New Lusitania museum opens at Old Head of Kinsale

Artefacts from Cunard liner, sunk by German U-Boat in 1915, will go on display

The torpedoing of the Cunard liner, 100 years ago, was not the first mass killing of civilians in the first World War, but it generated outrage in a way that previous atrocities had not. Video: Ronan McGreevy


Three artefacts from the RMS Lusitania will this week go on public display at a new museum about the Cunard liner to be opened at the Old Head of Kinsale in Co Cork.

The owner of the wreck of the Lusitania, Greg Beamis, has lent the artefacts to the museum, which will be housed in the 200-year-old Signal Tower.

Con Hayes of the tower restoration committee said the items were all recovered by Dungarvan diver Eoin McGarry on a licensed dive on the wreck in 2011.

From the Archive: How The Irish Times covered the sinking of the Lusitania

“One is a round porthole from near the bridge, the other is a very detailed filigree window from the promenade deck and we also have a turbine tell-tale indicator from the engine rooms,” he said.

The liner, with 1,959 passengers and crew on board, was torpedoed 18km off the Old Head of Kinsale on May 7th, 1915, by a German U-boat while en route from New York to Liverpool.

It sank within 18 minutes, resulting in the deaths of 1,198 people.

The bodies of many who perished aboard the liner were brought ashore in Cobh – then Queenstown – and the Cork Harbour town is planning to remember the tragedy with a re-enactment of the funerals on Sunday.