Thursday 7 May 2015

The Sinking of the Lusitania – Clare connections

Attend you feeling Irish hearts, I pray you will draw near;
This is the worst disaster, oh, that ever you did hear.
‘Tis of the ship ‘Lusitania’, from New York she set sail,
To breast the broad Atlantic wave and plough the angry main.

The Cunard passenger liner RMS Lusitania, travelling from New York to Liverpool, was torpedoed by a German submarine off the Old Head of Kinsale one hundred years ago today with a loss of 1,198 lives. Four of the victims were natives of County Clare - Patrick Sheedy, Darragh, Ennis; Edmond Ireton, Lassana, Quin; Michael Galvin, Derryshane, Coolmeen and Dr Joseph Garry, Shanahea, Kildysart. Jane Hogan, a survivor of the sinking, was returning home to Mullagh after twenty years in the US. Also, twelve victims washed ashore were buried throughout the county. An exhibition on the disaster by Clare County Library is currently touring our branch libraries. For its itinerary see the Library Events listings. You can listen to Tom Lenihan singing The Lusitania here Interestingly, he substitutes ‘cruel British dogs’ for ‘cruel German dogs’ in verse three, reflecting his republican belief that the British torpedoed the liner.

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