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Cork Harbour World War One Commemoration Underway

4th May 2017
Organisaton of National Ex Servicemen at this morning's commemoration in Cobh Organisaton of National Ex Servicemen at this morning's commemoration in Cobh Photo: Tom MacSweeney

The arrival of the United States Navy into Cork Harbour a hundred years ago today when America entered the First World war is being commemorated at ceremonies in Cobh today writes Tom MacSweeney. A commemorative plaque was unveiled at Admiralty House where the US Navy was based. It is now a convent of the Benedictine Order.

92 American Naval vessels operated to protect the Southern Approaches to Ireland and Britain which then governed Ireland. An exhibition 'Portraits; Women of Cobh and US Sailors' Irish Wives 1917-1919' has been opened in the Sirius Arts Centre in the town.

* listen to Tom MacSwqeeney's podcast for this story about the inter-relationships between US Naval personnel and local women here

Cobh WWI commemorationA minutes silence at this morning's commemoration in Cobh. Photo: Tom MacSweeney

Irish and US Naval personnel attended the Cobh ceremony. Admiralty House in Cobh was the original residence of the Commander-in-Chief of naval operations.

The winning of safe control of the Western Approaches when Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare was described at the ceremony as vital to eventual Allied success in the First World War.

Other commemorative events are plannrd including a weekend series on Bere Island in West Cork on July 1/2.

US personnel were based also in Aghada, Monkstown and Passage West in Cork Harbour.

Roches Point Lighthouse will be open to the public on the June Bank Holiday to mark its importance during the wartime period and also 200 years of lighthouse operations there.

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