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#Lusitania - Yesterday (Thursday 6 October) marked 81 years since the discovery of the wreck of the Lusitania off the Old Head of Kinsale, more than 20 years after the ocean liner was lost.

And less than three weeks from now will mark the 81st anniversary of the first brave diving expedition to the wreck site, according to Coast Monkey.

A far cry from the SCUBA gear and technology used by modern-day divers, Jim Jarrett made his descent in an enormous Tritonia diving suit.

The JS Peress design resembles something out of the sci-fi movies that would come out of Hollywood decades later.

But it was necessary to enable Jarrett to withstand the incredible pressures at the wreck site some 93 metres below the surface.

Coast Monkey has more on this remarkable story HERE.

Published in Diving
Tagged under

#Lusitania - This week saw the centenary of the sinking of the Lusitania marked with commemorative events in Cork Harbour, including a ceremony in Cobh led by President Michael D Higgins and a cruise call by the Cunard Line's Queen Victoria as part of its 'Lusitania Remembered' voyage.

New sonar imagery showing the full extent of the wreck site off Kinsale was also revealed this week, displaying its current condition on the sea floor in greater detail than ever.

A hundred years after it slipped below the waves, the ill-fated liner is only "beginning to reveal its wounds, scars and perhaps its secrets, and may continue to do so for many years to come," according to Government officials.

One man who's long hoped for such secrets to be revealed is the wreck's owner Gregg Bemis, who sent a personal tribute to be delivered instead of attending the official commemoration.

The multi-millionaire American businessman is currently at odds with the State over what he describes as "spiteful" the strict licensing rules imposed on his long-planned return dive to the wreck.

Bemis intends to disprove the findings of National Geographic's 2012 documentary on its so-called 'dark secrets', in his belief that there was more to the second explosion that sealed its fate than a damaged boiler.

His story is the subject of a detailed profile in the latest Fortune magazine. And more recently he wrote a scathing piece in The Irish Times, highlighting the "double standard" in the lack of public expenditure on researching shipwrecks in relatively shallow waters such as the Lusitania and the Estonia, which sank in the Baltic in 1994, compared to the multiple millions spent over many years on plane crash sites to determine their cause.

Bemis had more to say to The Irish Times' Lorna Siggins about his deep research into the Lusitania controversy, and whether it really did carry a clandestine arms and munitions shipment which may have made it the target for the German U-boat that blasted its hull.

While the owner did not travel to Cork Harbour himself, diver Eoin McGarry went in his stead to place Bemis' tribute plaque with the names of the hundreds who died in the tragedy, as well as a single red rose, near the remains of the ship's bridge.

McGarry – who has descended to the wreck more than anyone else – willingly paid the harsh decompression penalties to return to what's regarded as the Everest of diving, according to fellow diver Tim Carey.

"The first glimpse of the vessel is a huge feeling of exhilaration," Carey writes in the Irish Independent, adding that "swimming around the wreck is a very touching experience and is like transcending time".

However, he also warns that "diving the wreck over a ten-year period has shown me one inescapable fact - the wreck is constantly corroding and collapsing further and is suffering a lot of damage from fishing nets."

Which means that the preservation of its remaining artefacts, if not the revelation of its deepest secrets, must be secured before it's too late.

Published in Cork Harbour

#lusitania – President Michael D Higgins will lead a commemoration event in Cobh on Thursday, 7th May to mark the centenary of the sinking of the Lusitania. The event, which will also be attended by a number of other VIPs including the British, German and US ambassadors to Ireland is expected to see a large turn-out and the public are advised that traffic and parking restrictions will be in place throughout the day.

Road closures will be in effect in Casement Square and on part of Westbourne Place from 11.30am until 10.30pm.

Captain Michael McCarthy, Commercial Manager of the Port of Cork who is lead organiser of the event said "We expect that up to 10,000 people from across Ireland and beyond, many of whom have personal connections to the Lusitania disaster, will descend on the town of Cobh to remember all those who lost their lives on the 7th May 1915. For anyone intending on travelling to the event, I would urge them to take the train as it is the easiest and most direct way to get to the heart of Cobh town where events will be taking place."

Irish Rail will be running additional services throughout the day on the Cork - Cobh line giving a service every 30 minutes from 06.30hrs until 19.30hrs. Cobh can also be accessed from stations at Midleton, Carrigtwohill, Little Island and Glounthaune, where free parking is available. For train timetables and for further information, please see www.irishrail.ie

Superintendent John Quilter said "Additional Gardaí will be in place for the day and will be aided by event stewards to ensure that everyone who attends has an enjoyable and safe experience. I would encourage all those travelling to Cobh to plan their travel in advance and to check for updates in relation to parking and traffic restrictions."
The main points are as follows:

· No parking at Westbourne Place and Casement Square.

· One way system going into Cobh along the High Road.

· One way system going out of Cobh along the Lower Road.

· Disabled parking is outside the Sirius Arts Centre on Lower Rd. – display badge and follow signage.

· Obey Directions of Gardaí and stewards at all times.

· Secure vehicles and don't leave valuables in them.

· Where applicable, display parking badges clearly en route to the event.

· Parking will be available at the Verolme Cork Dockyard adjacent to Rushbroke rail station. Additional parking will be available at Cobh Pirates Rugby Club and the Cathedral car park.

The Cross-River Ferry will run two vessels throughout the day for those travelling from the west side of the harbour.

Published in Cork Harbour

#CorkHarbour - Following today's earlier news of a French naval visit to Dun Laoghaire Harbour comes word from TheJournal.ie of a courtesy call by the German navy at Cork Harbour this weekend.

Seven German vessels will be stopping by till Monday 27 April restocking supplies and giving their crews some well earned shore leave.

But they're also sure to pause and reflect on the 100 years since the sinking of the Lusitania by a U-boat representing a very different Germany in the First World War.

Commemorations for those who died in the tragedy began in Cork Harbour on 1 February and will continue till the anniversary on 7 May.

Published in Naval Visits

#Lusitania100 - The multi-millionaire businessman owner of the Lusitania wreck claims the State has left the site vulnerable to treasure hunters while preventing his own return dive to recover artefacts.

As RTÉ News reports, Gregg Bemis described as "spiteful" the strict rules imposed on his planned return to the wreck to retrieve objects of value and historical importance.

He also aims to disprove the findings of a 2012 documentary on the fate of the Cunard liner that was torpedoed by a German U-boat off the Old Head of Kinsale on 7 May 1915 – which claimed a second explosion on the ship reported at the time came from a boiler in the vessel's bowels, and not from its alleged munitions cargo.

But Bemis says Government officials "are so glib and innocent sounding like they walk on water, but they add all these restrictions on and throw them at me so they interfere and impede."

That's despite securing the endorsement from then Heritage Minister Jimmy Deenihan for a return dive two years ago.

What's more, Bemis' previous dive team leader Eoin McGarry fears the wreck site may already have fallen victim to pirates seeking artefacts such as the ship's steam whistle and the captain's personal safe.

However, a statement from the Government said the conditions of Bemis' licence "are no more onerous than is absolutely necessary to protect a wreck of this global significance."

The controversy comes as Cork prepares to recognise the centenary of the Lusitania disaster, already the subject of a museum exhibition in Liverpool.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update
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#lusitania – An exhibition opening at Merseyside Maritime Museum on 27 March called Lusitania: life, loss, legacy will highlight little-known data that changes the commonly used figures of the last 100 years, when referencing the crew and passengers on Lusitania's final voyage.

Omitted from the previous official figures for Lusitania are Fireman Gontes Cloules, Waiter F. Hill and passenger Robert Anderson, taking the figures for people on board from 1,959 to 1,962.

In the days following the sinking, newspapers reported numerous lists of survivors and victims, obtained from various sources. It was March, 1916 when an official booklet known as the 'Cunard Confidential Report' was published, which became the official source. However, it was discovered very early on that this report contained errors, and there were at least two subsequent amendments to this, the last-known published in March 1917.

Gontes Cloules, Waiter F. Hill and passenger Robert Anderson were not included in the official lists of crew and passengers, and are therefore not reflected in the numbers widely used in reference to the tragic sinking of the Lusitania on 7 May, 1915.

Independent historian Peter Kelly has searched records over the last 10 years to bring them back into public consciousness. This and other findings of Peter's, have given us a new level of detail about passengers and crew aboard Lusitania, and will be included in the new exhibition at Merseyside Maritime Museum.

Peter Kelly said: "The figures have always been out there, except that not many of us have looked for them or been able to find them. It's not unusual for records to have been incomplete or incorrect in those times. It was an age before technology, when passenger names were often taken phonetically and misspelt, or maybe people were travelling under a different name.

"I'm not alone in researching this data and trying to tie it down so that everyone who was on-board Lusitania is recognised - whether they lost their lives when the ship went down, or survived this terrible tragedy. We all have our various theories on the names of a number of people who are recorded as having sailed on the ship, and it's a difficult process to work through due to the amount of records and personal accounts out there, some of which provide conflicting information.

"I'm at the point now where the research I've done has led me to believe these new figures are true, accounting for the three extra people that were on-board. The story of the Lusitania has always had some mystery surrounding it, and if more information comes to light about those who were on-board, the figures will be updated again."

Peter's figures will be included in the exhibition as part of an interactive resource, which can also be accessed by the public online from 27 March. The resource is such that any new data and information can be added in the future.

Ellie Moffat said: "This story of the Lusitania is so important here in Liverpool. The ship was the jewel in the city's crown and more than 600 people on her final voyage had connections with the city and wider region. Many people living today are still profoundly affected by the account of a relative who went through the sinking. When Peter came forward with his research, we were thrilled, because we want to share as much, and as complete, information as we can with the city, and with anyone connected to the ship."

General findings:

Total number of people on board:

1962 (total people previously – 1959*)
Everyone on board:

Survived: 771 (survived previously – 761*)
Lost: 1191 (lost previously – 1198*)
Comparison passenger and crew survival rates:

Passengers: 480 survived, 786 lost - 1266 total passengers (total passengers previously 1257*)
Crew: 291 survived, 405 lost - 696 total crew (total crew previously 702*)
* The 'previous official figures' refers to data taken from Cunard's official list of crew published by The Cunard Steam Ship Company in March 1915 and list of passengers lost and saved published by The Cunard Steam Ship Company in March 1916.

Fireman Gontes Cloules

Gontes Cloules was born in Malta in 1891 and lived at 99, Vicnarsa Hania, Malta.

Although the records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission show that he served on-board the Lusitania as a Fireman in the Engineering Department and was killed when the ship was sunk, he does not appear in the Cunard Steamship Company's list of crew members, either missing or having survived.

However, a Cunard list of crew members who engaged at New York on 30 April 1915 includes the name Cloules Goutes, who signed on as a Fireman at a monthly rate of pay of £4-5s.-0d. Presumably some mistake was made and Goutes was thought to be his surname. The names are too similar for it to be anything else, although there is no Goutes listed amongst the missing either.

The name Gontes Cloules is embossed on the Mercantile Marine Memorial at Tower Hill, London. The register for the memorial does not record any verifying details of his age, family or home.

Waiter, F. Hill

F. Hill (forename not known), was born in Glasgow, Renfrewshire Scotland, in the latter half of the nineteenth century.

He was a professional sailor in the Mercantile Marine and in April 1915, he had engaged to sail to England from New York on the Cunard liner S.S. Cameronia. However, at the end of that month, the Cameronia was taken up from trade by the British Admiralty for war work and on 1 May 1915, all the passengers and cargo and some of the crew were transferred instead, to the Lusitania, then awaiting what became her final transatlantic voyage at Pier 54 in New York harbour. Waiter Hill was one of these crew members and was offered the monthly rate of pay of £4-5s.-0d. (£4.25).

Six days out of New York, when she was off the southern coast of Ireland, the liner was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-20, only hours away from her Liverpool destination, but fortunately, Hill was counted amongst the survivors.

Having been rescued from the sea and landed at Queenstown, he eventually made it to Liverpool where he was officially discharged from the Lusitania's last voyage and paid the balance of wages owing to him. This was in respect of his sea service from 1 May until 8 May 1915; 24 hours after the liner had gone down.

An official list of crew known to have been on board the Lusitania when she was sunk and published by The Cunard Steam Ship Company in March 1915, does not mention Waiter Hill at all, but he does appear in a Particulars of Discharge ledger held in the Public Record Office at Richmond in Surrey.

Robert Anderson

Robert Anderson was born in Ireland in 1875. He was a provision merchant and in 1915, he had been living and trading in New York, N.Y. in the United States of America.

In the spring of 1915, he decided to return home to Ireland - and consequently booked third class passage on the scheduled May sailing of the Lusitania, from New York to Liverpool.

He arrived at the Cunard berth at Pier 54 in New York harbour on the morning of 1 May 1915 - with ticket number 1807 - only to find that the liner's 10.00 a.m. departure had been delayed. This was because she had to wait to embark passengers, crew and cargo from the Anchor Lines vessel the S.S. Cameronia, which the British Admiralty had requisitioned for war service as a troop ship at the end of April.

The Lusitania finally left port just after midday and six days later, on the afternoon of 7 May, she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-20. At that time, she was only about 250 miles away from her destination and within sight of the coast of southern Ireland.

It was probably the closest that Robert Anderson would get to his homeland as he was killed as a result of this action. As his body was never recovered from the sea and identified afterwards, he has no known grave. He was aged 40 years.

He does not appear in the list of passengers lost and saved which was published by The Cunard Steam Ship Company in March 1916, but he is on a list compiled by the company at a later time and updated as late as February 1917, now held at The Public Record Office at Richmond in Surrey. This record has been found to be a more reliable source.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Lusitania100Cork – This May, four coastal communities in Co. Cork are coming together to host a series of commemorative events, entitled Lusitania100 Cork, to mark the centenary of the sinking of the RMS Lusitania by a German U-boat off the coast of Cork, Ireland, during the First World War. The Lusitania was en route to Liverpool from New York and 1,201 people lost their lives in the tragedy.
Kinsale, The Old Head, Cobh and Courtmacsherry in Co. Cork, in association with Cork County Council, will pay tribute to all those who lost their lives in 1915 and remember the gallant efforts of their ancestors who responded with great courage and compassion to rescue survivors, the bereaved, and recover the dead, in ordinary fishing boats and lifeboats. These communities witnessed first-hand the trauma and heartbreak of the disaster.
The Old Head of Kinsale is the point from which the Lusitania took her final bearing on 7th May 1915 and is the most prominent accessible point of land to the ship's final resting place, which is just over eleven miles due south of the Old Head Lighthouse.
The old British Royal Navy Watch Tower of the Seven Heads peninsula in Courtmacsherry Bay is the closest point of land to the Lusitania wreck, and also home to the oldest RNLI Lifeboat Station in Ireland, which was instrumental in the aftermath of the disaster.
The mass grave at the Old Church Graveyard on the Great Island of Cobh was the final resting place of the dead, and to this day there are remains that have never been named or claimed.
The commemorations for Lusitania100 Cork are vast and will include Wreath Laying Ceremonies with President Michael D. Higgins in Cobh, and Minister Simon Coveney at the Lusitania Monument on the Old Head, both at 2.10 pm on May 7th, the time the tragedy happened.
A number of re-enactments of the tragedy will also take place. Courtmacsherry will recreate the call to service of the RNLI lifeboat, while Cobh will remember their rescue efforts with a twilight Flotilla of work boats, fishing boats and pleasure craft, each illuminated with white lights. Cobh will also re-enact the Mass Funeral procession, and Kinsale town is recreating the aftermath Inquest with descendants of the 1915 Jury.
The Old Head Signal Tower (and the associated Flag- and –Ball signalling system), is being restored and transformed into a Lusitania Museum, with plans to exhibit artefacts recovered from the wreck. This will be officially opened on May 7th. Eventually the Museum will also host an iconic piece of sculpture with the names of all who sailed on the Lusitania on May 7th 1915. A new Lusitania Exhibition will also open at the Queenstown Story at Cobh Heritage Centre from March 25th.
In addition, all four communities will host Lusitania related lectures, talks, photographic exhibitions, memorabilia and street fairs, and centenary commemoration dinners. A free open air tribute concert encompassing music from Cork's Harbour will also take place on Cobh's Promenade on May 7th, a perfect vantage point to view the twilight Flotilla.
Kinsale History Society and Port of Cork have both launched schools initiatives, encouraging primary and secondary students to study Lusitania and submit Lusitania projects, essays and art for display at the Temperence Hall in Kinsale town Centre and Cobh Maritime Building over the commemoration week.

Courtmacsherry:
Friday 1st May
• 7.45pm - Fly-over of Irish Coast Guard Helicopter
• 8pm - Official Opening of Centenary Weekend by Mr Simon Coveney, T.D., Minister for Agriculture, Marine & Food (and Defence) on Courtmacsherry pier. Teas / coffees available in Community Hall.
• Ryder and Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboats on display.
• 6 – 9pm - Lusitania Exhibitions in RNLI Lifeboat Station and Community Hall showing artefacts, memorabilia and story boards.

Saturday 2nd May
• 11am – 9pm – Daily Lusitania Exhibitions in Lifeboat Station and Community Hall. Model Exhibition at St. John the Evangelist Church.
• Lusitania themed talks in Blind Strand and Butlerstown. Bus transport arranged from village. Short Stories in Bars and Café's throughout the day. See local notice boards for further details.
• 2 – 5.30pm - Ryder and Courtmacsherry Lifeboats alongside pontoon on pier for public viewing.
• 5.30pm - Pulling and Sailing Lifeboat display with restored Ryder Lifeboat.
• 8.00pm - Lusitania lecture and presentation by esteemed Lusitania author and diver Paddy O Sullivan in Community Hall.

Sunday 3rd May – Main Event - Re-Enactment of Lifeboat Callout
• 11.00am - Events at Blindstrand across from the Old Lifeboat Station in Barry's Point. Buses arranged for transport from RNLI Lifeboat Station in Village. Narration of the RNLI Lifeboat call to Service.
• Lifeboat Launch. Start re-enactment of 12 mile Lifeboat row to Lusitania tragedy
• Lusitania themed talks in Blind Strand and Butlerstown. Bus transport arranged from village.
• 11.00am–9pm – Daily Lusitania Exhibitions in Lifeboat Station and Community Hall. Model Exhibition at St. John the Evangelist Church of Ireland.
• 3.30pm – Lusitania Presentation in Community Centre by renowned Lusitania Diver Eoin McGarry.
• Short Stories in Bars and Café's throughout the day. See local venues for details.
• 8.00pm - Return of "Ryder" lifeboat to Courtmacsherry Pier after completion of row to site of Lusitania (Exact arrival time dependent on weather conditions).

Monday 4th May
• 11am – 5.00pm - Lusitania Exhibitions in Lifeboat Station and Community Hall. Model Exhibition at St. John the Evangelist Church of Ireland.
• 2 – 5.00pm - Ryder and Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat alongside pontoon on pier for public viewing.

Wednesday 6th May
• 8pm – Lusitania Centenary Commemoration Black Tie Dinner at Courtmacsherry Hotel. Special Guest speakers include Lusitania owner and renowned Lusitania technical diver. Tickets cost 85 each. Limited availability. See our website for further details.
Thursday 7th May – Centenary day
• 9.30am Morning Commemoration mass at Sacred Heart Church, Courtmacsherry
• 2.10pm - Wreath Laying at exact site of Sinking of RMS Lusitania by RNLI Courtmacsherry Lifeboat. Release of 1201 balloons by local school children each one bearing the name of a Lusitania victim.

Cobh:
April:
Throughout April there will be a series of free lectures in Cobh as well as screenings of films and documentaries relating to Lusitania. These are as follows:
• Monday 6th: Ray White - The making of the documentary "Death by misadventure" & John Hennessey - "The Queenstown Lifeboat station" 3 pm Commodore Hotel
• Sunday 12th: Michael Martin "Lusitania - It wasn't and it didn't" 3.30 pm Commodore Hotel – after the annual Cobh Titanic Commemoration
• Sunday 19th: Eoin McGarry "Diving the Lusitania" 3 pm Commodore Hotel
• Sunday 26th : Paddy Sullivan "The sinking of the Lusitania, Unravelling the Mysteries" 3pm Commodore Hotel

Thursday 7th May:
All visitors and locals are requested to enter into the spirit of the day and dress in outfits of the era when coming to these events.
• 7am: Queen Victoria 'Lusitania Remembered' themed cruise arrives at Cobh Cruise Terminal.
• All day:
o Photographic Exhibit in the Cunard Building
o Port of Cork School Initiative projects on display in Cobh Maritime Building,
o Lusitania Exhibit at the Queenstown Story in Cobh Heritage Centre
o New Lusitania Exhibition entitled 'Lusitania – A Day in May' at Cobh Museum, housed in the former Scots Presbyterian Church.
o Lusitania Exhibition at Sirius Arts Centre – the exhibition will consider and link together three characters that died on-board the Lusitania - Corkman Sir Hugh Lane, and Americans Elbert Hubbard and Alice Hubbard. Lane was best known as a renowned art collector and Director of the National Gallery of Ireland, Elbert Hubbard was a writer, publisher and social agitator and Alice Hubbard was a writer and feminist. The Hubbards were also founders of the Roycroft Arts and Crafts Community and movement in New York State. The movement had a strong influence on the development of American architecture and design in the early 20th century. The exhibition will take the form of a number of portraits of all three characters (painting and photographs) and a text-based installation by writer and poet Sheila Mannix.
o Make sure you visit The Lusitania Peace Memorial in Cobh, which epitomises the efforts made by people to rescue survivors, recover bodies and comfort the bereaved. Irish American Sculptor Jerome Connor was commissioned by Bert Hubbard to sculpt a memorial to the tragedy. This is one of the most photographed objects in Cobh.
• 10am: A special commemorative mass will be held in St Colman's Cathedral, Cobh. Especially welcome will be relatives of those who died in the sinking of the Lusitania, relatives of those involved in the rescue efforts and relatives of survivors. Immediately afterwards there will be an opportunity for everyone to attend an informal gathering in Cobh Parish Centre which is adjacent to the Cathedral and to sign a special book of remembrance.
• Special mass in St. Coleman's Cathedral for families and friends of survivors, those lost and the brave local people who came to their aid. All welcome.
• 11am: Cobh Museum in association with Cobh Library, will host a Lecture by historian Giollamuire O Murchu entitled: Siochain Ainm De/ And all her paths are peace – American Angels, Irish Rescuers: The true story of the Lusitania Peace Memorial 1925-1968.

Graveyard Ceremony – Old Church Graveyard
• 12pm: Wreath laying ceremony at the graves of Lusitania victims takes place at Old Church graveyard with Chairman of Cunard and Chairman of Port of Cork.

Main Ceremony – Promenade
• 1pm: Performance by Band 1 Southern Brigade.
• 1.15pm: President Michael D Higgins Arrives.
• 13.35pm: Ceremony commences.
• 2.10pm – 2.30pm:
o Queen Victoria will sound a whistle to mark the moment Lusitania was hit by the torpedo, and a Naval vessel at anchor off the Promenade will respond.
o This will be followed by a minutes silence and blessings, and hymns by Ryan Morgan, Amanda Neri and Joe Corbett with Concert Orchestra.
o The Queen Victoria will then sound a second whistle to mark the sinking of Lusitania, and again the Naval vessel will respond, and there will be another minutes silence.
o The Captain of Queen Victoria will recite 'Ode of Remembrance.

Wreath Laying Ceremony – Lusitania Monument, Town Square
• 2.35pm: Wreath laying ceremony by President Higgins and British, German and US Ambassadors. This will end the official commemoration.

• 2.45pm – 4.15pm: Musical performances will take place on the Main Stage in the Promenade by Ryan Morgan, Amanda Neri & Joe Corbett with Concert Orchestra.
• 3.00pm: Professor Angela John, Historian will give a talk in Cobh Library - A Survivor's Story: Margaret Haig Mackworth & the Sinking of the Lusitania
• 4.00pm: Dr John Borgonovo, School of History, UCC will give a talk in Cobh Library - Lusitania, Cork Harbour and the Underwater War, 1914 – 1918
• 6.30pm: Queen Victoria departs Cobh
• 8-10pm: A free open air musical tribute concert encompassing music from Cork's Harbour will take place in Cobh's Promenade to set the tone and give the perfect vantage point to view the Flotilla at 9.15pm. Music from Ireland and America will date from the period and there will also be a range of sea shanties of the era.
• 9.15pm: A Flotilla of work boats, fishing boats and pleasure craft, each illuminated with white lights, will sail from Roche's Point towards Cobh. The boats will re-enact the rescue efforts and symbolise the return to Cobh on 7th May 1915 of boats filled with victims and survivors. The use of searchlights and white lights will provide a poignant and memorable spectacle from many varied vantage points and will allow local communities along the Cork coastline, including Fort Camden and Whitegate to have their own tributes and ceremonies.
• 9.45pm: Grand Finale of all the contributors to this Centenary Commemoration on the main stage in the Promenade.
• 9.30pm: Boat carrying the Cunard Flag comes ashore & The Procession of Light from Kennedy Pier in the Centre of town to the main stage in the Promenade with the bells of Cobh Cathedral ring out across the harbour. The illumination of the Lusitania Monument.
Sunday 10th May
• All day: Photo Exhibition at Cunard Building, Lusitania Exhibit at Queenstown Story.
• 12.00pm: A special commemorative mass will be held in St Colman's Cathedral, Cobh to mark the anniversary of the funeral procession for Lusitania victims on May 10 1915.
• 3.00pm: A re-enactment of the funeral procession to the Old Church Cemetery from the centre of Cobh to the Old Church Cemetery where the victims are buried. It is intended to replicate the funeral as closely as possible to the funeral order that was in 1915 with the general public invited to dress in clothes of the era. An ecumenical ceremony will be held in the Cemetery.
Monkstown:
• 7.00pm: Monkstown Chamber Choir are having a special Evensong in St. John's Church Monkstown to commemorate the tragedy of the Lusitania. This will be attended by cadets from NMCI.

Old Head
Thursday 7th May
• 1.15pm: Public assembly at the Lusitania monument on the Old Head of Kinsale.
• 1.40pm: Arrival of coastguard Air Sea rescue helicopter. Courtmacsherry 1915 replica lifeboat will also be at the Old Head Signal Tower.
• 1.45pm: Arrival of Guests and Simon Coveney T.D.
• 1.50pm: Speakers and Platform Party assemble.
• 2.00pm: Introduction and Welcome by Raymond White, Master of Ceremonies.
• 2.00pm: Courtmacsherry lifeboat over wreck site. Courtmacsherry 1915 replica lifeboat at the Old Head Signal Tower.
• 2.10pm: 1 minute silence.
• 2.11pm: Ecumenical prayer service followed by laying of wreaths at the monument.
• 2.20pm: Lament specially composed by Linda and Irene Buckley.
• 2.25pm: Last post on bugle.
• 2.28pm: Address by:
1. Alan Coleman, County Mayor
2. Michael Dowe, Grandson of Lusitania Captain Dowe
3. Historian
4. Stuart Williamson, Artist
5. Simon Coveney T.D. Minister of Agriculture, Food, Marine & Defence
• 2.45pm: Unveiling of commemorative plaque by Minister Coveney.
• 3.00pm: Official Opening of the Old Head Restored Signal Tower (and the associated Flag- and –Ball signalling system), which is being restored and transformed into a Lusitania Museum, with plans to exhibit artefacts recovered from the wreck. Eventually the Museum will also host an iconic piece of sculpture with the names of all who sailed on the Lusitania on May 7th 1915.
• 3.30pm: Irish Coastguard helicopter will open to public. The Signal Tower will also open to the public. From the parapet walkway the full panorama of one of Ireland's most scenic peninsula's will unfold.

Kinsale
Wednesday 6th May:
• 6.00pm: Lectures at the Speckled Door, organised by Bandon & Kinsale History Societies.
Thursday 7th May:
• 10.30am: Lusitania Town Walk from the Tourist Office
• 2.10pm: Minute silence in all schools in Kinsale while church bells ring, and the release of 1200 balloons.
• 5.00pm: Mr Simon Coveney T.D., Minister for Agriculture, Food, Marine & Defence will meet decedents of the 1915 Jury for re-enactment by Kinsale College Drama Students/ Kinsale Rampart Players. (Numbers limited.)
• Time TBC: Launch of Lusitania stamps at Kinsale Post Office.

Friday 8th May:
• 11am-1pm: Drama at the Kinsale Community School followed by drama at Naomh Eltin N.S. for 6th class primary pupils.
• 3.00pm: Official opening of the Federation of History Societies Conference in the Trident Hotel.
• 7.30 -8.30pm: Commemorative Concert in St. Multose Church with History Society, Lydian singers, KAOS, and the RNLI and local clergy to include inquest re-enactment by Kinsale College Drama students/ Kinsale Rampart Players, ecumenical prayers and wreath-laying.
• 9pm: Opening of the annual conference of the Federation of History societies with dinner and keynote speech by Greg Bemis.
• The Creation of Lusitania Exhibition highlighting the story of the Lusitania and relevance of Kinsale in the subsequent inquests will be showcased in the Kinsale Museum.
Saturday 9th May:
• 10.30am-1.30pm: AMG of the Federation at Trident Hotel
• 2pm-4pm: Street Fair organised by the Kinsale Good Food circle, Market Quay, with the Animation group from Cobh.
• 3pm-5.30pm: Lusitania Seminar with speakers from the U.S. UK and Ireland, followed by visit to the Signal Tower at the Old Head.
• 10am-6pm: Local schools art and project exhibition at the Kinsale Temperance Hall. Courtesy of Courtmacsherry RNLI at the 1915 lifeboat will be on exhibition in Kinsale.
Sunday 10th May
• 10am-6pm: Local schools art and project exhibition at the Kinsale Temperance Hall.
Sunday 24th May
• Sea Sunday, an annual event that commemorates those who were lost at sea and prays for the safety of those out at sea, will take place in St. Multose Church with access to a rescue boat from Courtmacsherry. This will be followed by a wreath laying ceremony and a parade to the Seaman's Memorial on Kinsale Pier.

Published in News Update

#Lusitania - Commemorations for those who died in the sinking of the Lusitania 100 years ago began in Cork Harbour yesterday (Sunday 1 February), as The Irish Times reports.

Starting with the tolling of St Colman's Cathedral's 49 bells in the heart of Cobh – which took in many of the dead and injured after the Cunard liner was sunk by a torpedo from a German U-boat off Kinsale on 7 May 1915 – the evening also saw the firing of ceremonial flares over the harbour.

And Co Cork Mayor Alan Coleman was among those speaking at the event to remember what he described as "the greatest maritime tragedy off our coast".

Yesterday's event was the first in a series of commemorations to be held over the next four months at places connected with the Lusitania's final voyage.

Published in Cork Harbour

#sealinks – In the current debate which has surfaced about the future of Aer Lingus, it is good to hear the realisation in all quarters, from politicians to business, economic and media commentators that Ireland is an 'island nation'. While the importance of air links is being highlighted, those same people could extend their thinking to the maritime links which keep this country alive in a way in which no air linkage can do.

This is emphasised in the leading story in the current edition of my radio programme, THIS ISLAND NATION which you can hear on this website, where I interview the first lady to become President of the Irish Institute of Master Mariners, the professional body for Shipmasters. Sea-going has been a male-dominated profession but Capt. Sinead Reen who lives in Crosshaven, Co.Cork, has done a lot to break that mould. She was also the first woman to qualify as a Deck Officer in Ireland and has served at sea on several types of vessels, including super tankers and cruise ships.

She describes in the interview how she chose a career at sea and, at a time when the Naval Service would not admit women, joined the Merchant Navy: "We are not seen by the general public because we are at sea, carrying the goods, the supplies, the imports, the exports, which this nation needs across the world's seaways. Without ships and seafarers this nation would find it difficult to exist." She discusses life at sea for a woman in a male environment aboardship and speaks of the great opportunities for employment at sea for both women and men. Her election underlines the opportunities of a career at sea for women in what has been a male-dominated profession.

It is an interview worth listening to, as is that about the commemorations planned in the Cork Harbour town of Cobh for the centenary of the sinking of the Lusitania in May.

Hendrik Verway, Chairman of Cobh Tourism, outlines the details of the commemorative plans. Cobh, where survivors of the Lusitania sinking by a German U-boat on May 7, 1915, were landed as well as the bodies of those who were killed in the tragedy, is planning ceremonies on the seafront at Cobh and a sail past by boats on the evening of May 7, with the vessels displaying a single white light to remember those who were killed. Two cruise ships will be in Cobh on the day. One of them, the Cunard's Queen Victoria, will be on a commemorative voyage and on Thursday afternoon, May 7, will sound her ship's whistle at the time at which the torpedo hit the Lusitania, to start a ceremony on the Cobh seafront . A quayside ceremony will start as the whistle sounds and which will conclude at 2.30 p.m., marking the time when the Lusitania sank beneath the waves. 1,198 passengers and crew died. Survivors were landed at Cobh, to where bodies of the dead were also brought and 169 buried. There were 764 survivors. Only 289 bodies were recovered. 169 are buried in the Old Cemetery in Cobh, 149 in three mass graves and 20 in individual plots. Amongst the commemorative events will be a series of lectures and an exhibition of photographs taken in Cobh, then called Queenstown, in the aftermath of the landing there of survivors and bodies by rescue vessels. Many of these photos have not been on public display before and have been digitised for exhibition from original glass plates photographed at the time, through the co-operation of the National Museum. It is also planned to re-enact the funeral of victims to the Old Cemetery in Cobh.

And in another interview on the programme, Paul Bourke of Inland Fisheries Ireland tells me that, for anglers, it has been a good year for the catching of specimen fish.

Fair Sailing...

Published in Island Nation

#portofcork – The Port of Cork has launched their Schools Initiative for 2015 and is encouraging all 5th class primary school teachers to get their class involved. This year's theme 'RMS Lusitania – Commemorating 100 Years in 2015' focuses on the sinking of the Lusitania which is an important event in the history of Cork Harbour.

The Port of Cork Schools Initiative aims to educate 5th class primary school children about the rich history associated with Cork Harbour and to highlight the importance of having a local port to facilitate the imports and exports of trade. The initiative also gives children a better understanding of where cargo comes from and how Ireland, as an island depends on Ports for trading.

All participating 5th classes who take part in the Port of Cork Schools Initiative will be treated to a boat trip around Cork harbour, compliments of the Port of Cork and each class will also receive a certificate of participation. The 'Best Overall Project' will receive a tour on board one of the many large cruise liners visiting Cork during the summer of 2015. In addition to this, an award will also be given for 'Best Artwork Piece'.

Speaking about the 2015 theme, Port of Cork Chief Executive Brendan Keating said: "We are delighted to be launching our tenth Schools Initiative which has gone from strength to strength each year. The theme this year will hopefully encourage school children to study the Port of Cork and the rich history of Cork Harbour. The centenary of the Lusitania this year is an important occasion which will be marked with a commemorative event in Cobh on the 7th May."

He continued; "Every year we have up to thirty schools participating and we hope this year we will have the same or more. This is an educational initiative open to primary schools in the Cork City and Harbour area."

Projects are to be presented in artwork format using painting and models. All submitted projects will go on public display in the Cobh Maritime Building before the winner is announced in May 2015. Closing date for entries is Friday 27th March 2015.

For more information on this year's schools initiative or to arrange a visit by the Port of Cork to your school, please contact Sinead Keary, Commercial Department, Port of Cork. Email [email protected] or call 021 4625375.

Published in Port of Cork
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