HISTORY, EMIGRATION, CONVICT SHIPS, THE TITANIC & LUSITANIA
Cobh Heritage Centre features a dramatic exhibition of the origins, history and legacy of Cobh, a unique Irish port town. It tells the story of emigration, coffin ships and convict ships; and shows the special connection between Cobh and the ill-fated Titanic and Lusitania.
The Queenstown Story retraces the steps of the 2.5 million Irish people who emigrated from Ireland via Cobh on Coffin ships, early steamers and on the great ocean liners. Cobh was the single most important port of emigration from which Irish people left for a better life in the United States. The exodus from Ireland was largely as a result of famine, poverty, crop failures, the land system and lack of opportunity. Many emigrants went initially to British North America (now Canada) because of fare structures and Government regulations but the majority subsequently settled in the United States.
Discover Cobh's special connection with the ill-fated Titanic which sank on her maiden voyage - Cobh was her last port of call. A total of 123 passengers embarked at Cobh, then known as Queenstown. The exhibition relates many of the individual stories and artefacts from those on board. In May 1915 the Lusitania was on route from New York to Liverpool when she was struck by a torpedo from a German submarine. The majority of the 1,198 passengers who lost their lives were never recovered. The survivors were ferried to Queenstown and were accommodated in local Hotels and lodging houses. Three days after the sinking, 150 of the victims were buried in mass graves in the Old church cemetery in Queenstown, 80 of them were never identified.
In 1791 the "Queen" sailed from Cork harbour, she was the first convict ship to travel direct to Australia from Ireland and carried 159 prisoners. Between 1791 and 1853, over 30,000 men and 9,000 women were sent as convicts from Ireland to Australia.
The centre also has a genealogical service for those interested in tracing their Irish Heritage.
Cobh is located approximately 24km (15 miles) from Cork City on the N25 route. The Heritage Centre is located in Cobh town beside the Railway station. There is a regular train service from Cork Railway Station to Cobh.