Anniversary of maritime disaster marked in Cork city 

The SS Ardmore left her berth at Penrose Quay with a cargo of livestock bound for Fishguard in Wales on November 11, 1940, but was never seen again.
Anniversary of maritime disaster marked in Cork city 

Cousins Noel Raymond and William Raymond remember their grand uncle Michael Raymod and Anne Forde remembers her uncle Michael Forde at the plaque commemorating the disaster on Penrose Quay, with deputy Lord Mayor Cllr Damian Boylan, Fr. Sebastian Wilson, St Patricks church, Barry Cassidy, Cobh animation and Daniel Lucey. Picture: Eddie O'Hare. 

The 82nd anniversary of a maritime disaster that claimed the lives of two dozen men was marked on Penrose Quay in recent days 

The SS Ardmore left her berth at Penrose Quay with a cargo of livestock bound for Fishguard in Wales on November 11, 1940, but was never seen again. Twenty-four men, including 16 from Cork, were on board.

In the days after, air and sea searches of her route yielded nothing but over the following weeks, some wreckage and livestock were washed ashore both on the Welsh Pembrokeshire coast and on the Saltee Islands, off Wexford. In December, the bodies of the captain and two crew members were found.

What caused the demise of SS Ardmore was not confirmed for nearly 60 years, but it was feared she might have struck a mine. This theory was proved correct in February 1998 when The Echo reported that the wreck of SS Ardmore had been located by divers three miles from the Saltee Islands in 183 feet of water. The hull bore evidence of a massive explosion near the engine room.

Relatives of those who lost their lives and others who wished to mark the anniversary of the tragedy gathered at the commemorative plaque on Michael Collins Bridge.
Relatives of those who lost their lives and others who wished to mark the anniversary of the tragedy gathered at the commemorative plaque on Michael Collins Bridge.

Relatives of those who lost their lives and others who wished to mark the anniversary of the tragedy gathered at the commemorative plaque on Michael Collins Bridge. The event was organised by Noel Raymond from Dillons Cross, whose granduncle Michael was on board the ill-fated ship.

Speaking to The Echo, Noel said the annual event has helped him to learn more about his relative.

“Last year there was a lady contacted me and she was 90 years of age, and she actually told me a great story that in 1940, the week before the ship sailed, my granduncle was inside in her grandmother’s house.

“He was doing a line with her daughter. She said it was a brilliant week and that he was in great form and it was so sad on the day he left to come back to join the ship,” he said.

Noel’s cousin William was also in attendance at the event yesterday.

William said he felt it was important to visit the plaque as a tribute to his relative and described it is an “honour” to share the same surname as him.

Anne Forde whose uncle Michael Forde was on board the ship was also among those who gathered on the quay yesterday after reading about the event ahead of time in The Echo.

Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Damian Boylan was also present to support the commemoration.

“It’s hugely important that we commemorate these people,” he said.

“What happened in 1940 was unfortunate and there were Cork people and people from all over Ireland who were lost on the ship and when a ship goes down with all hands it’s a very poignant thing.”

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