Our September talk “The Sinking of The Leinster – an Illustrated Lecture” was presented by Cormac F. Lowth on Wednesday September 26th in the Town Hall Balbriggan at 8pm. 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of a great disaster which occurred in the Irish Sea. Cormac outlined the tragic story of the sailboat ‘Leinster’ which was torpedoed by a German submarine on October 10th 1918 after leaving Dun Laoghaire, with horrendous loss of life. Over 500 people perished in what still remains the single greatest loss of life on the Irish Sea and it is doubly tragic because it happened only a few weeks before the end of the war.
This brilliantly researched talk, delivered without any notes, told the story of not just the Leinster but also of the many ships that sailed the Irish Sea around that era. Showing his detailed knowledge, some of it gained diving to the wreck of the Leinster, Cormac painted a vivid picture of the Leinster and its design, the passengers on it and the panic and mayhem that must have followed when it was torpedoed. As well as the perils of shipping during World War 1 Cormac also talked about the war on land and the horrific loss of life suffered in it. Cormac’s lecture, which even included old film reel of the Leinster, could’ve filled a few more talks and led to many questions from the large crowd.
Cormac F. Lowth is a member of The Maritime Institute of Ireland and he is currently Lectures Officer with the Dun Laoghaire Borough Historical Society. His lectures for us in the Balbriggan and District Historical Society in the past have included ‘Shipwrecks around Dublin Bay’ and ‘The Loss of the Lusitania’. Anyone who attended these talks will know Cormac’s huge passion for all things maritime and his extensive knowledge of the subject.