Irish Ships during the Emergency

The Heritage Society of Engineers Ireland Presents:   An evening lecture.   Irish Ships during the Emergency by Joe Ryan   Monday, 6th February 2017 at 6.30pm At Engineers Ireland, 22 Clyde Road D4  
SS Irish Poplar Poplar

SS Irish Poplar commissioned by the late Des Branigan and painted by Kenneth King

By 1939 Ireland had only 56 vessels most from 500 to 3.500 tons registered under the Irish flag.   This represented only 5% of the tonnage trading with Ireland.   With foreign ships deserting us and British ships being deployed for their war effort, how would we survive?   Were we right to stay neutral?   Our leadership preached self-sufficiency but we were far from self-sufficient, even in agricultural products.   Fortunately a more pragmatic approach was taken and among other initiatives 15 ocean going vessels of dubious state were bought or chartered for the duration of the war and they were managed by the three existing shipping companies in an endeavour that kept us going against huge odds., will direct you to the story of the formation of Irish Shipping Ltd.   The British were initially uncooperative and in the end almost obstructive in how they treated us.   20% of our seamen lost their lives that we could have the bare necessities.   We rescued many times that number of men from many nations.

A novel seems an unlikely reference to add to the mix but “The Lonely Sea and Sky” by Dermot Bolger tells the story of his dad a fourteen year old boy who went to sea to support his family after his father was drowned when his vessel was lost.   It can be read by people from 12 to 90 and you might read the speakers review
Joe Ryan was educated at CBS, Westland Row and trained at Atlantic College, Leeson Park going to sea as a Radio Officer for 12 years.   He became a Computer Engineer, later specialising in System Software Support, involved in a prototype mirror image system for Aer Lingus, the first scanning systems for Quinnsworth and library systems for UL and Maynooth University.   He also maintained systems for the Revenue for 15 years.   His career came full circle twenty-two years ago when he joined the Irish Coast Guard and worked at MRCC Dublin until he retired in 2014.   During that time he obtained a Diploma in Marine Surveying and an MSc in Emergency Management.   Daily, he was involved in some of the most tragic incidents and was in charge of the watch the night we lost Air Corps helicopter R111 at Tramore on 1st July 1999 with the loss of four brave men.   This led to his dissertation on Critical Incident Stress Management for his MSc, a subject he holds dear.   There were many successful rescues and he enjoyed working with his team, IRCG volunteers, the RNLI and Helicopter crews among many others.
For Details
Con Kehely
All Welcome
Admission Free
No Booking Required
There are many more stories about the Second World War on the lugnad site
  For an overview read: Ireland’s Mercantile Marine during the Second World War
Posted in Archive-Lecture