Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Remembering Kinsale's Tim & Mortimer McCarthy & Crossing A Bridge

22nd March 2017
The Hal'penny Bridge over the River Liffey in Dublin The Hal'penny Bridge over the River Liffey in Dublin

There is always something interesting to be reported upon and discussed about the maritime sphere, I believe and so I always want to broadcast interesting stories on This Island Nation.

This week one underlines the importance of maintaining knowledge of our maritime history and passing it onto future generations.

That point was made to me on the quayside at Kinsale on the South Cork coastline where the town’s historical society laid wreaths at a memorial to two brothers, Tim and Mortimer McCarthy from a fishing family in the area, who had both won Polar medals for their service with the world’s renowned Polar explorers - Mortimer with Captain Scott on the Terra Nova Expedition in 1910.

A mountain in Antarctica is named after Mortimer McCarthy. His brother, Tim, was with Shackleton and Tom Crean on the legendary rescue voyage for the Endurance crew from Elephant Island in the James Caird lifeboat. But Tim is not as well-known as Tom Crean. The remembrance ceremony was held a hundred years to the day since Tim McCarthy, was killed while serving aboard the tanker SS Naragansett when it was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U44 off the South Coast of Ireland during World War One.

“The memory of these men is part of the history of this maritime town and must be preserved,” said Terry Connolly. “It is important that we remember and that we pass on what we remember to the younger generation so that they can know their history.”

He is correct about passing on our history to the next generation. He also referred to the “connection of the coincidence of history between Polar explorers and Irish revolutionaries” which you can hear about on the programme.

Underlining the ‘Family of the Sea’ concept which I focus in my programme, George Wheeler, whose grandfather was one of the 46 crew that died with Tim McCarthy aboard the Naragansett, travelled from Britain to lay a wreath at the memorial.

Dublin, in the 19th century, was administered by “an over-staffed public service where jobs were got by influence and monetary status rather than competence and ability.” The decision-makers were “mainly Protestants, scorned by the Nationalists as ‘Shoneens’ and ‘West Brits’ ..”

I will leave you to listen to the programme below to hear the full story of this period in Dublin!

And in this edition of the programme we remember the tragedy of the loss of Coast Guard helicopter R116.

Published in Island Nation

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven't put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full-time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button