Dresden Descendants’ Project

Published in Issue 5 (September/October), Letters, Volume 22

Sir,—In 1889, approximately 1,772 emigrants from Ireland (including members of my family) embarked on the SS Dresden in Cobh, Co. Cork, for Buenos Aires. Since then there has been very little research done to recover the memory of their migratory experience within Argentina. We know from anecdotal evidence that several families re-emigrated to the USA through the port of New York and we believe that some would have moved to Canada.

A project has now been re-launched in Ireland and Argentina to recover some of the history of these emigrants whose experience has been largely forgotten. In his recent expression of moral support for the Dresden Descendants’ Project (Proyecto Los Descendientes del Dresden), Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, lord mayor of Belfast, noted with great interest that:

‘Many emigrants who undertook that arduous sea journey in 1889 on board the SS Dresden from Cobh to Argentina in the hope of a better life also came from Northern Ireland . . . Projects that engage in the recovery of memory of our Irish Argentine diaspora can only enhance contemporary knowledge of their experience and will assist descendants to proactively reclaim their own history, otherwise the narrative surrounding the largest group of Irish immigrants to enter Argentina during the last century could be forgotten . . . On behalf of the City of Belfast I am pleased to offer my moral support for your endeavour . . . My best wishes from the people of Belfast to the extended Irish community in Argentina.’

A declaration of moral support from other principals in Ireland would be a tremendous help in encouraging families who are descendants of Dresden emigrants to come forward and share their migratory history, which would help towards furthering our research efforts in Argentina and elsewhere. Perhaps your readers might consider supporting our appeal.—Yours etc.,

PETER MULVANY, Co-ordinator
Dresden Descendants’ Project
51 Conquer Hill Road
Clontarf
Dublin 3
+353 (0)87 2769707
http://www.steamshipdresden.com/

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