The Irishman who invented the submarine

John P Holland.

John P Holland.

IT IS a fact, but an often overlooked one, that an Irishman invented the submarine. John Philip Holland, from Co Clare, was a noviciate Christian Brother who, while in Dundalk, came up with the idea of the submergible craft.

Holland’s life and his great invention is the subject of the play Submarine Man - The little-known life of John P Holland by Aidan Harney, which will be performed by Upstate Live on Wednesday April 1 at 8pm in the Town Hall Theatre.

The year is 1873. Christian Brother John Philip Holland is obsessed with his design for a submergible craft. His other obsession happens to be his housekeeper, Maggie B Farrell. When Holland casts aside his cassock and follows his sweetheart to America, he finds himself caught up in competing demands for his ingenious invention.

He is fiercely courted by the Fenians, hoping to turn his submarine on the British. The US Naval department also sees the potential to gain a powerful upper hand in warfare.

Infused with the inventiveness of the eccentric genius, Submarine Man tells the little-known tale of “the father of the modern submarine” and one of Ireland’s greatest, unsung naval heroes.

For tickets contact the Town Hall on 091 - 569777.

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