Lonely Planet Writer

Ireland coastal communities to mark centenary of Lusitania sinking

Ireland is gearing up to mark the centenary of the sinking of the Lusitania by a German U-boat off the coast of Cork during World War I.

The Lusitania, which was sunk by a German U-boat off the coast of Cork in 1915
The Lusitania, which was sunk by a German U-boat off the coast of Cork in 1915 Image by Paukrus / CC BY 2.0

The vessel was en route from New York to Liverpool when it was sunk with the loss of 1,201 lives, Ireland Central news website reports.

Spearheading the Lusitania100 Cork drive are four coastal communities – Kinsale, The Old Head, Cobh, and Courtmacsherry who together with Cork County Council, will recall the 1915 catastrophe as well as remembering their own ancestors who played heroic roles in saving passengers and later recovered the dead in fishing boats and lifeboats.

The commemorations for Lusitania100 Cork will include wreath-laying ceremonies with President Michael D. Higgins in Cobh, and Defence Minister Simon Coveney on May 7 at 2.10 pm , the time the German torpedo struck the ship’s hull.

A mass grave at the Old Church Graveyard on the Great Island of Cobh was the final resting place of the dead. There are still remains buried there which have never been named or claimed.

Courtmacsherry plans to recreate the call to service of the RNLI lifeboat and Cobh is to organise a twilight flotilla of work boats, fishing boats and pleasure craft, all illuminated with white lights to re-enact the rescue attempts.