Solitary floral tribute to the Titanic in Cobh marks ill-fated voyage

Junior Cert student Bláthín Verwey from Cobh prepares to place a floral tribute in the sea from the pier where 123 passengers departed Cobh to join the Titanic 108 years ago. Picture: Hendrick Verwey.

A solitary floral tribute will be placed in Cobh town square on Saturday to mark the 108th anniversary of the Titanic liner calling to the Cork town on her ill-fated voyage from Southampton to New York.

For the first time in over 20 years, there will no public ceremony to mark the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic in its last port of call.

Chairman of Cobh Tourism, Jack Walsh, said instead of a traditional public ceremony this year they are inviting members of the public to say a prayer for all those who embarked on their final journey from Queenstown, as the town of Cobh was then known, on board the Titanic.

“As you remember all those who died on Titanic, please also think about those who have been taken from us in the current pandemic – they are not a statistic or a story, they are real people with families who love them and hopefully their ancestors will continue to remember them and commemorate this current tragedy long into the future.”

Cobh has a Titanic Memorial garden which is situated on the waterfront overlooking The Titanic’s final anchorage. The garden has a glass memorial wall which bears the names of the passengers that embarked in Queenstown.

The town also has a Titanic Memorial in the town square, dedicated to the 79 passengers who boarded the Titanic in Cobh and lost their lives.

The town has a number of museums and heritage centres dedicated to The Titanic story, including Cobh Heritage Centre and The Titanic Experience.

Mr Walsh said the Titanic story has become deeply ingrained in the identity of the local community in Cobh.

"Those who departed from Titanic’s last port of call did so with trepidation, excitement and in hope of a new life in America. The tragedy that unfolded on that maiden voyage is something that we are committed to paying tribute to, even this year, with an overarching emphasis on remembering above all else the tragic loss of life for many of those onboard.”

On Thursday, April 11, 1912, 123 steerage passengers boarded the Titanic in Cobh.

Four days later the ship hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank with the loss of more than 1,500 lives, including 79 of those who boarded in Cobh.

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