independent

Monday 22 September 2014

Local family uncover a piece of history with Titanic paper

FIONA MAGENNIS

Published 07/08/2008 | 14:38

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Michael Corbally with the copy of a newspaper published just after the Titanic sank and a Will which was found with the paper

A local family has uncovered a piece of history after finding a newspaper chronicling the aftermath of the titanic sinking and a will for a man with the same name as their father.

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Michael Corbally was delighted when his daughter found a copy of the Daily Mirror dated from April 19th, 1912; five days after the historic ship sank. ‘They belong to my daughter, she found them and gave them to me because the name on the will.



It had the same name on it as my father, Matthew Corbally.’ In an even more bizarre twist, the man was also from the same area as Michael’s father. ‘It is amazing that the man had the same name as my father and came from the same area - it wasn’t him, obviously!



My father’s family is from out by Drumconrath and so was this man so it is possible there could be some connection. ‘It was very interesting to be to read it because he had the same name as my dad, who was born in 1902.’



He explained the will was written in April 1915. After some investigation, Michael went to the graveyard in Drumconrath and found the grave of Matthew Corbally who died three months after the will was made.



‘I visited Drumconrath graveyard and I found a grave I presume is his; he died three monts after the will was written in July 1915,’ Michael explained. In the will, according to Michael, the deceased left £300 to his wife, Ina, as well as £300 to the church in Meathhill, £300 to the Cathedral in Mullingar and £300 to the church at Newtown, near Drumconrath.



He said the will, in total, amounted to £1,590. ‘He left money to the parish priest in Newtown, he left £50 for repairs to Newtown chapel and £30 to cover the cost of a grave in Newtown and a headstone.’



The paper, also provides an interesting insight into the reaction to the sinking of the world’s largest boat, which was described at the time as ‘unsinkable’. The paper calls on the board of trade to change the laws on the provision of lifeboats following the terrible tragedy in which 1,600 people lost there lives.



It notes that the 20 lifeboats on the vessel were four in excess of the number required in order to comply with the law even though there were 2,000 people on board. It also relates a number of eyewitness accounts from survivors, including their claims of having seen Captain Smith shoot himself on the bridge of the ship.



‘I have a real interest in historical things which is why my daughter gave this stuff to me,’ said Michael. ‘It is really interesting to look back on.’

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