Cork Harbour As Seen From Cobh (Ireland)
Image by infomatique
Cobh – The Last Port Of Call For The Titanic
In August 2005 I visited Cork with the intention of photographing the City as well as the town of Cobh but it rained from the minute I arrived in Cork and it was so heavy that I could not use my camera so I gave up and went home after two days.
This week I decided to revisit Cork and Cobh and of course it rained from the minute that I arrived and it is still raining. Anyway I was better prepared this time and managed to take some photographs but some are a bit blurred (especially those taken on Fota Park) because of the constant rain. I also visited Midleton but upon my arrival in the town there was flash flooding.
Cobh is a seaport town on the south coast of County Cork, Ireland. Cobh is on the south side of Great Island in Cork Harbour. Facing the town are Spike Island and Haulbowline Island. On a high point in the town stands Cobh (St Colman’s) Cathedral, one of the tallest buildings in Ireland and seat of the diocese of Cloyne.
One of the major transatlantic Irish ports, Cobh was the departure point for 2.5 million of the six million Irish people who emigrated to North America between 1848 and 1950. On 11 April 1912 Queenstown was the final port of call for the RMS Titanic as she set out across the Atlantic on her ill-fated maiden voyage. She was assisted by the PS America and PS Ireland, two aging White Star Line tenders, along with several other smaller boats delivering first-class luggage. Local lore has it that a Titanic crew member John Coffey, a native of Queenstown, jumped ship although there is no record of him on the crew list. 123 passengers boarded in all; only 44 survived the sinking.
Cobh was also a major embarkation port for men, women and children who were deported to penal colonies such as Australia. The records of such deportations can be found in the ship log books in the Cobh Museum, which since 1973 is housed in Scots church (Presbyterian church until 1969 closure) overlooking the harbour.
Due to its maritime advantages, a significant shipbuilding industry developed in Cobh and the remnants of the Verolme Shipyard today maintain many of the original cranes and hoists which now form part of the significant industrial and maritime heritage of Cobh which is considered to have major tourism potential.
The age of steam brought famous achievements to Cobh, most notably the first steam ship to sail from Ireland to England (1821) and the first steam ship to cross the Atlantic (Sirius 1838) which left from Passage West. In 1849 the name of the town was changed to Queenstown to honour Queen Victoria who visited Ireland in that year.
Several other notable ships are associated with the town, including:
The Cunard passenger liner RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German U-Boat off the Old Head of Kinsale while en route to Liverpool on May 7, 1915. 1198 passengers died, while 700 were rescued. The survivors and victims were brought to the town of Cobh, and over one hundred lie buried in the Old Church Cemetery just north of the town. The Lusitania Peace memorial is located in Casement Square opposite the arched building housing the Cobh Library and Courthouse.