Galway does not have the same connection to the RMS Titanic as does Belfast or Cork, but there were nine Galwegians aboard the doomed liner, and they are being commemorated throughout August.
A 1:10 scale ratio replica of the Titanic is currently ‘moored’ on Salthill’s promenade, opposite the Atlantaquarium. It appears to be sailing on Galway Bay when viewed from different angles.
The 88 feet long model recreates the ship designed by County Down man Thomas Andrews jr, and is accurate in every detail, down to the portholes, smokestacks, and anchors.
The replica is on loan from the people of Addergoole in Mayo, which lost 11 of its inhabitants when the ship sank in April 1912. A group of local men decided to build a model of the liner as a way of marking the centenary of the Titanic’s maiden voyage and in tribute to those from the village who lost their lives.
The loan of the replica vessel is an acknowledgement of the nine Galwegians who boarded the Titanic from Cobh in April 1912, six of whom lost their lives.
Among the survivors was Eugene Patrick Daly, who lived in St John’s Terrace and worked at the Galway Woollen Mills, he testified at the Titanic Hearings. Mr Daly’s eye witness testimony was instrumental in the passing of new lifeboat laws for passenger ships.
Another Galwegian on board was Martin Gallagher who helped nine women into lifeboats before he lost his life. The west of Ireland connection extends to Connemara where Bruce Ismay, owner of the White Star Line, lived for 20 years. He escaped the stricken ship on the last lifeboat.
The Titanic replica is accompanied by an adjoining tent where Titanic memorabilia and souvenirs are available from 10am and talks on the boat’s history will take place each evening at 7pm, from this Saturday until Monday August 20.
Volunteers who would like to take part in promoting Galway's historic link with the ship, are invited to contact Brian Nolan directly on 086 - 3273560.