Thursday 23 May 2019

Sligo lives lost on mail boat

On the morning of Thursday,10th October 1918, the Leinster set sail from Dún Laoghaire's Carlisle Pier. Aboard were an estimated 77 crew, 22 postal sorters (250 sacks of mail), approximately 180 civilians and in the region of 500 soldiers.

The mail boat was torpedoed by a German submarine not long after it had left Kingstown (Dún Laoghaire) harbour on its way to Holyhead. The loss of life totalled 569 and it brought the First World War, in its final stages, very close to Irish shores.

Other ships passed the way but were ordered not to assist for fear of more torpedoes. Survivors struggled to get onto life-boats or hold onto pieces of wood floating on the water. Rescue boats did not arrive for hours. Heroes emerged including Robert Lee, son of the very successful Irish employer Edward Lee and William Maher, a crew member among others.

To highlight the 100-year anniversary of this tragic event a number of events are scheduled to take place across the country.

The Sligo people who lost their lives on the Leinster were:

Barlow, Emily E, 42, Riverstown, Sligo; Chrystal, Frederick, 42, Cattle trader, Sligo; McLynn, Lizzie Anne, 22. Nurse. Sligo; Walsh, Joseph, 27. Post Man. Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo.

Sligo Champion