Descendants toll bell for Mayo 11 who perished on board 'Titanic'


THREE SLOW tolls of a church bell for each of 11 emigrants from one north Mayo parish drowned on RMS Titanicmarked the 98th anniversary of its sinking at a ceremony yesterday.

The bell ringers, several of whom are descendants of those lost, performed in St Patrick’s church, Lahardane, at 2.20am – the estimated time the ocean liner sank after it hit an iceberg off Newfoundland’s Grand Banks on April 15th, 1912.

Three of 14 emigrants from Addergoole parish were saved, and a granddaughter of Delia McDermott (31), one of the three survivors, travelled to the parish from New Jersey in the US a week ago. Lahardane is the only place in Europe where the ship’s sinking is marked every year during the very hour when 1,517 people on board perished.

Pupils from three Addergoole parish national schools – at Lahardane, Rathbane and Rathkell – attended the 2am to 3am ceremony which also included recitations, poetry and music.

The Timoney bell erected in St Patrick’s Church in 1937 was given by Gaelic scholar and folklore collector Mícheál Ó Tiomnaidhe, said Addergoole TitanicSociety’s public relations officer, Michael Molloy.

A new book on the Titanicsinking, published yesterday, claims that no distress signal was sent from the world’s largest passenger ship for three-quarters of an hour after it struck ice.

Time was spent assessing the damage from the iceberg when nearby ships could have been steaming to the rescue, according to Tim Maltin, author of 101 Things You Thought You Knew About the ‘Titanic’ . . . But Didn’t.

Capt Edward Smith may have been the most experienced seaman in the north Atlantic, but was accident-prone and not used to that size of ship, which was said to have been steaming at about 22 knots when the collision occurred, Mr Maltin said.