Blog Archives

The wanderer at Kingstown and John Masefield

The Poet Laureate John Masefield was essentially a sea poet; the sea was what he knew and wrote about best. He we discuss his relationship with the Wander and that ships connection with Kingstown (now Dún Laoghaire)

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Maritime Art and Dún Laoghaire

Illustrated talk given to the Dún Laoghaire Borough Historical Society on Feb. 21st. 2007.

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Tayleur was lost at Lambay

The sailing ship Tayleur was lost at Lambay just north of Dublin on 21 January 1854. Of the 650 aboard only 290 survived, merely three of the hundred women survived and only three of fifty children reached shore. Known as the “First Titanic”

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Pomona, emigrant ship, 389 died

it is out pitiful duty to record. The United States ship Pomona , Captain Merrihew with a crew of thirty five men and three hundred and seventy three passengers, principally Irish left Liverpool on Wednesday 27th instant, bound for New York, she struck the Blackwater Bank, at four o’clock a.m. on the following day. all on board , amounting to 389 souls – the crew and passengers making in the aggregate 408, out of whom only twenty three were saved. We have the above melancholy particulars of this dreadful disaster from the active and efficient agent of the Shipwrecked Mariners society

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The Argentine Republic Emigration Scheme

This marked the end of Irish emigration to South America. It was badly planned and many died

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Tram and schooner collide

old view of Ringsend Bridge (credit: Waterways Ireland)

Few stories have been mentioned so often with so much confusion than the tale of the collision between a sailing ship and a tram at Ringsend bridge. There have been several errors repeated and one discovery has been that there were two similar incidents at the same place. Earlier researchers have not had the advantage of the computer searchable versions of the digitised newspapers and this has helped resolve mysteries and tales such as this. The story gained interest when the visitor’s centre was constructed near the site of the accident. The story defied researchers who had hoped that a photo of the incident might be available for display.

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Roman wrecks of Lake Nemi

There is a small lake called Nemi in the Alban Hills, about 30 kilometers southeast of Rome. Between 1927 and 1933, two enormous wooden ships, which once belonged to the Emperor Caligula, and had lain on the bottom of the Lake for over nineteen hundred years, were salvaged in what was perhaps the greatest underwater archaeological recovery ever accomplished.

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The Guinness Fleets

The Guinness brewing concern had substantial maritime resources to support distribution of the famous beer. In addition the family spent a lot of their leisure on a range of fabulous pleasure craft. Initially the reach of the brewing concern expanded from 1790 thanks to the commencement of the Irish canal system. Barge transport enabled distribution of their beer from Dublin and import of malt from all parts of the country.

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Tayleur Fund Medal Awards

The sailing ship Tayleur was wrecked in January 1854 at Lambay with the loss of 220 of the 670 aboard. A fund was established in both Liverpool and Dublin to assist the victims. The fund was used to award medals for heroism in the Irish Sea.

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Salvage Tradition, Law and Lore

The fury with which primitive communities descended upon a stricken vessel can only be regarded with a sense of awe. Tales abound of the ferocity of wreckers and their cruel deeds. Many tales are related which must be apocryphal.

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Thank God, we are surrounded by water