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Coffin carrier is centrepiece of Famine exhibits

May 12th, 2018 8:15 PM

By Southern Star Team

The Famine 'coffin carrier' that will be on exhibit in Dublin.

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AN exhibition on the story of The Irish Potato Famine, curated by a West Cork man, takes place in Dublin between May 14th and September 30th.

The exhibition, at Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, was held at the same venue last year to mark the 170th anniversary of the Famine year 1847.

Produced by Ballinspittle native Gerard McCarthy, the exhibition tells the story of the darkest period in Ireland’s troubled history.

Gerard was previously involved in the centenary commemoration of the 1916 Rising, by producing a documentary film which he showed in schools across Ireland in 2016.

According to Gerard, last year’s exhibition was popular with schools and active retirement groups, but the majority of visitors were American.

Included in this year’s exhibition is an 18th century coffin carrier which played a vital role during the Famine years.

The body of a person who died in the workhouse was placed in a coffin and brought to their final resting place on the coffin carrier.

Some workhouses found a way to cut costs by using a sliding coffin which included a hinged door. 

Once the burial took place, the body would drop out while the coffin could be lifted from the grave and used for the next victim. This artefact is on loan fron Johnnie Fox’s Museum in Glencullen, Co Dublin

Details about the exhibition can be found at www.theirishpotatofamine.com.

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