Please Note: The Museum will close at 4:00pm (last admission 3:15pm) Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th



We are currently working on this section and will be continuously adding further content here over the next few weeks. To search for articles, just use the search box in the top right hand corner of this page. If you are cannot find specific information, you can also contact us under

The Lady Nelson

The Lady Nelson – Shipwrecked 14th October 1809 By James Robinson M.Phil. On 14th October 1809, The Lady Nelson, Captain Bernard Wade, was shipwrecked on a voyage from Oporto to Liverpool, off the Skelligs, Co. Kerry. The 200 tonne vessel contained a cargo of wine and fruit. 25 souls perished in the disaster. The Freeman’s Journal of 25th October 1809 […]

SS Lochgarry

History of the SS Lochgarry
One of Ireland’s most Popular Recreational Diving Wrecks

Pirates at Muglins

An original account of the trial and execution of pirates on December 19th, 1765. Their bodies were displayed in at Poolbeg and on Muglins Rock off Dalkey Island as a warning to others.

Lost to Time and Tide

An account of early works of harbour construction in Dublin Bay

Italian Salvage Ships at the Galley Head

Paddy O’Sullivan traces the history of the Italian salvage company, Sorima, and describes its successful Ludgate operation off the Galley Head in 1934-35   On 19 May 1922, the ageing P&O liner, Egypt, departed from Tilbury, bound for Marseille and Bombay, having on board 294 crew and forty-four passengers. In addition to her general cargo, the liner shipped in its […]

Man-of-war Head, Dublin

By Cormac F. Lowth Man Of War in North County Dublin could be better described as a hamlet rather than a village.  It consists today of a crossroads with a few houses and a pub, appropriately named the Man Of War Inn.  The ruined remains of an earlier, and much larger inn, can be seen just up the road from […]

The wanderer at Kingstown and John Masefield

THE WANDERER AT KINGSTOWN By Cormac F. Lowth     The great manmade harbour of Dun Laoghaire, formerly Kingstown, was conceived and built as a harbour of refuge for sailing ships in distress in Dublin Bay and although it fulfilled this function reasonably well for many decades after completion, it quickly became a harbour of general commerce, particularly for small […]

Moyalla Salvage

The salvage of the valuable cargo of the Moyalla is the tale of triumph of a skilled first time salvor over the might of a large professional salvage company. It is a remarkable story of early scuba diving in Ireland and typical of salvage undertaken in the 1950s.   The Moyalla was built in 1927 at Caledon shipbuilding & Engineering […]

The East India Company at Dundaniel

Paddy O’Sullivan PREFACE In attempting to give an account of the East India Company at Dundaniel and especially their iron works, it has been necessary, in the absence of information, to study other Irish and English iron smelters for the same period and then try to reconstruct what must have taken place at Dundaniel. As the 300 settlers who came […]

Irish Naval Service – growing to maturity

The Service started with three ex naval corvettes bought from Britain. These stayed in use until they were disposed of between 1968 and 1970, when they were replaced by three former coastal minesweepers, which had better sea-keeping capabilities and were more suited for the job.

Irish Naval Service – The Birth

From 1924 to 1938 there was little official interest in maritime affairs in this country. The ports were controlled by Britain, and the only vessel representing the Irish Free State was the Muirchú. She was operated by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, but was not very effective in her duties to protect our fisheries from illegal fishing as she was unarmed.

Mariners’ Church – History

The Mariners’ Church – History The Reverend Canon Victor G. Stacey The building of Dun Laoghaire Harbour in 1820’s and the opening of the Dublin/Kingston Railway in 1834 gave rise to a large increase in population, turning a sleepy fishing village into a large residential area. Within the next twenty years some seven Anglican churches had been built where previously […]

Vasa – 50 years on

2011 is the fiftieth anniversary of the successful raising of the almost intact early seventeenth- century Swedish warship Vasa from the mud at the bottom of Stockholm Harbour. It represents one of the greatest maritime archaeological recoveries ever carried out. After the salvage of the ship in 1961, it was conserved and restored and can be seen in a specially built museum where it has attracted millions of visitors over the years.

James Doyle’s Tayleur Medal

This rare Tayleur medal (click here for further details) was awarded to James Doyle for his part in the Enota rescue on 4 November 1869 in Kingstown Harbour.  He was one of three man from the coastguard guardship based at Kingstown to receive the award. Several boats from the Royal George went to the assistance of an upset boat.  The […]

Irish Sea Ships

Shipping on the Irish Sea – empty page – under construction


The Mystery of the Titanic

She was the largest ship in the world at the time
She was proclaimed unsinkable
She collided with an iceberg and sank on her maiden voyage.

Dublin Shipyards

Irish Shipbuilding -Miscellaneous Dublin yards – While the main shipbuilding in Dublin Involved the Liffey yard, later Vickers, and Ross & Walpole several early years have disappeared without trace. – This short article remembers some Dublin shipyars

G2, the Coastwatching Service and the Battle of the Atlantic: 1939-41

This paper is an early version of the introduction to the Guarding Neutral Ireland: the
coastwatching service and military intelligence 1939-45 (Four Courts Press, 2008)

The Flanders Flotilla

The Flanders Flotilla and U-Boat Alley The repeated claims that America declared against Germany during WW1 because her citizens and ships had been attacked by German U-boats is not accurate. Though the U-boats were restrained as a result of American diplomatic protests, America did not enter the war at that time and when they did, it was for different reasons. […]


A Riddle of Sand (This article was originally published in January 2012) It is often said that there is too much ‘rubbish’ information on the web. To be sure, there is rubbish but there’s rubbish everywhere. There is certainly not so much that the internet should not be used for research. This would of course be foolish. Like all libraries […]

M.V. Kilkenny by Austin Gill

An account of the events of the night of 21st November 1991 Austin Gill, A.B., M.V. Kilkenny.   The events of that night are still very vivid in my mind after more than 20 years although I often forget things that happened last week. To start my account I will give you a little background about myself. I first went […]

John Richardson Wigham

John Richardson Wigham(15 January 1829 – 16 November 1906) was a lighthouse engineer.  He was a great inventor and successful businessman.  He was born in Scotland into a Quaker family.  (Take care not to confuse John Richardson Wigham with his cousin John Wigham Richardson, the shipbuilder, whose company eventually merged into Swan Hunter.) John Richardson Wigham‟s sister married Joshua Edmundson. Edmundson & Company […]

Simon Bolivar

DUNLEARY AND SIMON BOLIVAR     In Ireland in1819, in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, there was an abundance of trained soldiers, who had seen action on the battlefields of Europe, who had been demobbed and had come home to a country facing into a post-war period of economic depression.  An opportunity arose for many of these ex-soldiers to […]

John Delap

John Delap who served in the Imperial Russian Navy

The Boyd Disaster

  THE BOYD DISASTER. by Cormac F. Lowth   And such the trust that still were mine, Though stormy winds swept o’er the brine, Or through the tempest’s fiery breath, Raise me from sleep to wreck and death. Emma Hart Willard,   Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep.   February 1861 will be remembered not only for the […]

Hutchison’s Gold Medal

Artifacts of the Maritime museum  Captain Hutchison’s Gold RNLI medal Captain William Hutchison (1793-1881), from County Kildare, first harbour master of Kingstown, who also acted as coxswain of the lifeboat. On 14 August 1829 the brig Iron Duke was driven ashore in an easterly gale at Sandycove.  The Sandycove lifeboat with Hutchison three coastguards and nine others saved all eleven […]

Concrete ships

During the First world war a shortage of steel developed as replacements were being built for the huge tonnage sunk by submarines. Steel was prioritised for construction of warships. Late in the war the USA envisaged a fleet of concrete ships but few were completed before the war ended.

Irish Poplar

ABANDONED SHIP GAVE BIRTH TO IRISH SHIPPING’S WARTIME FLEET This article was first published in the Sunday Express on 19 February 1967.  It was reprinted in the Winter 2004 edition of Iris na Mara On the broad chest of the Atlantic the tramp steamer was at first only a speck to the German bomber crew. The crew of the Greek […]

M.V. Plassy

The Last Voyage of theM.V. Plassy by Michael Kirwan Originally published in the Winter 2010 edition of the Limerick Journal The 8th March, 2010 marked the 50th anniversary of the grounding of the M.V. Plassy on the Finnis Rock, Inisheer Island, County Galway. The ship is shown on the opening credits of the well-known TV comedy series “Fr Ted”. Limerick […]

Shore Rescue

The “Rescue Cart”. These carts were located all around the coast. Many lives were saved. This cart is complete with all its equipment, including the “breeches buoy”

Lifeboats in DúnLaoghaire

There have been lifeboats in Dublin Bay for more than 200 years. This is one of the oldest services in existence. The first lifeboat was located at Sandycove and run by the Dublin Ballast Board. In 1817 a lifeboat was located in Old Dunleary, before the present harbour was built.

DunLaoghaire Harbour

In November 1807 two ships, the Rochdale and Prince of Wales set sail from Pigeonhouse harbour in Dublin, bound for England. They were carrying newly recruited militia for the Napoleonic War, and their families. But bad fortune struck and an easterly gale forced the two ships onto rocks between Blackrock and Seapoint. They were wrecked and nearly 400 people drowned. […]























The Dublin Port Diving Bell

The story of this diving bell which still rests in the port. For its time it was technially advanced. The article covers why it was required, how it was invented and construced, and its success. It is the story of the great engineer Bindon Blood Stoney as well as the story of the men who worked in the Bell.



* The History of Diving;
* The Dublin Port Diving Bell
* Concrete Ships


Engineering – The age of Steam. Since early times ships were driven by oars and sail. The crews of these ships consisted of ordinary seamen who did the work and officers who controlled the ship and decided where it should go.   Then in the 1700’s with the discovery of how to use steam, everything changed. James Watt a Scottish […]


The tragic events of Christmas 1895. The Kingstown Lifeboat Disaster. The lifeboat and its crew of 15 were lost.

The Crescent City

Also known as the “Silver Ship”. On her maiden voyage, she went down near Galley Head. There are many tales of the silver treasure on board. Our story is of the bravery of the rescue teams from Dirk, Rosscarbery and Millcove. These men fearlessly put their own lives at great risk as they faced near-impossible odds to pluck eight terror-stricken sailors from the jaws of death.

Morven Disaster

Morven Disaster. December, 1906. The Morven was bound from Portland, Oregon to Liverpool with a cargo of about three thousand tons of grain for the Messrs Bannatyne. The place where the wreck occurred is a little promontory locally known as “Horse Island”. The Morven was a splendid four masted ship of 2000 tons built about ten years ago and commanded […]

The Dunworley Slave Ship.

Paddy O’Sullivan 19 November 2009 The Dunworley Slave Ship: Amity 1701 The history of slavery is probably as old as that of mankind itself. Hundreds of thousands of slaves built such classical civilisations as Greece, Egypt and Rome. Viking Dublin was a major slave trading port in its heyday. However, for the purposes of this story I will deal only […]

The Argentine Republic Emigration Scheme

Once there was massive Irish emigration to the Argentine. But that all stopped after the Dresden Affair. Emigration to a Catholic country was encouraged by the clergy, but even they were appalled by this event. There was a plan for a large immigration but it lacked planning and management, resulting in disaster for many Irish emigrant families.


Felim Dunne – Has been selected by the Maritime Institute of Ireland to Project Manage the reopening of the National Maritime Museum which is housed in Mariners’ church. Felim Dunne graduated from UCD School of Architecture in 1983 and worked in the London offices of Sir James Stirling from 1984 to 1989. At that time, Stirling Wilford was a very […]

Kenneth King Paintings

Irish Shipping commissioned Kenneth King, the noted marine artist to paint pictures of their fleet.  After the demise of Irish Shipping these were auctioned by the liquidator.  The Maritime Institute of Ireland acquired some at the auction.  Later the institute commissioned Kenneth to paint pictures of other Irish ships which were lost during World War Two.  A selection of these […]

Baily Optic

This working Optic is the light from Baily lighthouse in Howth, North Dublin. It was installed in 1902 and removed in 1972 when the lighthouse was modernised. The lighthouse was originally gas, then vaporised paraffin powered, the light was equivalent to 2,000,000 candle power. The optic now shines a lesser light over the museum.

The Warship Figureheads of Portsmouth

The Warship Figureheads of Portsmouth By David Pulvertaft, Illustrated by Kevin Dean Figureheads are a specialised but intriguing aspect of maritime history but there is little written about them, their history and the tradition. Nearly every maritime museum possesses a few despite the number that were left to moulder away in gardens or damp stores. One of the finest collections in […]

LOP 6 Howth Head

Michael Kennedy, author of Guarding Neutral Ireland, discusses the role of the Look Out Posts, in this case, the LOP on Howth Head, in recording events in the Irish Sea during World War II, known as “The Emergency”.

The sinking of Arandora Star

‘Drowned like rats’ The torpedoing of Arandora Star off the Donegal Coast, 2 July 1940 Michael Kennedy (difp at This paper is a revised version of ‘Men that came in with the sea’ which appeared in History Ireland in 2008.   A PDF version of this article is available: click here   The torpedoing of the Blue Star Line’s […]

Arklow Shipping

Arklow Shipping -A Group Fleet History Pat Sweeney Author: W.J. Harvey,     ISBN: 1 902 953 150,    Publisher: Bernard McCall, 2004 This book published last year is the fourth on shipping companies written by W.J. Harvey over the past 17 years. Two of his previous works also deal with companies in Ireland. The HEAD LINE (1990) and SHAMROCK SHIPPING (2004). The […]

Ireland's WWII Sea Losses

NEUTRAL IRELAND’S SEA LOSSES HEAVY IN SECOND WORLD WAR 16 Ships Lost in Unprovoked Actions   In the years following 1922, Ireland, unlike the majority of more recent independent nations, made no attempt to encourage the development of her own mercantile marine. Each year the fleet declined: from 127 in 1923, until in September 1939 we had only 56 ships […]

Visit from Belgium

From the April 2000 edition of the Belgian “Neptunus Marine” Details in this article, in particular opening times, are out-of-date Balade Maritime au Pays de James Joyce ! MARITIME BALLAD IN THE LAND OF JAMES JOYCE. Saint Bernard du Spuikom Photos: Fr Philips Si d’aventure vous faites un jour escale en République d’lrlande, près de Dublin, ne manquez surtout pas […]

MV Kerlogue, neutral Irish ship

The MV Kerlogue is regarded as a exemplar of neutral Irish ships during WW2. She was very small. 142 feet in length. She was almost sunk by a German mine. She was dive-bombed by the RAF. She rescued the Wild Rose of Liverpool. She rescued 168 crewmen from the Z72 and its escort.

Capt Robert Halpin

Captain Robert Halpin was born in Wicklow town on 17th February 1836. He was the youngest of 13 children and went to sea when he was 11 years old. His first trips were on sailing ships. The young Halpin saw where the future lay and transferred to a steam ship, the Circassian.

RMS Leinster, over 500 died

An exhibit illustrating this event will, on occasion, be displayed in the Museum The date is 10th October 1918. The place is Kingstown (now DunLaoghaire), Britain (of which Ireland is an integral part) is at war with Germany. A war that came to a close within a number of weeks. At the Carlisle pier one of the Kingstown to Holyhead […]

Fethard Lifeboat Disaster

A tale of bravery and sadness. … …
On the afternoon of the 20th of February, 1914, there being what was described
as a somewhat unsteady breeze from S.S.W., with a force of 4 to 5, misty
showers of short duration, and a moderate sea, the coastguards on duty at Bar
of Lough, between 2.30 and 3 o’clock, sighted a vessel between the Saltees Island
and the Keragh Islands, on the port tack. Recognising that the stranger was in a
perilous position, the signals J.D (“You are standing into danger”) were hoisted,
but apparently without any response being made.

Remember: Naomh Garbhan with 3

Fishing Boat – NAOMH GARBHAN sorry, no illustration MII – Fishing Boat – NAOMH GARBHAN Mined and sunk of Waterford coast, 2nd May 1945 Cuddihy, Nicholas , Helvick, Waterford Griffin, John, (Senior)Helvick, Waterford Griffin, John, (Junior)Helvick, Waterford

City of Limerick, bombed and sunk

S.S. CITY OF LIMERICK Brennan, Hugh, Clontarf, Dublin Sullivan, John, Liverpool

Remember: Cymric and 11 crew

SCHOONER CYMRIC Bergin, Philip, Wexford Brennan, James, Wexford Cassedy, Christopher, Athboy, Co. Meath Crosbie, James, Wexford Furlong, Kevin, Wexford Kieran, Bernard, Dundalk McConnell, Cecil,Dublin O’Rourke, William, Wexford Ryan, Michael, Dungarvan Seaver, Peter, Skerries, Co. Dublin Tierney, Michael, Wexford [banner-rotator-fx][/banner-rotator-fx]

Remember: St Fintan with 9 crew

S.S. St. FINTAN MII – S.S. St. FINTAN Friitzen Carl, Dublin Hendy, Neil, Isle of Arran, Scotland Howat, James, Paisley, Scotland Jones, Joseph, Dublin Leonard, Matthew, Rush, Co.Dublin O’Beirne, Diarmuid, Dublin O’Brien, William, Dublin O’Donnell, M., Ringsend, Dublink Plunkett, B., Dublin [banner-rotator-fx][/banner-rotator-fx]

Innisfallen, mined, sunk, 4 crew lost

M.V. INNISFALLEN MII – M.V. INNISFALLEN Doyle, W., Dublin Geary, Daniel, Kinsale Porter, James, Dublin Rickard, Joseph., Howth and three wounded [banner-rotator-fx][/banner-rotator-fx]

Remember: Kerry Head, 12 crew

S.S. KERRY HEAD Begley, Thomas, Limerick Naughton, George, Limerick Byrne, Dick, Wicklow Naughton, James, Limerick Davidson, William, Carrickfergus Nicholl, George, Carrickfergus Drummond, Charles, Blackpool O’Neill, Patrick, Limerick McMahon, Michael, Scattery Island, Co. Clare Tobin, John, Limerick McMahon, Stephen, Scattery Island, Co. Clare Wilson, James, Carrickfergus [banner-rotator-fx][/banner-rotator-fx]

Remember – SS Meath

S.S. MEATH [banner-rotator-fx][/banner-rotator-fx]

City of Waterford, convoy OG74

S.S. CITY OF WATERFORD S.S. CITY OF WATERFORD Aplin, Thomas E., Dublin Furlong, George, Wexford Naylor, Samuel, Bray, Co. Wicklow Murphy, P., Dun Laoghaire Kearney, Edward, Dublin were killed as a result of the Walmer Castle being bombed by German Aircraft two days later while still at sea. [banner-rotator-fx][/banner-rotator-fx]

Remember: Ardmore with 24 crew

SS Ardmore MII – S.S. ARDMORE Barry, Frank,  Passage West, Co. Cork Hare, Thomas Edwin, Dublin O’Regan, James, Cork Bruland, Edward, Passage West, Co. Cork Johnson, A., Liverpool O’Shea, Frank, Cork Cronin, James, Cork Kelleher, John, Cork Power, John, Cork Desmond, Bartholemew, Cork Lane, John, Cork Power, James, Cork Fennel, James, Cork McGlynn, John, Dublin Raymond, Michael, Cork Flynn, Patrick, […]

Remember: City of Bremen

SS City of Bremen At 6pm on 2 June 1940, The City of Bremen (Saorstait and Continental Lines) was transporting grain from Lisbon to Dublin when she was bombed by a Junkers 88 bomber and sunk.  The crew were rescued by a Spanish fishing trawler. One of the crew, George Gerrassimoff, was Russian.   It was feared that he might not […]

Remember – Luimneach

S.S. LUIMNEACH Able Seaman M Carrol died later of pneumonia On 4 Sep, 1940, the unescorted and neutral Luimneach (Master Eric Septimus Jones) was stopped by U-46 with two shots across her bow west-southwest of the Scilly Isles and was sunk at 20.00 hours by gunfire. There are differences in the accounts given by the captains. Endrass claimed that Capt […]

Irish Oak – torpedoed mid-Atlantic

S.S. IRISH OAK Sunk by U-Boat U-607 in North Atlantic, 15th May 1943 Crew rescued by S.S. IRISH PLANE

Remember – Kyleclare and 18 crew

S.S. KYLECLARE Barry, Edward, Wexford Morgan, John,  Dublin Brannock, Patrick, Dublin Mooney, Daniel, Dublin Brady, Thomas, Galway O’Brien, L., Dublin deBurca, Diarmuid, Dublin O’Brien, Richard, Dublin Grimes, Richard, Dublin O’Brien, Daniel, Dublin Hamilton, A.R., Galway O’Neill, P., Dublin Hopkins, Philip, Ringsend, Dublin Ryan, Thomas, Rush, Co. Dublin Larkin, John, Dublin Simms, W.J., Kildare Lynch, T., Clogherhead, Co. Louth Todd, Ultan,; New […]

Roman wrecks of Lake Nemi

There is a small lake called Nemi in the Alban Hills, about 30 kilometers southeast of Rome. Between 1927 and 1933, two enormous wooden ships, which once belonged to the Emperor Caligula, and had lain on the bottom of the Lake for over nineteen hundred years, were salvaged in what was perhaps the greatest underwater archaeological recovery ever accomplished.


Irish Flagged Ships lost during World War II Sermon delivered in November 2003 by Robert C. Reed, Canon Precentor, St Patrick’s Cathedral. This afternoon’s Gospel reading of Jesus calling his disciples evokes in me the words of the hymn Dear Lord and Father of Mankind when in verse 2 we sing, ‘In simple trust like theirs who heard, beside the […]

Remember: Irish Pine and 33 crew

Read the wikipedia article Bent, Patrick, Wexford Dooley, Maurice, Limerick O’Connor, Joseph, Dublin Cashin, Kevin, Dublin Duffy, Joseph, Dublin O’Donoghue, Thomas, Dublin Clery, Patrick, Wexford Fanning, Peter, Clogherhead, Co. Louth O’Neill, Matthew, Wexford Connolly, William, Kinsale Flynn, Michael, Limerick Ryan, Sean, Limerick Conway, Joseph, Dublin Harnett, Alfred, Cork Sheehan, Patrick, Kinsale, Cork Crichton, Robert, Leith, Scotland McCarthy, John, Kinsale, Cork […]

Remember: ILV Isolda, 6 lost

Sunk by aircraft off Waterford coast, 19th December 1940 Dunne, P.,12 Sallynoggin Villa, Dun Laoghaire, aged 45. Farrell, W., Seaman; Dun Laoghaire Hayden, J.J., Fireman; Beaufort House, Dun Laoghaire, aged 37. Holland, William, Steward; 7 Sussex Street, Dun Laoghaire, aged 57. Rushby, William, 7 Carrigilea Gardens, Dun Laoghaire, aged 43. Shortt, P.,Fireman, 37 Castle Gardens, Dun Laoghaire, aged 43. Isolda […]

Remember: Clonlara, convoy OG71

Sunk by torpedo from U-564 in North Atlantic, 22nd August 1941, convoy OG 71 The CLONARA had rescued thirteen men from the ALVA HMS CAMPION rescued thirteen survivors from the CLONARA (five from the ALVA and eight from the CLONARA) The six uninjured crew from CLONARA, were brought home by the CITY OF DUBLIN Carr, William, Dublin Green, Edward, Dublin […]

Remember: Steam Trawler Leukos

Sunk with all 11 hands by gunfire from U-38 (Liebe) – NW Tory Island – 9th March 1940 The Leukos was fishing in the company of British trawlers and she may have positioned herself between these fleeing trawlers and the U-boat in the vain belief that her status as a neutral would be respected. Alternatively the Leukos might have attempted to ram the U-38.  Alternatively, […]

Remember – Munster

Mined and sunk in the Irish Sea – 2nd February 1940 five wounded, one died later The first Irish ship to be sunk in World War Two was the passenger ship Munster, which fell victim to a mine in Liverpool Bay on 7th February 1940. Built at Belfast in 1938 for the British and Irish Steam Packet Company she ran […]

Commemorative Brochure

These web pages are dedicated to the memory of Ireland’s War-time Seafarers. Here is an on-line version of the Commemorative Brochure, commissioned by Des Brannigan when he was President of the Institute

History and Restoration of Church

Former Mariners’ Church The National Maritime Museum of Ireland is housed in the former Mariners’ Church   The renovations are described here The reopening was project managed by Felim Dunne or read of it on the bchd site Read a history of the church by The Reverend Canon Victor G. Stacey The Mariners’ Project asks “what happened to the congregation”. […]


Building on the Past for the Future   Now that the Museum in the Former Mariners’ Church is open again, this page is out-of-date.  It is left here for reference   The development of the Mariners’ Church, Dún Laoghaire, Appeal Fund – €100,000 To Finance the Development of Ireland’s Unique Mariners’ Church, Maritime Museum and Library. The Mariners’ Church: Some […]

Neary Library

The Neary Library is only for members. The library is closed [summarize]

Shipping in Dublin Port

Shipping in Dublin Port 1939-1945 by Walter Kennedy 160 Pages HardBack £15 Sterling. The Petland Press, Bishop Auckland, Durham, England. This is an interesting book about a time in our history when this island was all but strangled by lack of shipping. It is the era of the ‘rust bucket’ vessels of Irish Shipping Ltd, Palgrave Murphy and Wexford Steamships […]

John P. Holland

John P. Holland 1841 – 1914 Inventor of the Modern Submarine by Dr Richard Knowles Morris Paper 241 Pages $16.95 US University of South Carolina Press. $16.95 in U.S.A. This book is the classic biography of the Clare Man whose technological innovations led to the launch of the first modem submarine in 1897 which made its first dive on St. […]

Lifeboats in Dublin Bay

Lifeboats in Dublin Bay by John de Courcy Ireland. RNLI Dun Laoghaire, ISBN 0 9533540 0 8. This fine book is dedicated to the 23 lifeboat-men who lost their lives as a result of service since the first lifeboat was established in Dublin Bay in 1803. It is written by the Honorary Research Officer of this Institute, who for 26 […]

Ballycotton Lifeboats

Ballycotton Lifeboats byNicholas Leech and Brendan O’Driscoll Ballycotton Lifeboats The history of Ballycotton Lifeboat Station Co. Cork was launched by RTE presenter and personality Derek Davis in the town in early July. The joint authors are Nicholas Leech Deputy Editor of the well known British shipping magazine Ships Monthly and Brendan O’Driscoll of Youghal, who did all the local research […]

Maritime Museums

a list of maritime museums, collections and memorials

Irish Air Corps

  Irish Air Corps by Joe Maxwell & Patrick J Cummins Published by Max Decals Publications, 2009, ISBN 978 09562624 0 0 This large format publication does full justice to the extensive illustrations and photographs. It is a comprehensive guide to the aircraft in the Air Corps fleet with detailed service histories. The book will appeal to the aviation enthusiast, military […]

Remembering the war dead

Remembering the war dead by Fergus D’Arcy Published by OPW Dublin 2007 ISBN 07557 7589 9 This large format volume sets out to tell the story of the war graves under the care of the OPW in Ireland. The majority mentioned are Commonwealth graves from both world wars. It is of particular maritime interest because many of the graves relate to […]

Troubled Waters

  Troubled waters Published by Nonesuch, Dublin, 2008. €16.99 This account of some well known shipwrecks on the Irish sea from The Princess Victoria in the North to the Seahorse at Tramore. There has been need for some time of a good account of the wreck stories of the east coast. Many such volumes have been produced covering the English and […]

Secret Victory

  Secret Victory – Ireland and the war at sea 1914-1918 by Liam Nolan & John E Nolan Mercier Press, 2009, ISBN 978 1 85635 621 3 This book focuses on the two admirals Bayley and Sims who commanded the naval base at Queenstown during the first world war. Little has been written about the first world war at sea on […]

John McGregor Skinner

The Life and times of John McGregor Skinner  by Peter Scott Roberts Published by Portyfelin Heritage and Literary Group, 2006 €40 12.50 The first reaction might be ?who. But then one is reminded that on driving off the Holyhead ferry there is a large memorial commemorating Captain Skinner. H is credited with playing a key role in the development of the […]

Dublin Docklands

Dublin Docklands Reinvented by Niamh Moore Published by Four Courts Press, 208 €40 ISBN 978 1 851828357 This book on the geographical development of the docklands adds greatly to the documentation of the development of Dublin City. It is a part of the series: The Making Of Dublin City. Niamh Moore has produced a comprehensive record including the politics and planning […]

Egyptian Red Sea

  Shipwrecks from the Egyptian Red Sea Ned Middleton; Illustrated by Rico Oldfield     Ned Middleton is a well known wreck enthusiast and renowned researcher. Lavishly illustrated, accompanied by good charts and with Rico Oldfield illustrations. This is a deluxe production and full credit must go to the publisher for a book of this standard. The Rico illustrations are […]


 The art of Diving   Nick Hanna with photos By Alexander Mustard     This is another of these books that make a novice say I want to get into that. A seasoned diver just says wow. The introduction sets out an objective which is achieved at once “If you are not yet a diver we hope this book will inspire […]


Our “history” articles are divided into broad categories, below. In time these will be the “On-line Journal of Irish Maritime Research”

RNLB Mary Stanford

RNLB Mary Stanford RNLB Mary Stanford was the Ballycotton Lifeboat from 1930 to 1959. Many lives were rescued and awards accumulated. She performed what many regard as the most famous rescue: the Daunt Lightship rescue on 7 February 1936. She is the only lifeboat to be awarded for gallantry (boat as distinct from the crew). Ballycotton The RNLI established a […]

Robert Gibbings, Underwater Artist

Robert Gibbings, An Irish Artist Underwater By Cormac F. Lowth First published in SUBSEA, the quarterly journal of the Irish Underwater Council, Autumn 2007. Nowadays we tend to take the imagery produced underwater, mostly by digital photography, very much for granted. The advances in technology and the availability of relatively cheap cameras and waterproof housings have brought the means to […]

Dublin Bay’s Hobblers

More than seven decades after their dangerous enterprise came to an end Dun Laoghaire families with close links to the sea gathered in late September to honour the hobblers.
“The who? ” asked one local teenager when told by a friend that he intended to be present at the dedication in Dun Laoghaire harbour of a compelling monument to the men who years ago guided ships to harbour before the arrival of the Dublin Port pilots.

John Philip Holland (Submarines)

2000 – The Holland Anniversary Year. from the summer 2000 edition of “The Trident” 2000 The Holland Anniversary Year This millennium year 2000 is the hundredth anniversary of the purchase by the American Government of John Philip Holland’s Underwater Torpedo Boat No. 6, on the 11th. April 1900, and her commissioning on 12th. October that year as the first vessel […]

The One-Legged Sailor & the King

THE ONE-LEGGED SAILOR AND THE KING – Dennis Collins by Cormac F Lowth Throughout the year 1832, debates raged in the British Parliament at Westminster on the subject of Reform. Passions were aroused on the subject and there were heated exchanges which were reported in detail in the newspapers of the day. These reports were often accompanied by lengthy editorials […]

The Wreck of the Bolivar

M.V.BOLIVAR was making her way across the Irish Sea on the morning of Tuesday, March 4th, bound for Dublin Port with a badly needed cargo of grain and other essential items. Like many another fine ship before her, although Dublin Bay was in sight, the BOLIVAR would never reach that port and would leave her bones in the sands of that treacherous graveyard of ships that spans the entrance to Dublin Bay waiting to ensnare the unwary, the Kish Bank.

Francis Beaufort, (Wind Scale)

Francis Beaufort
We are all used to hearing weather forecasts on radio or television predicting ‘Wind Force So-and- So’.How many realise that the inventor of the Wind-Scale was born and brought up in Ireland, and did here some of the scientific experiments which place him among the greatest contributors anywhere at any time to the development of the marine sciences?


Personal stories (including groups) of people involved with the sea

Where are the Barges now?

“Hey Mister. Will ya bring us back a parrot”. That, according to Dublin comedians and wits of the fifties, recalling the last glory years of the Guinness barges on the River Liffey, was the regular cry of Dublin jackeens perched precariously on the city’s famous Halfpenny Bridge to the elegantly dressed barge captains in their dark blue corduroys and shiny peaked caps as they passed underneath.
Mostly the captains used to ignore them, for privilege was theirs, the privilege of being established characters of Dublin of that time, pillars of the community, men with an urgent job to do in getting Dublin’s primary export safely over a Liffey mile to the ships that would carry it to the furthest ends of the world.
Sic transit gloria mundi.

History of the MII

This history of the Maritime Institute of Ireland was written by Dr. John de Courcy Ireland, author of many works on maritime history


On line journal of Irish maritime research.


Emigrant stories, mainly about ships. The Pomona which was last with 389 lives in 1859, The Tayleur (aka the first Titanic), and the Titanic. Also the tradegy which marked the end of Irish emigration to South America.

Close Encounter with U-Boat

Ireland’s Close Encounter with German U-Boat   By Denis Martin FTU At 4pm on the afternoon of Wednesday the 4th October 1939 the realities of World War 2 reached the shores of the Dingle Peninsula. The residents of Ballymore, a fishing village 3 miles west of Dingle, noticed a strange craft heading for the rock at Ventry harbour. They rushed […]

American Navy

  IRISHMEN IN U.S. AND MARITIME HISTORY REMEMBERED Two Irishmen in American Maritime History were remembered in separate ceremonies in the United States during the Autumn of 1998, when Commodore John Barry from Wexford and John Philip Holland from Clare were honoured in late September and early October by the Maritime Institute of Ireland. Resolutions to honour these men, were […]

HM Submarine A5, lost Cork 1905

  (Forgotten Submariners) Early in 1999, Chief Petty Officer Owen O’Keeffe of the Irish Naval Service was visiting Old Church Cemetery near Cobh, County Cork. The purpose of his visit was to do some research on U S Navy graves dating back to the First World War. In the course of his search for the American graves, Owen O’Keeffe came […]

James Magennis, V.C.

Leading Seaman James J. Magennis was the only person from Northern Ireland to be awarded the Victoria Cross during World War II, when he received the highest British decoration, as a diver on the midget-submarine XE-3 for her attack on the Japanese cruiser ‘Takao’, on July 31st. 1945 in the Strait of Jahore, Malaya.

Spanish Navy

  Seamen of Irish Birth and Descent in the Spanish Navy in North Africa. Years ago the Institute’s research department made a thorough examination at the Spanish Naval Archives (far inland in Cudad Real Province) to discover about exiles from Ireland in the 18th and 19th centuries who joined the Spanish Navy. There was abundant material there. It was noteworthy […]


Naval histories [summarize]

Maritime Art and Dun Laoghaire

MARITIME ART AND DUN LAOGHAIRE by Cormac F. Lowth. Illustrated talk given to the Dún Laoghaire Borough Historical Society on Feb. 21st. 2007. and to the Matitime Institute of Ireland on 20th. March 2008, at Stella Maris Seafarers’ Club I am indebted to a great many people who helped me to put this talk together, far too many to […]

History Articles

Historical and Commemorative articles