Over the centuries the seafaring communities of North Louth and the County Down Coastline held firm to their proud Maritime History. However in regard to fishing fleets together with crews and ships under sail, steam and oil that have tramped / fished throughout the Oceans of the World, tragedy has never been far away.
Since the 19th century within Carlingford Lough catchment area numerous wrecks and tragedies have been recorded which portray the treacherous conditions these seafarers faced day and daily in many instances far beyond the sight of land.
The incident on the 3rd of November 1916, that of the collision between the Holyhead bound passenger steamer the SS Connemara and the Newry bound collier the SS Retriever at the entrance to Carlingford Lough which resulted in the loss of 94 lives, was one of the most tragic events visited on our coastline and indeed that of Irish Maritime History.
While the Lough itself, in many ways acts as a barrier, communities on each side have been interacting through many avenues over the centuries. Recently a joint partnership project between Greenore Greencastle Community Association and Kilkeel Development Association funded by the International Fund for Ireland managed by the Northern Ireland Rural Development Council under the Integrating Communities Programme successfully incorporated the skills set of local primary schools and active retirement groups in both Kilkeel and on the Cooley Peninsula.
Following a series of interactive events inclusive of exchange visits with the common theme being the research of the Connemara / Retriever disaster, a booklet has been compiled with the collective researched information.
In Greenore on Saturday next the 3rd of November 2012, on the 96th Anniversary of the tragedy where those lost will be remembered with prayers and the laying of a wreath at the commemorative seat on the promenade at 2.30 p.m. Also on this occasion local elected representatives will be in attendance to launch our booklet “The Maritime Heritage Trail across Carlingford Lough”.
For further details contact: Greenore Coop at 042-9373822
Mourne Maritime Museum at 048- 41762525.