Reminiscence evening on the Port of Derry

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Local historian Mickey McGuinness will deliver a talk on the city’s role in emigration on Tuesday, February 8, at 7.30pm at Age Concern Derry.

Derry City has a long history of emigration, playing a key role as the main departure point from the North West for those looking for a better life.

Over the centuries thousands of people used the port of Derry to travel overseas.

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Derry was one of the most important Ulster ports in terms of the emigration trade with masses of people emigrating from Derry, Donegal and Tyrone.

This reminiscence evening will examine the determining factors which led to the emergence, growth and decline of Canadian emigration through the Port of Derry.

Some of the topics covered will include the existence of a population within the hinterland of Derry with a propensity to emigrate and the early establishment of an emigration tradition, conditions in Ireland and particularly the North West which impelled people to leave and the complementary attractions offered by transatlantic destinations, the development of trading links between merchants on both sides of the Atlantic and the growth of shipping in the Port of Derry which came to specialise in emigration.

Given the establishment of formal links between Derry, Inishowen and the province of New Brunswick and the benefit of the Provincial Archives, the talk will address emigration connections with that province and the important contribution of Quebec to Derry’s emigration history.

The evening will include individual histories that illustrate emigrant connections and those attending can share their stories and experiences of this unique history of Derry Port.

The talk takes place on Tuesday, February 8, at Age Concern Derry, Chapel Road, Derry.

Refreshments will be served.

For further information, please telephone Age Concern Derry on: 71 347478.