Friday 20 September 2019

Remembering lives lost at sea

Dignitaries and guests at the service in the Kilmore Quay Memorial Garden. RIGHT: Guest of honour Cllr. Larry O'Brien who spoke of his experience when the MS Herald of Free Enterprise capsized in 1987.

By Amy Lewis

IT was a ceremony with a difference as the 15th annual Memorial Service took place in the Memorial Garden, Kilmore Quay.

The service, held each year in remembrance of those lost at sea, was marked with the relocation of the 'Pomona' anchor to the garden.

In honour of the one-hundred year anniversary of the RMS Lusitania, this year's event was dedicated to passenger ship losses, making the relocation of the anchor significant.

It once formed part of the Pomona, an emigrant ship which sank off the coast of Wexford in 1859 killing 388 people on board. Jack Bates, who recovered the anchor in 1972, was in attendance at the service.

Mr. Bates switched on the eternal lantern which is another new addition to the garden. The light will be switched on 24 hours a day in memory of those who have been lost at sea.

Several hundred people attended the event for prayers, wreath-laying ceremony and speeches, including one from Wexford County Councillor Larry O' Brien. Cllr. O' Brien spoke about his experience onboard the MS Herald of Free Enterprise ferry when it capsized in 1987.

According to Jim Moore, a member of the Kilmore Quay Community Development Association, his speech was very well-received.

'Larry spoke of his experience, including his involvement in the rescue of some of the other passengers,' he said. 'He captured very vivid images of the panic and difficulties that they faced.'

Guests at the event, many of whom have lost loved ones at sea, were also invited to participate by placing a candle in the Compass Fountain.

Wexford People

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