An American businessman, Gregg Bemis, will donate several artifacts from the shipwrecked RMS Lusitania to the Irish state.

A dispute over what should happen to the items has been ongoing since they were salvaged from the wreck in August 2011, reports

On May 7, 1915, the Lusitania sank 11 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale after being sunk by a torpedo fired by a German submarine U-20. The vessel sunk in 18 minutes after a second explosion, and 1,201 people were killed. The loss of 128 American passengers is regarded as one of the major reasons the US entered World War !.

In 1968, Bemis purchased the remains of the ship for £1,000. In 2011, in conjunction with National Geographic, he sponsored an expedition to the wreck. The artifacts, which recovered a telemotor, two types of porthole, a directional indicator known as a telltale and other items are currently undergoing conservation in Kerry.

The latest meetings to discuss the artifacts were organized by Tralee-based maritime archaeologist Laurence Dunne, who took part in the diving expedition. Arts and Heritage Minister Jimmy Deenihan also attended last week's meeting with the 83-year-old Bemis, who has agreed to undertake all future research of the ship on a collaborative basis with State institutions.

“It is great news for Ireland! My fervent wish is that these immensely important artifacts will go on display in time for the centenary commemorations of the tragedy now only three short years away,” said Dunne.