The Perseverance: Fleeing The Famine Bus Tour from Dublin
Step back in time aboard a customised bus for a 2-hour journey through Ireland's fight for survival. You and your small group will engage with professional actors as they recreate the lives and experiences of those who suffered through the years of An Gorta Mor.
Listen to songs of loss, exile and hope performed live aboard the bus. Discover how this calamity happened and its impact on Ireland and the world. Follow the Path of the Dead, from workhouse to graveyard, and travel the road littered with dreams of escape aboard the infamous Famine Ships.
Using journals, letters, newspaper reports, government speeches, poems, songs and survivors’ stories, the tour weaves together a moving and enlightening journey through Ireland’s darkest hour.
Board The Perseverance bus from the College Green Tourist Office and at 2:15pm. Follow the ‘Path of the Dead’, a voyage that millions took to the graveyard, the workhouse or to foreign shores.
Let professional actors guide you through Ireland during the famine years; discover the impact of British rule and the horrors of starvation and pestilence. Experience the voyages overseas, the thrilling rescues and tragic ends. Listen to songs of sorrow and escape and witness the resilience of the Irish spirit. After the tour, you'll return to your original departure point at 4:15pm.
Autumn of 1845 and a new form of blight, imported from America, ravages the potato fields of Europe. The fungus Phytophthora Infestans is destroying the potato crop that millions of Irish people depend on to survive leading to the worst famine in Irish history and the decimation of the Irish population.
By 1847, later to become known as Black 47, the famine reaches its darkest days and no light will be seen for many years. Emigration is rampant as families are evicted from their homes and those who cannot escape these shores are left to starve. Starvation and related diseases such a typhus, cholera and dysentery extinguishes the lives of countless men, women and children.
Though Daniel O’Connell, The Liberator, worked tirelessly to bring about Catholic Emancipation, for over a century the Irish catholic majority had been stripped of their property and their rights by the punishing Penal Laws; resulting in a nation of poor, uneducated and vulnerable people unprepared and unsupported in this hour of dire need.
The only hope for many, Fleeing the Famine, means leaving Ireland, but where can they go? How will they get there and what lies waiting for them in these promised lands?
The Perseverance is amongst the first of hundreds of ships to set sail from Ireland carrying cargo of a different nature, the sick and starving people of a nation. Famine ships, many later to become known as ‘Coffin Ships’ offered passage and hope to millions of Irish people attempting to flee the famine. But as the name ‘coffin ship’ suggests they were rarely pleasant voyages.
Packing their bags with little more than dreams of freedom and of plenty, the starving Irish set sail for countries all around the world with little knowledge of the kind of life that could await them. The impact of the famine was felt everywhere as hundreds of thousands of emigrants left their mark on many countries, particularly Canada, Australia and America.