Monument to seafarers to be unveiled at Union Hall

Thu, Jul 19, 2012, 01:00

A seafarers monument born out of a fishing tragedy in Union Hall that claimed five lives will be unveiled in the west Cork village this weekend.

The monument, which features a five-tonne, 18th-century anchor discovered on the seabed, is dedicated to lives lost at sea down the years, including the crew of the Tit Bonhomme, which sank on January 15th.

The project, initially intended to be a flower garden, evolved into a seafarers monument during a massive search effort to recover skipper Michael Hayes (52) and his crew, Kevin Kershaw (21), Wael Mohamed (35), Attaia Shaban (26) and Saied Ali Eldin (22).

Their names, along with more than 70 others from parishes bordering Glandore harbour who lost their lives at sea, have been inscribed on the plaque to be unveiled on Sunday.

“When we looked into how many people were drowned out of the parish of Myross and around the harbour area, we were astonished,” a member of the Union Hall tidy towns committee Willie O’Donovan said.

The monument is at the entrance to the village from the eastern side and looks out towards the mouth of the harbour. Work was carried out mainly by local volunteers. Fundraising to pay for the €16,000 project is continuing.

The centrepiece anchor measures a towering 23ft by 13ft and was recovered from the seabed at Big Sound, between Low Island and Myross graveyard in 1999.

It was discovered accidentally by the crew of the FV Ros Anne when her nets got caught on its hook. It was raised from the seabed by a local crew on board An Neachtain skippered by Aodh O’Donnell.

Broadcaster Tom McSweeney will perform the opening ceremony.