Scholars memorial pays tribute to creator of the first submarine
THE CREATOR of the modern day submarine has been honoured at the spot where he came up with the idea.
John Philip Holland was a teacher at the CBS in Drogheda when he began experimenting with a model duck in the school pond, getting it to dive and then reappear.
Within a few years he left for the United States to further his ideas and ended up being commissioned by the US Navy to put his ideas into practice.
In April 1900, the Holland 6 was accepted by the navy.
Eight years later he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun for his contribution to the Japanese navy, building two subs for them.
He also supplied the Royal Navy.
It was no surprise then that all three countries were represented at Saturday's special unveiling of a memorial to Holland in the grounds of where he lived – now Scholars Townhouse.
The limestone display was created by Barry McConville, with Barry McHugh adding to the feature.
The day was very well organised with the Lourdes Brass Band in attendance and the St Peter's Male Voice choir under Edward Holly and accompanied by Klara Bolger.
First Secretary Yamada from the Japanese embassy recognised the role of Holland and the link it created with Japan. Adjutant John Shanahan outlined Holland's life in the US, where his company was based in Patterson, New Jersey. He thanked the McGowan family for the great idea and bringing it to fruition.
Mayor Kevin Callan added that Drogheda was proud of its maritime history and that the town was now claiming Clare native Holland was one of its own.
Minister Fergus O'Dowd spoke about the role of the Christian Brothers to education as a whole, remarking that Brother McDonnell was in attendance on the day.
He then did the unveiling with the great great grandnephew of John Holland, Joseph Gallery.