Irish America Hall of Fame inductee, Donald R. Keough, who is the former Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of The Coca-Cola Company and current Chairman of the Board of Allen & Company Incorporated, made a surprise visit today to the Dunbrody National Centre for Emigration History, to unveil a plaque dedicated to his great grandfather Micheal Keough, a native of New Ross. Co Wexford.
“It is with great pleasure that we welcome Donald Keough to our visitor centre today as we dedicate the departure area of our exhibition to memory and vision of Donald’s great grandfather Micheal Keough. We wish to warmly acknowledge Donald’s contribution to our emigration project and thank him for his ongoing kindness and support,” said Sean Reidy, Chief Executive of the Dunbrody National Centre for Emigration History.
This new state of the art visitor centre was officially opened in July 2011 by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Dr Leo Varadkar TD and Entertainer, Michael Flatley.
The centre has been constructed in a brand new, 1500 square metre space in a custom built visitors centre, located on the Quayside of the river Barrow in New Ross and next to the hugely popular Dunbrody Famine Ship. This new world class interactive immigration experience has been cleverly integrated with the Dunbrody Famine Ship.
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The new purpose built visitor centre will allow the visitor travel on an historical thought provoking one way sea going journey in famine times. The experience begins Quayside with the authentic recreation of the New Ross of the 1840s. Here the passenger will join fellow travellers paying for their journey. These fellow emigrants will tell of their life stories and their hopes for a new life in America. Various audio and visual displays capture the atmosphere of a passenger stepping onboard Dunbrody and setting sail for the New World, America.
Onboard the authentically recreated ship , you will encounter re-actors telling their stories of being forced to emigrate to seek a better life , and experience the sights , smells and sounds of a Famine
Ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean in the 1840’s. The passenger then arrives in North America; here the emigrant witnesses the impact Irish emigrants have had on American life and culture. The centre piece of this exhibition is the Irish America Hall of Fame which celebrates and honours the lives, works and achievements of noted Irish individuals such as, President John F Kennedy and the Kennedys, Henry Ford, President Clinton, and Grace Kelly, to name but a few.