For the first time in over 20 years, there will no public ceremony to mark the anniversary of the sinking of The Titanic in its last port of call, Cobh, County Cork, as a result of the Coronavirus lockdown measures.

Ordinarily, an annual event that would bring out large swaths of the community in Cobh, County Cork, to pay their respects to those who lost their lives in the sinking of the Titanic every year, this year COVID-19 has altered things. 

Instead, a member of the Cobh Tourism Board will place a solitary floral tribute on the Titanic Memorial in the town square, to honor all those who lost their lives 108 years ago.

Read more: In 1912, my Irish grandmother was booked to sail aboard The Titanic

Commenting, Chairman of Cobh Tourism Jack Walsh said, “Instead of a traditional public ceremony this year, we are inviting everyone to say a prayer or share a thought this Saturday (April 11th) for all those who embarked on their final journey from Queenstown, as the town of Cobh was then known, on board the ill-fated Titanic.

The Titanic, photographed at Cobh, County Cork.

The Titanic, photographed at Cobh, County Cork.

“As you remember all those who died on Titanic, please also think about those who have been taken from us in the current Pandemic – they are not a statistic or a story, they are real people with families who love them and hopefully their ancestors will continue to remember them and commemorate this current tragedy long into the future.”

The colorful town of Cobh is famed as the last port of call of the Titanic.  All year-round, you can visit the town’s Titanic Memorial Garden, which is situated on the waterfront overlooking The Titanic’s final anchorage.  There you will see a glass memorial wall that bears the names of the 123 passengers that embarked in Queenstown.  

Read more: Experience Titanic's last port of call in Cobh, Ireland

The town also has a Titanic Memorial in the town square, dedicated to the 79 passengers who boarded The Titanic in Cobh on April 11, 1912, and lost their lives. And there are a number of fascinating museums and heritage centers dedicated to The Titanic story, including Cobh Heritage Centre and The Titanic Experience.

Continuing, Jack Walsh said “Cobh is a beautiful, scenic town with a rich maritime history and the Titanic story has become deeply engrained in our local identity. Those who departed from Titanic’s last port of call did so with trepidation, excitement and in hope of a new life in America.

"The tragedy that unfolded on that maiden voyage is something that we are committed to paying tribute to, even this year, with an overarching emphasis on remembering above all else the tragic loss of life for many of those on board.”

Here's a short documentary on Cobh's connection to the Titanic:

Read more: Historic Titanic pier at Cobh to be reconstructed