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Ireland’s Mercantile Marine during the Second World War

An earlier version of this article was donated to Wikipedia The Irish Mercantile Marine[lugnote]In Ireland it is the “Mercantile Marine”; in the United Kingdom, it is the “Merchant Navy”; in the USA, it is the “Merchant Marine”.[/lugnote] during World War

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ISL and Lemass


This article has been written to give people a sense of conditions in Ireland during the early years of the “Emergency” which existed in Ireland from 1939, and the urgent need for shipping which brought about the formation of Irish Shipping Ltd. In condensing a journal of 200 close typewritten pages much detail can be lost but I have taken great pains to reproduce each commodity named so you will understand where the most want occurred. I have learned great respect for the Minister, his Department, the officials of Irish Shipping, their Officers and Crew many of whom paid the ultimate price, with their lives, so we would have the necessities of life in a very turbulent time for our young Nation and the World. – Joe Ryan, 19th March 2016.

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History of the SS Folia. A World War 1 Cunard Casualty

The SS Folia is a popular dive site off the Waterford coast. Here we learn the story of this once gracious passenger liner

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Audacious Secret

Audacious Sinking

World War 1 was declared on 5 August 1914. On 27 October 1914, disaster befell the Royal Navy. HMS Audacious, a modern “state-of-the-art” super-dreadnought battleship, struck a mine and sank. This embarrassment would have been immense and could have been pivotal to their fortunes only weeks into WW1. It would have been very demoralising to the British public to admit the loss of such a vessel. It remained a secret until the end of the war

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Conning Tower

U-20, the u-boat which sank the Lusitania, was lost on the Jutland Sands. An account of her loss and the disposal of the wreck

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Guardships at Kingstown

GUARD-SHIPS AT KINGSTOWN By Cormac F. Lowth Shortly after the completion of Kingstown Harbour in the early 1820s, it became a convenient and preferred haven for elements of the British Royal Navy. It was a regular port of call for

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RM|S Lenister

U-boats sink the Mail-Boat and Many More in the Irish Channel The Atlantic Gateway Jim Phelan 1941 When ships crossed the channel between Ireland and England during WW1, they were attacked and sunk by German submarines. The loss of ships,

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Irish WWII Losses

How Ireland´s Mercantile Marine fared during WWII by Frank Forde, author of “The Long Watch”, the standard work on this subject

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The First World War at sea off West Cork


The ferocity of the First World War evokes names like the Somme, Verdun, Paschendale and Mons and maybe Jutland or Coronel. It may therefore be a surprise to realise that the First World War equivalent of the battle of the Atlantic was fought vigorously of the Coast of West Cork. That such a significant front is all but forgotten is no surprise because the Irish rarely turned their eyes seaward except to judge the weather for agriculture.

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HMS A5 (Forgotten Submariners) Lost at Cobh

on 13 February 1905. H M Submarine A5 was in the Haulbowline Naval Base, Queenstown,(now Cobh), Co Cork. There was an explosion while her petrol engine was being refueled. The dead were buried in the Old Church Cemetery. The five graves were neglected and overgrown with moss such that the headstones could not be read. In 1999, Chief Petty Officer Owen O’Keeffe of the Irish Naval Service initiated their restoration

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Why are goods transported on land called a "shipment" and why are goods transported by sea called "cargo"?