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Irish emigrants to America live in appalling circumstances
Tenement housing in New York ca. 1900 - 1910 Photo: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Irish emigrants to America live in appalling circumstances

New York, 29 December 1914 - Irish emigrants live in appalling distress in New York and in other American cities according to leading American newspapers.

More than 20,000 people emigrated from Ireland in the first 11 months of 1914, but many of those who left for America remained unemployed and many more are among the 100,000 workers ‘starving in the richest country in the world'.

Emigration statistics showing that the number of emigrants from Ireland decreased by over 10,000 between 1913 and 1914. (Image: National Archives of Ireland)

The New York American estimates that the total number of men out of work in New York stands at some 350,000 and families have been forced to sleep rough after being unable to pay their rents. Many Irish families also frequent the ‘Free Bread Depots’ that have been established along the tenement streets in the city of New York.

[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]


Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.