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Cobh joins in plans for Titanic centenary



image_479f7ec2c0a4fAN Irish town is to play a major role in the 100th anniversary commemorations of the sinking of the Titanic.

Titanic left Belfast‘s renowned shipyard in 1912 hailed as the new wonder of the world. It was the largest and most luxurious ship at that time, and Cobh in Co Cork was the liner’s last port of call before its fatal voyage. A total of 1,513 people died when the ship hit an iceberg off Newfoundland in April 1912.

Yesterday, Michael Martin, a former member of the Naval Service who runs the Titanic Trail in Cobh, confirmed that the local council had signed a memorandum of understanding with a series of other Titanic related cities in relation to the centenary commemorations.

Cities such as Southampton, Liverpool, Halifax (Nova Scotia), New York and Cherbourg are to work together to host a series of events in 2012. Cobh Town Council has formally approved plans to be involved in the commemoration ceremonies.

Mr Martin said the events hosted in Cobh would remember all of the people impacted by the tragedy, including the 79 who boarded the liner when it anchored in the Co Cork town. “It will all be commemorative not celebratory. For the 95th anniversary we lit 79 candles in St Colman’s Cathedral here and also had a ecumenical service.

“We will do something on a larger scale for the 100th.”

“We will have a series of events and would be inviting people who attend to go to Spike Island as well. Spike is the closest island to where the ship was anchored and anyone there would have seen the towering image of the Titanic. Cobh Town Council are completely on board for this. It is at the planning stage at the moment.”

In 2000 Mr Martin was involved in the placing of a brass memorial plaque on the Titanic. The wording on the plaque read “Commemorating all those lost on RMS Titanic. From the people of Cobh (Queenstown) and Ireland. Go dtuga Dia suaimhneas siorai dananamacha.”

The diver who placed the plaque on the Titanic, Rory Golden, is expected to be come to Cobh for the centenary celebrations.

Meanwhile, Michael Martin is hoping to launch a book on the Titanic to coincide with the 100th anniversary in 2012.

His Titanic walking tour has been operating on a daily basis since 1998.

The actual building in which the White Star Line Office was is visited as is the pier where Titanic passengers departed.

Anyone who has a connection to the Titanic who would like to play a role in the commemorations is asked to email Mr Martin at or c/o The Titanic Trail, Carrignafoy, Cobh, Co Cork.

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