- The Crescent City
- Fethard Lifeboat Disaster
- The sinking of Arandora Star
- Morven Disaster
- The Dunworley Slave Ship.
- M.V. Plassy
- Irish Poplar
- M.V. Kilkenny by Austin Gill
- Vasa – 50 years on
- The wanderer at Kingstown and John Masefield
- SS Lochgarry
- The Lady Nelson
- RNLB Mary Stanford
- Rochdale and Prince of Wales
- MV Kerlogue, neutral Irish ship
- The Wreck of the Bolivar
- Where are the Barges now?
- Commemorative Brochure
- Kenneth King Paintings
- Remember: Clonlara, convoy OG71
- Remember – Munster
- Remember: Irish Pine and 33 crew
- Irish Oak – torpedoed mid-Atlantic
- Remember – Kyleclare and 18 crew
- Remember – Luimneach
- Remember: ILV Isolda, 6 lost
- Remember: Ardmore with 24 crew
- City of Limerick, bombed and sunk
- Remember: City of Bremen
- City of Waterford, convoy OG74
- Remember: Steam Trawler Leukos
- Remember: Naomh Garbhan with 3
- Remember – SS Meath
- Remember: Kerry Head, 12 crew
- Innisfallen, mined, sunk, 4 crew lost
- Remember: St Fintan with 9 crew
- Remember: Cymric and 11 crew
- Ireland's WWII Sea Losses
- Fun Things to do
- History and Restoration of Church
- Book Reviews
- Frank Forde
- Dr Edward Bourke
- Pat Sweeney
- Roy Stokes
- Cormac Lowth
- Book Reviews
OBITUARY Dr. Philip Crampton Smyly
Dr. Philip Crampton Smyly, who died recently, became a leading light in the Maritime Institute of Ireland and its National Maritime Museum following a highly successful career in medicine.
He was born on the 21st May 1917 at a time when it was believed his father had perished aboard a torpedoed ship near West Africa. The report proved incorrect and in his later years Dr. Smyly often quipped that this must have been his induction to the maritime world.
At an early age, along with his brother Bill, he was sent to live with his aunt who was married to the Rector at Delgany Church, County Wicklow. His enjoyable stay in Ireland was interrupted in 1922 by evacuation to England due to the Irish political situation. He was sent to the best schools and in his own words detested every minute of his school days there. His dislike of cricket -virtually unheard of in the circles in which he moved- led him to take up rifle shooting at which he proved a crack shot.
After school in England he studied medicine in Trinity College Dublin and his stories on his training experiences followed by internships in Baggot Street and Stevens Hospital would compete with any comedy incidents in Carry on Doctor.
During these years he rowed for Trinity in both junior and senior eights and was on the team which won the National Senior Championships. Some 60 years later when Trinity again won the Senior Championship Dr. Smyly and fellow surviving team mate Dr. Raymond Rees were guests of honour at the official celebrations. The boat he used is among the huge collection of artefacts at the National Maritime Museum in the Mariners Church, Dún Laoghaire, which will re-open following restoration later this year.
In 1941 he set up practice in Portarlington, Co. Laois and the following year married Mary Hildick. During his years in Portarlington he became involved in organising concerts, socials, rowing and all types of community events. He regularly attended The Wexford Opera Festival. He was a founding member of the Portarlington Rifle Club which travelled all over the country pursuing their sport. That included regular visits to the 6 Counties for competitions. Dr. Smyly in later years saw the humour of his car, loaded-down with guns, ammunition and his team members, regularly travelling across the border in the middle of the IRA border campaign of 1956-62.
The success and extent of his professional practice can be judged by a count one year of 365 babies born under his supervision – and that count was reached in October!
When he retired the people of Portarlington threw a big party to mark the occasion and hung a banner across their main street wishing Dr. Philip and Mary a long and happy retirement.
On retirement they moved to Sandymount, in Dublin. He used his retirement years to follow up on his extensive interests. Musical boxes, bonsai miniature tree cultivation, the Irish Horticultural Society, the Dublin Horse Show where he assisted the St. John’s Ambulance, producing a huge volume of paintings and competed with his wife on numbers sold each year. He also was a trustee of The Smyly Homes charity –originally founded by his ancestor Ellen Smyly.
His retirement years were also steeped in the Maritime Institute of Ireland and in particular the Institute’s National Maritime Museum in Dún Laoghaire. There he worked closely with the Museum’s General Manager, the late Robbie Brennan and together they enjoyed the description of the “terrible twins”.
In the late 1990s when moves were afoot to move the museum to Dublin’s Docklands, Dr. Smyly was among the many who actively opposed the move. He was one of the four delegates sent from a very well attended protest meeting to meet then Minister for Culture, Ms. Sheila de Valera. The delegation was told that the only way Government funding could be made available to develop the museum and its building was by moving the museum to the new docklands building. The delegates claimed that the Mariners Church in which the museum is housed is itself an important artefact as it is one of the few remaining purpose built mariners churches remaining intact in the world to-day. After a study conducted personally by Dr. Smyly proved that the proposed location was less accessible to the public and tourists than Dún Laoghaire, the proposal was dropped.
Instead the building has now been fully restored with widely acclaimed Government assistance and will re-open late this year as a “state of the art” National Maritime Museum housed within that historic building.
Dr. Smyly’s many achievements were recognised when the Maritime Institute’s prestigious Gold Medal was presented to him.
Predeceased by his wife in 2004, his funeral took place on Thursday 21st January 2010 in the “Pepper Canister” St. Stephen’s Church in Dublin.
Breasal O Caollai ; 086-0745402 and 01-2302311
Eoghan Ganly 0872 377 955 and 01 2801559
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