An Irish seaman from Cork who saved more than 50 people on the RMS Titanic has been honored with a plaque in Youghal, his hometown.

John "Jack" Foley was working as a  storekeeper on the ill-fated liner when it collided with an iceberg in the Atlantic and sank on April 15, 1912.

As the ship sank, Foley and his fellow crewmen Samuel Hemmings and Walter Perkins took charge of Lifeboat 4, guiding dozens of women and children to safety as they awaited rescue from the RMS Carpathia.

John Foley was born at Muckridge in Youghal on September 14, 1865, one of three known children to Nicholas Foley, a laborer who later became a coachman, and Nora Broderick.

In 1894, Foley married Mary “Minnie” Murphy in Kinsale, Co Cork. They would have seven children. The family settled in Southampton around 1907.

According to the Encyclopedia Titanica, Foley initially signed on to the Titanic in Belfast for her delivery trip on March 25, 1912 as a quartermaster. When he signed on to the Titanic in Southampton on April 6, 1912, he signed on as a storekeeper.

Foley and his crewmen would rescue an estimated 50 people during the sinking, guiding people to the lifeboat.

Plaque to honour John ‘Jack’ Foley: Sarah Mulcahy and her dad Don Mulcahy pictured at the unveiling of the plaque to...

Publiée par sur Samedi 15 août 2020

Foley, who was not required to testify at either the US or British Inquiries into the sinking, returned home and signed-on to the Oceanic on July 10, 1912. However, he failed to join the ship when it sailed.

Foley and his family continued to live in Southampton. He continued working at sea, later serving aboard the Majestic.

John Foley died on September 18,1934 after a stroke. He was buried in an unmarked grave at Hollybrook Cemetery, Southampton.

The commemorative plaque was the idea of local men Kevin Melly and Peter Landers. 

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Fifty years ago, when Melly was 15-years-old, he encountered Foley's grandnephew, Liam Mulcahy, who told him the story of his uncle, the Irish Examiner reports.

Earlier this year, Melly and Landers set up a Go Fund Me page and raised  €2,000  for the bronze plaque,  created by local artists Liam Lavery and Eithne Ring.

The plaque was unveiled last weekend by Mayor Mary Lineman Foley, reports The Irish Post. Jack Foley’s great-grandnephew Don Mulcahy and great-great-grandniece Sarah Mulcahy attended the ceremony.