many passengers. These documents were lent to the prison service by the JFK Trust and other bodies so that they could copy them and make the piece as authentic as possible.
‘It’s a historical piece, especially with all of the pieces of information printed onto it,’ said Sean. ‘We were delighted to be able to see it in reality.’
The travel box is now on display at the Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience.
(First published in the New Ross Standard newspaper: print edition. Also available online at: http://www.independent.ie/regionals/newrossstandard/news/stories-of-irish-emigrants-come-to-life-once-more-with-the-presentation-of-a-replica-travel-box-in-new-ross-34818427.html)