Céad míle fáilte



The GIFCC Famine Commemoration 2020 took place on Sunday August 30th at the Australian Monument to the Great Irish Famine at Hyde Park Barracks, Macquarie Street, Sydney. Due to Covid-19 restrictions the event was limited to 20 people but was LiveStreamed to audiences around the world.
Watch now at LiveStream

Famine Memorial

The monument was inspired by the arrival in Australia of over 4,000 single young women, most of whom were teenagers. They arrived under a special emigration scheme designed to resettle destitute girls from the workhouses of Ireland during the Great Famine. The Great Irish Famine Commemoration Committee (GIFCC) have broadened their activities to commemorate all who left their homes seeking a new life in the colonies and States of Australia but these workhouse orphan girls, and the historical links back to Ireland, remain the focus of this project and only young women from the workhouses under Earl Grey’s Orphans scheme appear in the database. The three images above the website link were supplied to Trevor McClaughlin in the 1990s and are Mary Ann Ryan per Elgin to Adelaide (left) and one of her children (right) with Ann Brady per Tippoo Saib in the centre.

This website introduces you to the monument itself, to this particular emigration scheme which operated between 1848 & 1850, to the women themselves and the ships on which they travelled. It is designed to be an motivating and rewarding experience for anyone interested in Irish history and genealogy or the broader issues related to famine, displacement and immigration no matter where in the Irish ‘diaspora’ you may reside. The website was initially set up by Dr Trevor McClaughlin and we are grateful for him allowing us to use the information contained in his two volumes of Barefoot & Pregnant? Irish Famine orphans in Australia, Genealogical Society of Victoria, Melbourne, 1991 and 2001 and for the work he and Jennifer Bainbridge did on the first version of this website.

We acknowlege funding assistance from the Irish Government’s Emigrant Support Programme in 2011, 2013 and 2017

The Australian Monument to the Great Irish Famine (1845-1852) is located at the Hyde Park Barracks, on Macquarie Street, Sydney,

View Orphan Database





Make a Donation

Recent news

  • New music from Fintan Vallely

    Dear friends and colleagues,  Please pardon the intrusion into your seclusion with this message to announce the final coming together of a selection of new tunes by myself.  Fuller details on  All forms of interest will be deeply appreciated.  Best wishes for the upcoming year of the vaccine, when there might even...
  • Thank you and Farewell to Martin

    Martin Folan has recently resigned from the GIFCC, and therefore his position as Vice-Chair, due to personal family commitments. We appreciate his 25 years of dedicated commitment and contribution to the GIFCC and on behalf of us all, an enormous THANK YOU! Martin was recently presented with an award in...
  • Baile as baile

    In conjunction with the Irish Support Agency’s “Baile as Baile” ( Home away from home) initiative to provide activities through December and January for those in the Irish Community who might be feeling isolated from family and friends due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, The GIFCC is hosting a tour to...