Bishop Hails Heroic Sligo Voyage by Family

Sligo Weekender, Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Last week’s story of the heroic voyage of a French Quebec family who sailed around the world to Sligo in search of their roots has prompted several calls to our office.
Charles, Daphne and Charlene Kavanagh from Mignan landed in Rosses Point after a 15,000 mile voyage across the ocean.
Bishop Thomas Finnegan, a former principal and English teacher in Summerhill College, said their voyage evoked memories of a ship called Carrick of White Haven which sailed from Sligo in early 1847.
The bishop spoke to the Kavanagh’s whose ancestor Patrick Kavnagh is believed to have sailed on the Carrick of White Haven which perished off the coast of French Quebec.
Thomas believes that Patrick Kavanagh could have been one of the survivors who were rescued off Gaspesie Coast.
He refers to the incident in his book ‘Sligo Sinbad’s Yellow Shore’.
“In all 187 people were lost and the survivors settled at Cap-de-Roisiers where outside comfortable homesteads in this French-Canadian village, you can see letter-boxes bearing names like Cavanagh, Dunne and O’Connor.
“It is a marvellous story and they showed a lot of courage and character to come all the way over the Ocean in search of their people.
Meanwhile Rosses Point yachtsman Colm Ridge said that the Kavanagh’s were now sailing back to Canada via Ballycastle in county Antrim.
“This was an incredible journey they made in a very small boat and they endured some horrific conditions.
“The Irish all over the world have a special bond with their native place and the Kavanaghs havbe certainly touched a lot of people here.
“I don’t think they managed to trace any of their relatives on this occasion but Charles Kavanagh is comign back in two years.
“Maybe he’ll have more time to check out his relations on that occasion”.
The Kavanagh’s are currently on the broad Atlantic somewhere off the north west coast of Donegal en route back to Quebec.
Au revoir until we next see them coming around the Metal Man.