In a poignant story, scientists have just confirmed that human bones washed up on a Canadian beach eight years ago were those of three children from Ireland who set sail from Sligo in March 1847 during the Famine years.
The name of the ship was The Carrick and it was carrying 180 passengers when it sank off the coast of Cap-des-Rosiers in Gaspé, Canada. Using new technology, scientists have been able to identify the bones as two seven-year-old boys and one eleven-year-old boy who were lost in the tragedy. Even though the bones were very fragile, complex tests showed that the children had been suffering from chronic health problems caused by malnutrition.
The passenger manifest of the stricken ship did not list every person individually but gave the lead name of every family and the number of people accompanying him or her. A total of 48 people survived the tragedy and many of their descendants still live in the Cap-des-Rosiers area. At the time, 87 bodies were recovered and, over the years, the remains of 21 people have been washed up on the same beach following storms. They are all believed to be from The Carrick.
A funeral service for the three boys will be held in the near future and then they will finally be buried near the Irish Memorial on Cap-des-Rosier beach that was established in 1990 in memory of the tragedy. May they rest in peace – at last.