April 14th 2020 marks the 108th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. I’ve updated this post from a few years ago to share with you as we used to live only a short drive from where the ill-fated ship set sail for America. The Titanic Exhibition in Cobh county Cork is well worth a visit. Heartbreak Pier was the last place where some of Titanic’s passengers touched dry land. The ship arrived in Queenstown (now called Cobh) in county Cork to pick up mail and 123 passengers, before setting out on her first trans-Atlantic voyage. There were over 2,000 passengers and crew on board as she left the harbour at 1.30 pm on Thursday 11 April 1912, bound for New York.
The Titanic exhibition is housed in the old White Star Line office building, which looks much the same now as it did back then.
Of the 123 passengers who boarded from Cobh, three were first class, seven were second class and the remaining 113 were third class or steerage. Only 44 survived, ten of those being from Cork. When you receive your ticket for the guided tour you are given the name of one of the passengers who boarded Titanic from Cobh that day. At the end of the tour you find out whether or not you were among the survivors. The first time I took this tour, the name on my ticket was that of Katherine Buckley, aged 22, a young Irish woman from county Cork. You can find out what happened to her by following the link at the end of this post. This time my ticket belonged to Mary Canavan, a single woman aged 22.
She was one of nine children, a farmer’s daughter from County Mayo and embarked as a 3rd class passenger. Her ticket cost £7 and 15 shillings (approx. £700 in today’s money). Mary’s elder brother Patrick had emigrated to America the year before and she was to join him. She traveled in a group of fourteen men and women from her parish, Addergoole* in Mayo, but lost her life, along with two of her cousins, Patrick Canavan and James Flynn, when the ship went down. Only three of the group survived. Follow the link below for more information and images.
Katherine Buckley’s fate – A Titanic Experience