The arrival of the replica famine ship Jeanie Johnston in the U.S. has been postponed until spring 2001. The Jeanie Johnston Project had originally hoped to bring the ship to the U.S. later this year and winter her on the East Coast, but decided against this because of concerns about the weather.
However, Kerry county manager Martin Nolan has told The Kerryman newspaper that the ship will not make the trans-Atlantic voyage at all, unless it can be proved that the journey’s costs will be covered. With the help of an Irish government grant of £2 million, the costs of building the ship are close to being paid off, but the cost of sailing to America is estimated to be yet another £1.8 million. Board members at the Jeanie Johnston Project insist that all costs will be covered with the voyage. “There is a lot of money committed to the project from states, cities, and individuals in the U.S.,” John Griffin, the project’s managing director, pointed out.
The current plan is that the ship will spend the winter in Ireland, where it will make a tour of the island prior to departing for North America. It will visit the major port cities Limerick, Galway, Derry, Belfast, Dublin, Waterford, and Cork before departing for the States. ♦