University Communications

IU & West Laurel Hill Cemetery to Bury 57 Irish Immigrants

Immaculata University, an active partner in the Duffy’s Cut project, is collaborating with West Laurel Hill Cemetery to provide the final resting place for the remains of the 57 Irish immigrants who came to the United States in 1832 to work on the railroad.  The Memorial and Burial will be held on Friday, March 9, at 2:00 p.m. 

A viewing of five caskets containing the five unearthed bodies from the Duffy’s Cut excavation site, will be open to the public beginning at 12:30 p.m.  At 2:00 p.m. the funeral procession will begin, concluding with the committal of the five bodies at a burial site donated by West Laurel Hill.  Immaculata University provided the funding for the 10-foot limestone Celtic cross, made in Ireland, that will commemorate the dead with a plaque listing the names of the men who perished.  Immaculata President, Sister R. Patricia Fadden, IHM, who was instrumental in securing the memorial Celtic cross, will be speaking. Other special dignitaries attending will be the Irish Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Michael Collins, State Senator Andrew Dinniman and State Representative Duane Milne, all of whom have supported the Duffy’s Cut project to its conclusion. 

The mystery surrounding the deaths of the Irishmen has been paramount for William Watson, Ph.D., chair of the History Department at Immaculata University.  After nearly a decade of excavating the “Duffy’s Cut” site in Malvern, near the campus of Immaculata, Dr. Watson, his brother Frank, and a team of professionals along with Immaculata students and faculty, concluded that many of the men were murdered after contracting cholera.

“We hope this ceremony will bring peace to the souls of the men and woman of Duffy’s Cut after almost 180 years of ignominious repose,” commented Dr. Watson.

For more information about the Duffy’s Cut Memorial and Burial, please contact West Laurel Hill Cemetery at 610-664-1591.

Immaculata University, a Catholic, comprehensive, coeducational institution, is located 20 miles west of Philadelphia, south of the intersection of routes 30 and 352, between Paoli and Exton.