9 April 2020
By Elaine Murphy
The town of Cobh, County Cork, Ireland will remember Titanic anniversary with a solitary floral tribute, instead of a public gathering
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, Ireland as a result of the Coronavirus lockdown measures.
Instead, a member of the Cobh Tourism Board will place a solitary floral tribute on the Titanic Memorial in the town square, to honour all those who lost their lives 108 years ago.
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 (11th April) 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.
“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 colourful town of Cobh is famed as the last port of call of the Titanic. All year around, you can visit the town’s Titanic Memorial Garden, which is situated on the waterfront overlooking The Titanic’s final anchorage. Here you will see a Glass Memorial wall which bears the names of the 123 passengers that embarked in Queenstown. The town also has a Titanic Memorial in the town square, dedicated to the 79 passengers who boarded The Titanic in Cobh on 11th April 1912 and lost their lives. And there are a number of fascinating museums and heritage centres dedicated to The Titanic story, including Cobh Heritage Centre and The Titanic Experience. For more see www.visitcobh.com
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 onboard.”
The Titanic hit an iceberg at 23:40 (ship’s time) on 14 April 1912, some 460 miles (740km) off Newfoundland, Canada, She took two-and-a-half hours to sink. About 1,300 passengers and 900 crew members were on board. Only 713 people were rescued by RMS Carpathia. In 1985, Dr Robert Ballard discovered the wreck 2.5 miles (4km) underwater in the north Atlantic.