For some months in 2019-20, Tinteán has been featuring an article on one of the so-called Earl Grey girls. These were young women, mostly orphans, from the workhouses where they had been put during the early days of the Great Famine. They are remembered in particular at a memorial in the Hyde Park barracks in Sydney and at the Irish Famine Memorial on the pier at Williamstown in Melbourne.
In our September edition, we had a major article on the 2020 commemoration at the Hyde Park memorial in Sydney, https://tintean.org.au/2020/09/10/great-irish-famine-commemoration-hyde-park-barracks-sydney-30-august-2020-livestream/
It has been the custom for many years to have a similar commemoration in Melbourne, something that was rendered impossible this year by the Covid restrictions. Instead, the Melbourne Irish Famine Orphan Girls Commemoration Committee undertook to create a special video presentation in tribute to the courage and strength of the girls who came to Australia as part of the Earl Grey Scheme in 1848-1850. The video is designed as a tribute, but also for its educational and informational value to a wide audience.
The video can be found at their Facebook page Irish Famine Orphan Girls Commemoration | Facebook , on the Tinteán Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/tinteanmagazine/photos/a.2055478644707268/2055517608036705/ and on YouTube, at Irish Orphan Girls Commemoration, Williamstown, Melbourne 2020 – YouTube.
The editors of Tinteán are outdoing each other in admiration for the video. Professionally presented, it is an emotional tribute to those teenage girls who made a new life so far from home.
The video features music by Felix Meagher and Cora Brown, Brendan Graham and Finbarr Furey, Kathleen and Sean Kiernan. Each of the four featured speakers contribute a unique insight to the story: His Excellency Ambassador Breandán Ó Caollaí, Irish Ambassador to Australia; Dr Val Noone OAM, historian and writer; Martin Curley, researcher at Tuam Workhouse, Co Galway; and orphan girl descendant, Noeleen Lloyd, with strong connections to the Kelly Gang.
Tinteán congratulates all those involved with the production and enthusiastically recommends it to our readers.