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A memorial to the Mayo people who perished when the RMS Lusitania was sunk was unveiled yesterday at the Mayo Memorial Peace Park in Castlebar on the 100th anniversary of the tragedy.
The British ocean liner RMS Lusitania, famous for its luxurious accommodations and speed capability, primarily ferried people and goods across the Atlantic Ocean between the United States and Great Britain. On May 1, 1915, the Lusitania left port in New York for Liverpool to make her 202nd trip across the Atlantic. On board were 1,959 people, 159 of whom were Americans.
A ‘Titanorak’ is a person obsessed with the RMS Titanic, who knows all there is to know about the ship, but is still determined to find out more. Now the search is on for Galway’s most passionate Titanic enthusiast.
On that terrible cold night of April 14 1912, in the North Atlantic, the Titanic was sinking head first into a freezing, calm sea. It had struck an iceberg 400 miles south of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. And was fatally wounded. The incessant bip bip bip SOS call for help from the wireless telegraphist Jack Phillips and his assistant Harold Bride was interspersed with more dramatic calls for help: “We are putting passengers off in small boats. Women and children in boats, cannot last much longer”.
As part of its bicentenary town celebrations during 2012, Clifden in Connemara is hosting Philip Littlejohn, who will give a Titanic lecture to commemorate the town’s historic link to the Titanic via Jack Phillips (Titanic's senior radio operator) who worked at the Marconi Transatlantic Radio Station (1909 -12), which was located three miles south of Clifden.
The Second World War had only started for 10 hours, and the passenger liner Athenia was steaming across the Atlantic on its way to Montreal from Glasgow. It was 20.00 hours, on smooth seas, and many of the adults on board were preparing to eat dinner while some were putting their children to bed. Some others of the 1,103 passengers were relaxing on deck or in the lounge. There were 305 crew on board.