Sea Echoes: Kinsale's McCarthy brothers remembered for their heroics a century ago

Sea Echoes: Kinsale's McCarthy brothers remembered for their heroics a century ago
Kinsale History Society Memorial Service for the McCarthy Brothers.

A biting, cold wind was blowing in across the water at Kinsale on Thursday evening as the town’s historical society gathered on the quayside in memory of two sons from a local fishing family who had both been uniquely honoured by the award of Polar medals.

It was a hundred years to the day since one of those brothers, Tim McCarthy, was killed when the tanker SS Naragansett was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine, U44 off the south coast of Ireland during World War One. He had been one of Shackleton’s crew with Tom Crean on the legendary Polar rescue voyage for the Endurance crew from Elephant Island in the James Caird lifeboat, but is not as well-known.

His brother, Mortimer, was on the Terra Nova Antarctic Expedition with Captain Scott in 1910 and a mountain in Antarctica is named after him. Both men are remembered in the memorial to them on Kinsale’s quayside.

“The memory of these men is part of the history of this maritime town and must be preserved,” said Terry Connolly, President of Kinsale and District History Society.

George Wheeler, whose grandfather was one of the 46 crew that died with Tim McCarthy aboard the Naragansett travelled from Britain to lay a wreath at the memorial.

€9.5m BANTY HARBOUR DEVELOPMENTS 

Cork Port Company has spent €9.5 million on developing Bantry Harbour to make it a maritime hub on the South/West Coast. Captain Paul O’Regan, Harbour Master for both Cork and Bantry, describes the extensive works to me on this week’s edition of THIS ISLAND NATION radio. 

Bantry Harbour. Picture: Denis Scannell
Bantry Harbour. Picture: Denis Scannell

The old pier area has been restructured extensively for commercial usage and 30/40 yacht berths are being provided at a new marina in the inner harbour. Cork Port took over Bantry in a Government decision to improve resources. There is huge potential in Bantry Bay, a major maritime resource which has 22 piers and landing places and a couple of islands.

NEW LUSITANIA EXHIBITION 

The ‘Wave,’ a 20-metre long sculpture by Liam Lavery and Eithne Ring commemorating the sinking of RMS Lusitania, is to go on show at the O'Neill Mill building in Kinsale from tomorrow until Sunday. After that, it will be the highlight of the new Lusitania Memorial Garden on the Old Head of Kinsale.

‘OUTRAGEOUS’ ACTION BY BORD PLEANÁLA 

The deferral for the fourth time by Bord Pleanala of a decision on Indaver’s attempt to build an incinerator at Ringaskiddy has been described as “outrageous” by Cork solicitor, Joe Noonan, who has represented the environmental organisation, CHASE, opposing the project. 

The Bord is understood to be making further contact with Indaver. The contrast between the way it has dealt with Indaver and with opponents of the project leaves questions to be answered. 

So does the attitude of the Taoiseach in his role as Minister for Defence and his Minster of State who have not been forthright in concern for the safety of the Navy and the Air Corps. Dangers to helicopter operations from the Indaver project were highlighted at the public hearing.

RADIO TWICE A WEEK You can now hear my THIS ISLAND NATION maritime programme on two radio stations in Cork each week – Cork City Radio 100.5FM on Saturday mornings at 1030 a.m. and CRY Youghal 104FM on Mondays at 6.30pm.

EVENING ECHO SPORT TOMORROW: Racing concerns in sailing.

Email: tommacsweeneymarine@gmail.com

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