Sunday, June 12, 2016

Star of the Sea #203

The local church in Ballygarret is called Star of the Sea - it's a typical rural church and I have attended Mass there over the years (there is a terrific choir there). In the car park there are two interesting headstone like plaques commemorating two historical events. Ballygarret is twinned with the town of Refugio in Texas. In 1833 hundreds of local people left this area to emigrate to Texas and colonise that part of America which was then controlled by Mexico. They had a very difficult journey and not all made it to Refugio. Looking through the family names I don't see any that might be my own ancestors, but it must have been a terrible experience to leave your home forever.

Close by there is an interesting plaque that commemorates the first notification of potato blight in Ireland on 18th August 1845 at the outbreak of The Great Famine. This was at Killegney close by, blight was also discovered in Oldtown near Ferns. Little did they know the tragedy to follow over the next four years. The county of Wexford was not as badly affected as other counties during the famine, but this is where it started.

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