Tuesday, 4 October 2016


Image from Bev Kerlin

One of the best known ships to come to Queensland in the 1800's was the Erin-Go-Bragh, which arrived here on it's first voyage in 1862.

There are numerous stories written about the passage and the passengers, as you will see by just a small selection in the list below. 

Though I am somewhat familiar with at least the basis of the stories, I was pleased to find an article in TROVE that gave a whole lot more detail than many of the other articles had.

 This appeared in The Catholic Press..

Catholic Press (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1942), Thursday 24 September 1908, page 22

National Library of Australia http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article104911628 

You can click on each image to enlarge...

The Logan City Council Local Studies Handout also talks about the Irish Settlement in Logan, which at one time, occurred in vast numbers.

 The last page of this handout tells a little of the financing and also talks about Father Dunne's passion in finding a way to 'rescue' as may famine victims as he could...

One of the people who read these stirring releases was the erratic, peripatetic Father Patrick Dunne. Dunne, who had served as Chaplain on emigrant ships in the past, and whose career as a priest in Australia was notable for his violent arguments with the Catholic Establishment in New South Wales, was at this stage living in County Meath. Dunne was fired by the possibilities offered by the Society and, working in conjunction with Quinn’s brother Matthew he assembled a shipload of emigrants, mostly evictees from Geashill, a local estate. People who contributed money towards the scheme were promised a rather optimistic 100% profit on their investment, and a rich Catholic lady obligingly donated funds towards chartering a ship. This ship, the Erin-Go-Bragh, duly departed from Waterford, sailing via Liverpool and Queenstown (listed in the archives as its port of origin) for Moreton Bay. On board, under master Captain George Borlaise were 431 immigrants, many of whom were to become pioneer settlers on the Logan River. 

A friend of mine who sadly passed away some years ago now, Bev Kerlin, was very passionate about the Erin-Go-Bragh and compiled a comprehensive list of the passengers and other details on her site.
Bev went on to research many of the families that stayed in the South East of Queensland in particular.

The Erin-Go-Bragh was more notorious than famous, however, because of the poor conditions and the high death rate... as can be read about in "The Queensland Immigration Society

[By Rev. T. P. BOLAND, D.Eccl.Hist., Professor of Ecclesiastical and Modern History, Pius XII Provincial Seminary, Banyo.]
(Read by Rev. O. K. Oxenham, D.C.L,, State Director, Catholic Immigration, at the meeting of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland on 28 November 1963.) 

For more reading on the Erin-Go-Bragh (Ireland Forever)..


Courier (Brisbane, Qld. : 1861 - 1864), Saturday 2 August 1862, page 2

The Health Officer (Dr. Hobbs) went down to the bay in the Customs' boat from Eagle Farm about 6 o'clock yesterday morning, and, after boarding the La Rochelle, and finding the immigrants in a perfectly healthy state, he proceeded at once across the bay to the Erin-go-Bragh, which vessel he found lying off the ship Patch. Hearing that the passengers had been affected with disease, the Doctor did not board, and, as usual under such circumstances, he directed that she should remain in quarantine for a few days, in order to allow of medical inspec-tion. In the meantime it was his intention to report the particulars of the case to the Government. We are mainly indebted to the same gentleman for the following particulars. The Erin-go-Bragh left Queenstown on the 7th of February last with 431 immigrants. On the fourth day after leaving, typhoid fever and scarlatina broke out among the passengers, and continued to operate with fearful effect until the 10th of July last, at which date— just three weeks ago—the last death occurred. During the voyage, we regret to state, that no fewer than 54 deaths took place, the great majority being confined to young children. We give below a list of the names, from which it will be seen that several families have been wholly or nearly decimated. On the other hand, there were 6 births.
The voyage was protracted, owing to a succession of light and variable winds. She left Hobart Town on the 18th July, and reached the anchorage ground at half-past 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon. The following is a complete list of the deaths, with the ex-ception of some three or four names, which
Dr. Hobbs was unable to catch :—
James Murray, 17 months old ; James McQuinn, 2 years; Bridget Dunn, 11 months ; Michael Dunn, 9 months ; William McCabe, 12 months ; Bridget Connors, 13 months; Michael Egan, 1 year ; Mary Kelly, 8 months ; Denis Ealin, 4 months ; Margaret Byrnes, 2 years ; Peter Lyon, 2 months ; Ellen Dempsey, 18 months ; Peter McQuinn, 4 years; William Helleyon, 8 years; John Ealin, 4 years ; Ann Flanagan, 18 months ; Margaret Walsh, 2 years ; John Dempsey, 4 years; Essie Dempsey, 6 years ; Philip Macloyne, l8 years; Catherine Devine, 24 years; John Quilchy [Cuskelly], 14 years ; Jane Rigby, 58 years ; John Hannan, 24 years ; Patrick Byrnes, 2 days ; Mary Cal-laghan, 10 years ; Catherine Elliott, 8 months ; Catherine Byrnes, 33 years; Bridget Dunn, 10 years; Mary Meek, 24 years ; Mary Hall, 19 months ; Ann Murray, 4 years ; Patrick Murray, 6 years ; Thomas Brien, 6 years ; Daniel Bryant, 2 years; Bridget Macloyne, 4 years; Martha Byrnes, 7 years; Mary Welsh, 4 years; Catherine Ward, 60 years : Eliza Quenskilly [Cuskelly], 9 years ; David Bryant, 4 years ; Mary Dempsey, 14 years ; Patrick Gowan, 15 months; Catherine Ward, 19 years; Patrick Quinn, 3 months; Rhoda Rhenn, 11 years: Bessie Rofters, 19 years; Michael Dempsey,

Erin Go Bragh flag.PNG

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