110th anniversary of Titanic to take place in Cobh over the weekend

British Titanic Society will lay wreaths at Roches Point and memorials in Cobh

One of only six life jackets remaining from RMS Titanic has gone on display at Titanic Belfast to commemorate the 110th anniversary. Rodney McCullough, Former Official Historian for Harland & Wolff. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes / PressEye

One of only six life jackets remaining from RMS Titanic has gone on display at Titanic Belfast to commemorate the 110th anniversary. Rodney McCullough, Former Official Historian for Harland & Wolff. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes / PressEye

 

The 110th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic with the loss of 1,504 lives will be remembered in Cobh this weekend. Members of the British Titanic Society (BTS) will travel to the Cork Harbour town to lay a wreath at the spot that the White Star liner departed from on her ill-fated maiden voyage.

Over 80 members of the British Titanic Society will travel to Cobh for the society’s 2022 convention where they will travel to Roches Point on Friday to lay a wreath at the point from where the liner departed from Ireland en route to New York.

“Titanic arrived in Cobh, or Queenstown as it was then, at approximately 11.30am on April 11th 1912, dropping anchor at around 12.15pm, two miles off Roches Point and the tenders, PS America and PS Ireland ferried mail and passengers between the shi and shore,” said BTS spokeswoman, Jess Sweetingham.

“Eight passengers departed the ship, which had left Southampton on April 10th, and 123 passengers, mainly third class, boarded and it then sailed from Cobh at 1.30pm on April 11th – only 48 of those passengers that boarded in Cobh would survive Titanic’s collision with the iceberg three days later.”

Ms Sweetingham said members of the British Titanic Society will gather on deck aboard a local boat as descendants of Denis O’Brien (22) from Drimoleague in West Cork, who boarded the Titanic in Cobh and perished in the tragedy, will lay a wreath on the sea two miles off Roches Point.

“That promises to be perhaps the most poignant part of our itinerary in Cobh as we commemorate all those that sadly lost their lives on board the Titanic as well as the survivors that endured that fateful night,” she said.

Wreath

The British Titanic Society will also lay a wreath at the Lusitania and Titanic memorials in Cobh. BTS Chairman, David Scott-Bedard said members of the society, including descendants of those involved in the tragedy, were delighted to be visiting Cobh after Covid-19 delayed the visit.

“We are thrilled to be officially visiting Cobh for the first time – Queenstown was, of course, Titanic’s last port of call and for those who perished in the tragedy, the last time they saw land.

’ For many of them, this was the end to their dreams of a new beginning for themselves and their families.

“And during our stay, we will be marking the events surrounding not just the Titanic disaster, but that of RMS Lusitania, three years later in 1915. We are extremely grateful for the huge amount of assistance we have enjoyed from the local community and businesses in the build-up to this event.”

The group will visit Cobh Heritage Centre, the Titanic Experience, the Titanic Walking Trail, St Colman’s Cathedral and the Lusitania Museum at the Old Head of Kinsale Signal Tower as well as have the opportunity to attend a variety of interesting lectures at the Commodore Hotel.

Among the subjects which will be discussed in the series of lectures are The Wreck of the RMS Celtic, a White Star liner which ran aground on rocks near Roches Point in 1928, Titanic and Queen Mary 2, Midnight Heroes – Titanic’s Musicians and Titanic’s German Connections.

Local dignitaries including the Mayor of Co Cork, Cllr Gillian Coughlan and the wider Cobh community will attend the official opening of the British Titanic Society convention on Thursday April 7th, at 2.30pm with demonstrations from Cobh’s Animation team outside The Commodore Hotel.