Upwards of five million people in Canada could have Sligo connections and most of them probably do not know it, one of the organisers of a Famine trail commemoration walk last weekend believes.
On Saturday the 22 miles walk from Cross townland in Keash to Sligo port retraced the walk undertaken by Patrick and Sarah Kaveney and their six children on April 4, 1847.
As famine victims they left Sligo in the hope of a better life in Canada, but their ship the “Carricks” was wrecked within sight of the Canadian coast. The parents and their only son survived but their five daughters were lost.
Leading the walk was Rose Marie Stanley, a fifth generation descendent of the Kaveneys, with her husband Terry from the Gaspe area of Quebec in Canada.
An organiser of the walk, John McKeon of Mullaghmore & Cliffoney Historical Society, believes there are many more people in Canada like Rose Marie Stanley, whose ancesters came from Sligo.
“We know that in 1847 there were over 13,000 people who emigrated to Canada from Sligo port, so it is possible that over 50,000 would have gone from Sligo to Canada over the years of the Famine and just after.
“Because of that I believe that there could be upwards of five million people in Canada that have Sligo connections that they know nothing about.”
For the full story on Sligo’s connection to Canada pick up this week’s Sligo Weekender