‘Across the Waves: The Seafaring Irish’ is a new exhibition running at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum from 15 March - 12 April.

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‘Across the Waves: The Seafaring Irish’ is a new exhibition running at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum from 15 March - 12 April.

For hundreds of years, Irish people have looked to the sea for their livelihood or to seek new opportunities. This exhibition explores Ireland’s rich maritime history through stories of adventure, tragedy and opportunity.

Emigration offered many Irish people access to education, careers, adventure and other opportunities that may not have been available in Ireland. The people featured in this exhibition left lasting legacies across the globe, both in their new homes and in Ireland, where their stories continue to influence Ireland’s rich relationship with the sea. The exhibition is a collaboration between EPIC and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Some of the other Irish people featured in ‘Across the Waves’ include the 4,114 teenage ‘Earl Grey orphans’ sent to Australia during the Great Famine; William Hobson, pirate-hunter and first governor of New Zealand; Antarctic explorer Tom Crean; John Philip Holland, inventor of the submarine; and participants in the infamous Arctic Convoys of World War II. You’ll also learn about the 4,184 kilometre transatlantic telegraph completed by Wicklow's John Halpin in 1866 and about Beatrice Grimshaw from Antrim, who in the 1920s became one of the first European women to travel hundreds of miles into the interior of Papua New Guinea.

Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development Ciarán Cannon, said: “Across the Waves: The Seafaring Irish tells stories of adventure, triumph and sorrow experienced by Irish people who set sail on voyages to all corners of the world. As an island nation our links to the sea are deeply embedded in our culture and in particular in the lives of our diaspora. This exhibition serves to illuminate some forgotten stories and brings to life better-known ones.”

Dr Angela Byrne, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Historian-in-Residence at EPIC and curator of ‘Across the Waves’, says: “This is an important celebration of Ireland’s maritime history. I’m delighted to bring these stories to Irish and international audiences, as they demonstrate the diversity of experiences within the global Irish diaspora over the centuries. One particular source of national pride will be the Irish Naval Service who assisted in rescuing over 17,500 people from the Mediterranean in 2015-17

‘Across the Waves: The Seafaring Irish’ is free with entry to EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum in the CHQ Building from 15 March-12 April 2019 from 10:00am-6.45pm. The exhibition will then travel to Irish embassies around the world over the coming years.

As part of the St Patrick’s Festival Five Great Days programme, a number of events will happen in EPIC on March 16th, including a History Ireland Hedge School on Irish maritime history, and children’s maritime storytelling workshops with award-winning writer Sarah Webb. See the EPIC website for details.

Article Published: 13/03/2019