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Rose Marie Kilbride Stanley performs the role of Sarah Kavanagh in her play Emigrant in the Caves of Keash, County Sligo. She pays tribute to her ancestor from whom she draws strength.

Exterior shot. Woman with short, curly grey hair and glasses, holding open a folder, standing in a cave facing camera, viewed from interior. In background can be seen vista of rolling green fields to the horizon and a lake as shot is taken from considerable height.

I am Rose Marie Kilbride Stanley, standing in this beautiful spot, at the Caves of Keash, Cross, Sligo County.

Camera pans down to show Rose Marie Kilbride Stanley in full standing on cave floor.

I am the great, great, great granddaughter of Patrick Kaveney and Sarah McDonagh. They lived here in this beautiful spot in 1847 at the height of the Great Hunger.

Camera pans forward for close up of Rose Marie Kilbride Stanley with vista of rolling green fields behind her.

They left on a ship called the Carricks of Whitehaven.Their journey ended in tragedy when they were shipwrecked in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and lost their five daughters.

In order to commemorate this event, last year in 2017, I wrote a play called The Emigrant.

I would like to read to you a little bit where I write Sarah’s dialogue after this tragic event.

She reads in the character of Sarah.

I am the wife of Patrick Kavanagh. Mother of Martin. Mother of Mary, deceased. Mother of Margaret, deceased. Mother of Bridget Elizabeth, deceased. Mother of Catharine, deceased. Mother of Sarah, deceased.

Each morning I wake, my first breath is one of joy, and then the horror of my life seeps in and takes hold. Were it not for Martin and Patrick, I would be content to drown in an everlasting embrace with my girls.

Patrick does not speak of their final resting place, or what he saw, or did not see, on the beach that day. Patrick speaks little. Martin has learned the obedience of silence.

I cannot return to the beach. Yet in my body’s memory, I visit that unhallowed place every hour, often every minute, of each day.

I stand numb, numb to the elements, numb to life itself.

This I do know. Our daughters are either buried in the shallow trench, or they have perished in a watery grave. That they could be buried in consecrated earth within the church grounds would grant them everlasting peace.

Rose Marie Kilbride Stanley puts down binder. Camera pans back to show her full length framed by the cave entrance, and then pans left into cave interior with second entrance in background.

Final image of water with on screen Ireland Park Foundation logo. Celtic style music playing.