Achill tragedy remembered.

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Where: Connaught, County Mayo, Ireland

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When: Unknown

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Island and coastal communities have suffered more than their fair share of tragedies over the years. The Wild Atlantic Way is more than just tourist phrase and the wind, waves and currents have claimed many lives both young and old. This memorial to a terrible tragedy in Clew Bay is a reminder of that danger and these young lives lost.

Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: Circa 1865 - 1914 1895 - 1897

NLI Ref: L_ROY_05105

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

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Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 15030
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio thelawrencephotographcollection glassnegative nationallibraryofireland memorial achillbeg achillisland countymayo connacht tattiehokers hooker tragedy

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    derangedlemur

    • 05/Jul/2021 08:15:02

    Somewhere round here: goo.gl/maps/1tGSqNDUcMEMFSpR7

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    Niall McAuley

    • 05/Jul/2021 08:17:44

    Streetview, Kildavnet cemetery. Has the gravestone been replaced?

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    derangedlemur

    • 05/Jul/2021 08:20:34

    achilltourism.com/clew-bay-drownings-1894/

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    derangedlemur

    • 05/Jul/2021 08:42:24

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] Hard to tell: The shore side boundary wall isn't very visible from the road, and it's right up against it. Edit: It has it's own wall - Here it is: goo.gl/maps/aBBzDtGtzFQPUdqN6

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    derangedlemur

    • 05/Jul/2021 08:49:06

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley Oh, I see you mean the colour, not the shape or location. The shape is identical. Might just be the coloured façade wore off and the lettering was repainted black.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 05/Jul/2021 09:04:57

    Achill Island, Co. Mayo, Ireland.

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 05/Jul/2021 09:06:21

    Via Trove, a contemporary (July 1894) report via the Weekly Freeman which might provide a few forgotten details - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/169712400

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    Niall McAuley

    • 05/Jul/2021 09:11:39

    I think the stone is unchanged except that when brand new, in todays pic, the lettering was pale against the freshly polished stone. Since then the stone is paler and the lettering picked out in black paint.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 05/Jul/2021 09:13:11

    Date is clearly after 15th June 1894, but NIAH does not have a date for the stone itself, so not sure how much later. Sometimes the maker (Monaghan and Sons of Westport in this case) will mark the year somewhere on the plinth, so if anyone is in the neighbourhood...

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 05/Jul/2021 09:45:26

    More via Trove, from 19 September 1894 - details of "The Achill Relief Fund", including ... "... It was decided to put a railing around the grave of the drowned at Kildownet Churchyard, and to procure a memorial tablet." The tablet is there but the metal railing is not, yet. See - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/115550059

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    Bernard Healy

    • 05/Jul/2021 11:33:33

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ I would be very surprised if the photo was much later than 1895/6. The stone looks almost new. I doubt the stone was erected before mid-1895, because of the practice of waiting a year after a burial for the ground to settle before erecting a headstone, and it seems to me unlikely that there was a huge gap between erecting the stone & the railing. All this is conjecture, of course, but the news article from 1894 suggests that the funds are more or less in hand for the work.

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 05/Jul/2021 12:45:00

    💡There's another oblique view, mis-titled in the catalogue. Might provide a few more clues. - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000333499

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    derangedlemur

    • 05/Jul/2021 13:30:33

    Monaghan and sons were still in business in 1901: www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1901/Mayo/Westport_U...

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    Frank Fullard

    • 05/Jul/2021 14:51:25

    I expect many people who see this will be interested in the story behind it. On the morning of 14th June 1894 about 400 people, from all over the Achill area, many of them teenagers, set off from Darby’s Point, Cloughmore, at the south-east corner of Achill on the first part of their journey to Scotland to work as seasonal labourers ‘tattie hoking’, or picking potatoes. It was normal for the young people of Achill to travel to the west of Scotland to stay and work for up to six months during late spring, summer and into the autumn. The plan was to travel initially to Westport on hookers (large wooden hulled cargo vessels). In Westport they would transfer to a steamship for the journey to Scotland. The first hooker to load – The Victory – was carrying 126 people when it set off from Achill. As The Victory approached Westport Quay its passengers caught their first sight of the large steamer, the SS Elm, which would take them to Scotland. They rushed to one side of the hooker to get a better view, making the boat unstable, and before the captain could take action a gust of wind caught the sails and the boat capsized. The passengers were thrown into the water but worse, the boat came after them and many were trapped under the large canvas sails which became heavy and impenetrable once wet. In total, 32 people drowned in the tragedy. These included three sisters, Mary (24), Margaret (19) and Ann (15) Malley, from the Valley. One of the youngest victims, Mary McFarland (12), had been returning to her home in Glasgow after visiting with relatives in the townland of Tonragee. The bodies were laid in a cargo shed at the quayside while preparations were made for their return to Achill. The recently constructed railway line from Westport to Achill began services as far as Newport in February 1894, but had not yet been operational for the further stretch from Newport to Mulranny and onwards to Achill Sound. It was agreed that a train would take the victims of the drowning, as well as the survivors, all the way from Westport to Achill the following morning – the first ever train into Achill. Remarkably this train journey fulfilled the first part of a bleak prediction made in the seventeenth century by the north Mayo based prophet ‘Red’ Brian Carabine, who said: “Carriages on wheels with smoke and fire will come to Achill and the first and last carriages will carry dead bodies”. This prediction was made over 100 years before the invention of the steam train. Sadly, the second part of this prophecy also came to pass in 1937 with what became known as the Kirkintilloch tragedy. In the early hours of 16th September 1937 a fire broke out in a bothy (shed) in Kirkintilloch, just North of Glasgow, claiming the lives of 10 migrant workers from Achill. The Kirkintilloch squad, including the foreman or gaffer, Patrick Duggan from the Points, Achill Sound, comprised 14 females and 12 males with the majority coming from the townlands of Shraheens, Achill Sound, Saula and Dooagh. The majority of the squad had travelled to Scotland in early June, and, after working on numerous farms from Ayrshire to the Lothians, had arrived from Edinburgh and took up their residence at this particular farm in Kirkintilloch on the day before. Their stay was scheduled to be a short one as they had made arrangements to travel home a couple of days later. The ten male workers were allocated the bothy, while Patrick Duggan, his son Thomas and the remaining female workers slept in an adjoining cottage. When the fire broke out the ten males in the bothy were unable to escape because the door had been padlocked from the outside. They ten who perished were - - Thomas Cattigan, Patrick Kilbane, Thomas Kilbane, John McLoughlin, Michael McLoughlin, John Mangan, Thomas Mangan, Michael Mangan, Owen Kilbane and Patrick McNeela. The bodies of those that perished as well as the survivors were taken back to Dublin by boat, and, although the railway line to Achill had closed a couple of years earlier, it was reopened so that a special train commissioned for this sad return could go all the way to Achill. This was the last train into Achill, thus fulfilling the second part of Brian Rua O'Cearbhain’s prophecy. The ten were also buried in Kildavnet cemetery where a memorial of the tragedy can be seen. I'll try and get a picture of it when I am next in Achill, and will share it here.

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    robinparkes

    • 05/Jul/2021 15:21:03

    beachcomber australia

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    Brunswick Forge

    • 06/Jul/2021 04:08:17

    This is an excellent addition to today's Explore page. 👍📷 Greetings from southwestern Virginia, USA.

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    s0340248

    • 06/Jul/2021 04:12:46

    Glückwunsch zu Explore !

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    Flickr

    • 06/Jul/2021 04:15:20

    Congrats on Explore! ⭐ July 5, 2021

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 06/Jul/2021 05:29:33

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardhealy https://www.flickr.com/photos/frankfullard Thanks for all your work, I have changed the date to read circa 1895 - 1897, are you all happy with that? Frank, thank you for the story of the accident and the prophecy. It seems to have been a very unfortunate and wholly avoidable disaster.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 06/Jul/2021 07:48:16

    Here is one page from the record of deaths in Westport for 1894: 10 people, as young as 14, all drowned by the capsizing of a hooker.

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    imatges blanc i negre

    • 06/Jul/2021 12:23:15

    Excel.lent foto amb un magic blanc i negre, felicitacions. ⭐⭐

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    le cabri

    • 06/Jul/2021 15:05:45

    Well done

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    Sunny Harry

    • 17/Jul/2021 15:26:19

    The grave stone for the ten that died in the shed fire in Kirkintilloch is the other side of the road to the grave of the 32 that drowned in the Clew Bay accident. https://flic.kr/p/2mbysK1