Emigration in times of economic downturn has been a feature of Irish history of the past 200 years. In the twentieth century mass emigration reached levels during the 1940s and 1950s that were reminiscent of the Famine period, and Dun Laoghaire became the main point of departure. There were frequent queues for passage and instances were recorded of passengers being turned away because the boats were full.
The picture from the late 1950s also shows the monument erected to commemorate the 1932 Eucharistic Congress. A larger statue of Christ the King intended for this location is now in the area of the Lexicon Library.