The County Cork Association of New York hosted a commemoration and fundraising event of the Titanic on Sunday April 29th, at the Cork Hall, in Long Island City, Queens. The event memorialized the passengers who boarded the Titanic at Cobh/Queenstown, mostly emigrants who came from all over Ireland.
Approximately 75 per cent were lost in the sinking. Before the Mass for the Deceased, which was celebrated by Cork Association chaplain, Fr. James Drew, the names and details of all passengers were reverently proclaimed by representatives of the various county associations.
At the full-house event, representatives of nearly 25 counties were in attendance. The passengers came from Cavan (2), Clare (2), Cork (22), Down (1), Dublin (2), Galway (9), Kerry (1), Kildare (1), Leitrim (1), Limerick (14), Longford (15), Mayo (14), Roscommon (1), Sligo (6), Tipperary (7), Waterford (2), Westmeath (12), Wexford (2), Wicklow (1), Unknown origin (2), Canada (1), Scotland (1). All funds raised will be donated to the effort by Cobh Town Council to erect a unique glass wall memorial in the town's planned Titanic Memorial Park.
Heading the line-up of speakers was Christine Quinn, speaker of the New York City Council, whose grandmother, Ellen Shine (17) from Newmarket, Co. Cork was one of the survivors. Ellen Shine, subsequently O'Callaghan, was the last Irish Titanic survivor to die. She passed away in 1993.
The mayor of Cobh, James Quinlan was also present. On behalf of the people of Cobh, he thanked the County Cork Association and all in attendance for their efforts. Mayor Quinlan detailed the yearlong series of events, which the Cobh Titanic 100 Committee are undertaking.
Quinlan specifically spoke on the effort by Cobh Town Council to develop a Titanic Memorial Park in the town and to erect a unique glass wall memorial. Looking through the glass wall will create a simulation of the ship as it lay at anchor off Roche's Point 100 years ago. On the memorial will be etched the names of all the passengers who boarded the Titanic in Cobh/Queenstown.
Dr. Miriam Nyhan of NYU's Glucksman Ireland House spoke on Irish political culture, economy and society of the era, with particular reference to the emigration pattern of the time.
The main speaker was Dr. Michael Martin, author and historian, founder of the Titanic Trail in Cobh and acknowledged global expert on the Titanic. Dr. Martin spoke on the history of Cork Harbour and Cobh, and on the history and mythology of the Titanic from its construction to its sinking.
The Irish Government was represented by Ambassador-Consul General Noel Kilkenny, who lauded the County Cork Association for its initiative and effort in memorializing the Titanic passengers. On behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Kilkenny presented a $1,000 check to the association to assist in the defraying of expenses associated with the event.
Michael Gubbins president of the Emerald Guild, the prestigious and preeminent organization of New York City's Irish American residential building managers, also addressed the attendance. On behalf of the Guild, he presented a $1,000 check to assist in the efforts to erect the memorial in Cobh.