Titanic’s last port of call for one million emigrants, a pier in Cobh, County Cork, is to be restored to its former glory.
Known by locals as “Heartbreak Pier,” for an estimated one million emigrants it was their final step in Ireland before they departed for a life in Britain, America and Australia. For most there was little prospect they would ever seen Ireland again and countless numbers experienced tears and heart-wrenching goodbyes were said on the fateful spot.
Among the emigrants who used the pier were those who sailed on the RMS Titanic. Cobh (Queenstown) was its final stop before New York. 123 passengers were rowed out from the pier to the ship they said was unsinkable. Only 44 would survive the Titanic's fateful collision with an iceberg and make it to New York.
Thought to be over 150 years old, the pier fell into disrepair over the past decade and work to stabilize it had to be carried out in January 2016. Now the community wants to see the site restored to its former glory and has successfully applied for a grant from Fáilte Ireland’s Scheme for Large Tourism Projects. In total, the price tag for the project is $600,000.
“The pier at Cobh as a structure was sure to be lost to the sea, and with it a significant piece of history. Having transformed the White Star Line building, and seen firsthand the impact of the site on visitors as well as the region, we felt passionately about saving ‘Heartbreak Pier’ and ensuring that it would not be lost to the elements,” Gillen Joyce, proprietor and manager of the Titanic Experience, told IrishCentral.
Joyce hopes the repaired pier will improve the experience of tourists who come to Cobh for its Titanic Experience, which involves a museum tour and a trip to the famous pier.