Irish Prime Minister leads Mayo remembrance service for its Titanic dead
Parish lost 11 of 14 American bound emigrants in 1912 disaster
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has paid tribute to his fellow Mayo men and women who perished aboard the Titanic.
Fine Gael leader Kenny was on hand to formally open the Titanic Memorial Park in the Mayo village of Lahardane.
The small Mayo parish of Addergoole lost 11 of 14 passengers who had boarded the Titanic in Cobh in the hope of a new life in America.
Just three women from the Mayo group survived the disaster, one hundred years ago on Sunday.
Some of the relatives of those who died and those who survived returned to Mayo for the official ceremony to remember the village’s Titanic dead.
“This is a day of reflection, remembrance, and community,” said Prime Minister Kenny at the Mayo service.
Titanic victims were also remembered in the Cork port of Cobh, the ship’s last port of call.
A special candle-lit ceremony in St Colman’s Cathedral was held on the exact anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.
Candles honouring all 123 people who boarded the ship in Cobh, then Queenstown, were lit.
A total of 79 people who boarded in the Cork town died when the ship sank.
St Colman’s cathedral also hosted a special Titanic tribute concert on Saturday night when bell-ringer Adrian Gebruers played ‘Nearer My God To Thee’ at the exact time when the Titanic split in half and then sank.
The hymn is reported to be the last song played by the ship’s eight-man band on deck as they attempted to keep doomed passengers calm.
Cobh also witnessed the scattering of ashes from the body of late American photographer Ralph White.
Before he died in February 2008, White told friends in the American Adventurers Club asked him what he wanted to be cremated and his epitaph to be: ‘Ralph White is not here. He’s scattered around the world.
The Irish Independent reports that some of those ashes are now blowing in the Cobh wind as the town remembers Titanic.
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