Co. Cork and a Tale of Two Sea Tragedies

The decade of centenaries in Ireland continues. While voters in Britain and Northern Ireland will be going to the polls, many people in Co Cork will be marking the hundredth anniversary of a war crime. For it was on 7 May 1915 – as if the news could not get any worse, amid appalling military reverses for Irish and British troops in Gallipoli and Ypres – that the Cunard luxury passenger liner Lusitania, on the latest of its many crossings … Read more

Kit Harington on Belfast: “It’s wonderful for two or three days…”

As I said of similar comments by HBO’s Michael Lombardo last year, With so much of some Northern Ireland Executive ministers‘ time and effort [and other people’s money! – Ed] focused on exploiting the international success of HBO’s Game of Thrones to promote Northern Ireland overseas, it’s perhaps unfortunate, but refreshing, that HBO’s director of programming, Michael Lombardo, has given an honest answer to a straight question… This time, it’s one of the leading actors from HBO’s Game of Thrones, Kit Harington, telling … Read more

Photo of the day – SS Nomadic

Photo by: Andrew Palmer, Taken on November 17, 2014 The ship is now open to visitors, click here for details… History from wikipedia… Nomadic was commissioned by the White Star Line in 1910, to tender for their new ocean liners RMS Olympic and RMS Titanic, which were too large to dock in Cherbourg harbour. She and her running mate SSTraffic ferried passengers, their baggage, mail and ship’s supplies to and from large ocean liners moored off-shore. The keel of Nomadic was laid … Read more

How would you measure a Belfast Buzz?

At the ‘Belfast One City’ conference Paul Nolan, author of the Peace Monitoring Report, said it would be difficult to collect the data to measure the positive feelings in Belfast. As odd as it may seem to take a scientific approach to measure the mood of an entire city, it does highlight how small victories for a city as a whole, may not be of any consequence to individual citizens struggling with recession. As we head into summer, many people … Read more

Hardy’s lines on the loss of the Titanic…

I’ve not really followed the saga of the Titanic centenary in Belfast. What I’ve read or heard about the local commemorations has been generally positive, and whatever misgivings I may have about the efficacy of the considerable public investment in the project, the loss of 1500 souls within a few hours is well worth the remembering. It’s been big news in other places far from Belfast. Dorset, Hampshire and the Port of Southampton have also been remembering the many stories … Read more

Clinkers, Rivets and Flatcaps: Celebrating Titanic and the Men Who Built Her.

The panicked screams of the dying could be heard long after Titanic broke in two and finally slipped under the icy waters of the North Atlantic. By the time the last voices faded and the inky dark became silence once more, over 1,500 souls had met a terrifying and lonely fate. The disaster was a human tragedy from start to finish, the consequences made even more poignant by a sequence of poor and hurried decision making from conception to demise. … Read more

Titanic: was it all right when it left here?

Not according to metallurgists Tim Foecke and Jennifer Hooper McCarty whose research has suggested that dodgy Harland and Wolff rivets were at fault for allowing the Titanic’s hull to be ripped apart by the pressure of the iceberg impact. With six of the hull’s chambers exposed to the Atlantic waters, the “unsinkable” ship lasted less than three hours, not enough time for rescue boats to reach those (disproportionately poorer) passengers left without access to a lifeboat (the White Star line … Read more

Titanic sinking sensation – the real story at last?

After so much myth and legend, the Titanic story can still rock us with surprise. Only now have we got the hidden story of how Titanic really sank. A left turn order ( “hard a -starboard)” meant turn right on steamships, contrary to helmsmanship on sailing ships. But the helmsman got it wrong. Naturally, this is disputed… (see Channel 4 News story). You push the tiller right, the rudder swings left, and if the boat were in a pond it … Read more