I agree, the visit to the LDS Family History Library is worth the trip.
I searched online and through many and various listservs having to do with the Famine, Immigration, ships lists and many many email contacts. I was trying to determine when, who and how my GG-father arrived in the U.S.
I visited the library and in 5 minutes, I had the document listing the ship name, passengers (my GG-father & 2 sons, their ages, date of arrival). I also found the listing the NY Times archived newspaper (no pass listing) but the article told more about the ship. Very interesting!
My "over a year search" for this information was located in 5 minutes at that library.
Of course, that's U.S. ship arrival records.
I doubt anything here can compare to any records in Ireland for pre-immigration.
I live in Salt Lake City. I'm fortunate to have this library close at hand. If I can help anyone, please let me know.
Peggy Call - O'GARA descendent
Salt Lake City, UT USA