Lowell ‘New Dublin’ dig gives a voice to early Irish emigrants

The immigrants work of digging the canals along the Merrimack River to power Lowell's mills was arduous and sometimes dangerous

Read more: Treasures of pre-Famine ‘New Dublin’ shanty town to be revealed

An archaeological dig in Lowell Massachusetts unearthed some 1530 artifacts from before famine times.
Last August six UMass students alongside experts Dr. Colm Donnelly and Dr. Harry Welsh of Queen’s University, Belfast took part in a week-ling dig as part of a study of the Irish who emigrated to Lowell before and prior to and after Ireland’s Great Famine.

The dig was part of a collaborative agreement between UMass Lowell Center for Irish Partnerships and Queens University. The actual dig took place on the front lawn of St. Patrick’s Church on Suffolk St. in Lowell.

Experts who have worked tirelessly on the project include Dr. Frank Talty, Co-Director at UMass Lowell’s Center for Irish Partnerships and his fellow Co-Directors Dr. Ann Marie Hurley and Dr. Stephen McCarthy.

“These early Irish people established a community that survived discrimination and socio-economic limitations to become an integral part of Lowell’s development in the 19th century.” Talty told The Irish Emigrant.

“The project was an unqualified success. The artifacts we found were consistent with the period, and with implements known to be in use at that time.”

Read more: Treasures of pre-Famine ‘New Dublin’ shanty town to be revealed

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