Dun Laoghaire ceremony recalls 15 drowned RNLI crew

Volunteers died on Christmas Eve 1895 when lifeboat capsized during rescue

A ceremony was held in Dun Laoghaire on Christmas Eve to remember the 15 RNLI volunteers who drowned on Christmas Eve 119 years ago in 1895.

The annual lifeboat event in the Co Dublin harbour also remembers all those who have lost their lives around the coast this year.

The crew died when their lifeboat capzised in gale force winds during the attempted rescue of 20 people on a ship, the SS Palme of Finland, which ran aground off Blackrock. None of the lifeboat crew survived.

The lifeboat capsized some 500 metres from the boat. A second lifeboat also went out and capzied under sail but fortunately all of them survived.

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Relatives of the crew were among the small crowd gathered at the event. The ceremony at the lighthouse battery included musician William Byrne, journalist Fergal Keane and lone piper Paul McNally member of the Dublin Fire Brigade pipe band playing a lament. Keane read a newspaper account of the event from The Irish Times in 1895. Members of the Coast Guard and the Civil Defence form a guard of honour. Wreaths were laid by RNLI crews at the sea close to the East Pier.

Genevieve Carbery

Genevieve Carbery

Genevieve Carbery is an Assistant News Editor at The Irish Times