Focus On: Cobh, Ireland

Cobh Ireland sea port

psyberartist/Via Flickr

Immigration tends to be a zero-sum affair: One place gains citizens while another places loses them.

Back a hundred years ago, Ellis Island was the big winner, and Cobh, Ireland, was the big loser. From 1850 to 1950, more than 2.5 million Irish left Ireland from the port of Cobh, then called Queenstown, meaning that nearly half of all Irish immigrants left from Cobh on their way to America.

In fact, the very first immigrant processed at Ellis Island upon its opening on January 1, 1892, was Cobh departee Annie Moore. There are statues of her in Cobh and on Ellis Island, and considerable confusion (only recently cleared up) about what happened to her once she got to the United States, but that’s another story.

Cobh was also the last port of call for the Titanic, which stopped in Cobh on April 11, 1912. It sunk three days later. (Incidentally, just yesterday, the last survivor of the Titanic died at the age of 97).

Cobh—and specifically the Queenstown Story Museum—are stops for groups traveling on certain EF Educational Tours itineraries in Ireland.

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