In Memoriam

Joe Fallon RIP Joe Fallon, former member of the Maritime Institute, died on 1st May 2019 after a long illness. Joe served as Commodore of the Dún Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club and was also an active member of the National Yacht Club. He established BIM’s Sailing Club, where he worked, to encourage Read More

Margaret Downey Harrington Receives BIM Lifetime Achievement Award By Richard McCormick

Margaret Downey-Harrington from Castletownbere, Co. Cork was honoured with the BIM National Seafood Lifetime Achievement Award for her immense contribution to the Irish seafood industry. Margaret, whose career spans more than 60 years, owns a Castletownbere pelagic trawler and is also a founding member of Mná na Mara, the national network for women in fisheries.Her award was presented by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD at a BIM seafood banquet hosted in Dublin’s Christchurch Cathedral. BIM’s biennial awards recognise the ongoing achievements of successful entrepreneurs in the Irish seafood industry which employs over 14,500 people in the fishing, aquaculture, seafood processing and seafood retail sectors which contribute €1.15 billion to the economy of Ireland’s coastal Read More

MFV Nordkap Returns to Dun Laoghaire By Richard McCormick

In August 2018, during the wedding of Ciara Joyce and Erol Aycan in the Maritime Museum, a scale model of the Norwegian, 1959 built, sixty-three foot (19 metre) long Dún Laoghaire Trawler MFV Nordkap had pride of place on the altar. After the wedding, Skipper Crummey presented the model to former President Richard McCormick, who had crewed with him on MFV Nordkap in the late 1960s, for display in the Maritime Museum.This beautifully crafted wooden model was made with meticulous attention to detail by renowned Ringsend Shipwright Joe Murphy, the last Foreman in charge of the famed Dublin Port Diving Bell, for Dún Laoghaire born, Skipper Brian Crummey, the grandfather of Ciara Read More

An April Disaster in Wartime Greenock 1940 By Pat Sweeney

April this year was the 79th anniversary of the sinking of the French Destroyer, Maillé Brézé, in Greenock in Scotland on the last day of that month when she was badly damaged by the accidental discharge of an armed torpedo on the portside. At 4:15pm on Tuesday 30th April, the weapon slid along the deck, crashed into the forecastle and exploded. This blocked all exits to the forecastle head. It was decided to scuttle the ship to prevent further explosions, which was done.The trapped sailors put their arms through the porthole in order to receive morphine injection to relieve their suffering before their inevitable deaths from drowning. There were twenty-five killed and forty two injured in the disaster. At that time, I was in singing class in a small school. The nun in charge had sent one of the older girls to find the cause of the Read More

Shipping News By Pat Sweeney

This shipping review focuses on Ferries. The hull of the new WB Yeats was launched in January 2018 with the final two superstructure units arriving from Poland in February. Irish Ferries also disposed of the Kaitaki, ex Irish Isle of Innisfree, to Toll Shipping of New Zealand, earning a profit of €25.5 million.Also that month, Irish Ferries announced that they would sell the high speed Jonathan Swift to Spain for service between Barcelona and the Balearic Islands. She was replaced on the Dublin-Wales route by the Dublin Swift (formerly Westpac Express), already owned by Irish Ferries since 2016 when she was bought for €13.25 million while on charter to the US Marine Corps. The new ferry, which has a capacity for 1,800 passengers in 440 cabins with space for 165 freight units and 300 cars, was completed at a cost of €144 million. She has the Lady Gregory Restaurant, Maud Read More

Brendan Neary – Obituary from 1993 By Jim Wolohan

The Mariners Church in Dún Laoghaire houses two aspects of the Maritime Institute’s activities – the museum and the library. As the greater activity centres on the museum, there was the chance that the library might be overlooked at times so it was appropriate that Brendan should be a member of the museum committee to protect the library’s interests. In my five years as honorary museum administrator, there was little conflict of interest but, whenever there was, Brendan fought his corner in his own inimitable way – seemingly craggy and crusty on the exterior but always motivated by goodwillHis interest did not stop with the library. He was fully committed to the welfare of the museum and took his part in debating and planning its forward Read More

Brendan Neary – Notes from the Past By Joe Varley

1988 was an eventful year in Brendan’s life. It was the 400th anniversary of the Spanish Armada and this generated the same type of media and general interest as was evident last autumn in relation to the RMS Leinster.Yet Brendan was involved in Armada lore in 1985 when he and Kevin Crothers represented the Institute at a public meeting at Grange in Co Sligo. This was in relation to a proposed Streedagh Armada museum. It was felt that there was a need for this as a considerable amount of artefacts had been recently discovered by divers at the nearby Streedagh Read More

Library News By Brian Ellis

Over the last year there have been a significant number of book donations to the Museum Library involving several hundred volumes. There has, however, been a delay in adding these books to the Master Catalogue but, following the purchase of a new PC, cataloguing these items has recommenced and they will be added to the system over the coming months.We are currently reviewing the allocation of books to the Library shelves in the light of our experience over recent years with the areas of particular interest to Read More

SS Dundalk -14th October 1918 By Charley McCarthy

The Ship SS Dundalk was built in Glasgow in 1899 at a cost of £40,000 as a flagship for the Dundalk and Newry Steam Packet Company. Her main trade was in carrying cattle and produce from Dundalk to Liverpool and other goods on the return journey with passengers. Her Captain, Hugh O’Neill from Killowen, Co Down, was a very experienced mariner. Despite considerable loss of shipping from wartime attacks by German submarines in the Irish Sea particularly from 1917 onwards, the SS Dundalk made the journey weeklyIn December 1917, fifty-two shells were fired at the steamer, one of which damaged a life boat which was blown to pieces. No lives were lost and the Captain and crew were commended for their Read More

Some Thoughts on Brexit By Terry Conlan

On 23rd June 2016 the UK voted by 51.9% to 48.1% to leave the European Union. Such a narrow victory - if such it was - has led to major upheavals in the British Political Establishment and throughout society in general.Without any clear plan following the debates leading up to June 2016, the UK then triggered Article 50 on the 29th March 2017. Quite clearly Ireland and its interests were ignored in the debating, possibly with the unspoken idea that the Irish can be sorted whenever as so often happened in the past. Unfortunately for Britain, Ireland was not alone and, as a member of the EU, its interests and that of the EU were going to be protected. Once Britain becomes a Third Party Country then EU Customs Law applies to protect the Single Market and, while that was not highlighted in the early days, EU customs regulations will Read More