Tributes to fallen friends

Irish Examiner - Supplement - - KINSALE - Áilín Quin­lan ■ 021 4772503 / khar­

Kin­sale may now be one of Ire­land’s top tourism hubs, but me­mo­ri­als to Lusi­ta­nia and to all fish­er­men who have lost their lives at sea show that Kin­sale re­mains a fish­ing vil­lage at heart.

Jan­uary 2007 was a deeply tragic month for the Ir­ish fish­ing in­dus­try.

On Jan­uary 10 came the sink­ing of the Pere Charles ves­sel off Hook Head, and then, less than 12 hours later, in the early hours of Jan­uary 11, the sink­ing of the Honey­dew II off Ram Head near Ard­more, Co Water­ford.

On board the Pere Charles were Tom Hen­nessy (32), his un­cle, Pat Hen­nessy ( 48), Billy O’Con­nor ( 50); Pat Coady ( 27) and Ukrainian na­tional An­driy Dyrin (32).

Skip­per and fa­ther- ofthree Ger Bo­han ( 39) from Kin­sale and Pol­ish crew mem­ber To­mas Yagla ( 32) died in the Honey­dew II sink­ing — the trawler had left its fish­ing grounds to help with the search for the Pere Charles.

The sink­ings made na­tional and in­ter­na­tional head­lines, and were the cat­a­lyst for the for­ma­tion of a small com­mit­tee in the town of Kin­sale,

Ea­monn O’Neill, chair­man of the Lost At Sea Me­mo­rial Com­mit­tee re­calls how the two sink­ings in­spired lo­cal peo­ple to be­gin a cam­paign to erect a large me­mo­rial to fish­er­men lost at sea from the port of Kin­sale.

The town al­ready had a me­mo­rial dat­ing back to a do­na­tion to the har­bour com­mis­sion­ers, back in the 1980s, by fish­er­man, Jimmy Hur­ley, of an an­chor that he had found in his nets. The an­chor was erected on the town’s small pier, op­po­site Ac­ton’s Ho­tel, to the mem­ory of those lost at sea.

Fol­low­ing the twin tragedies of the Pere Charles and the Honey­dew 11 in early 2007, a ded­i­cated Lost At Sea Me­mo­rial Com­mit­tee was formed in Kin­sale.

Their ob­jec­tive — to plan for the erec­tion of a spe­cial me­mo­rial ded­i­cated to the mem­o­ries of the many fish­er­men lost at sea over the gen­er­a­tions.

Re­calls O’Neill said: “We de­cided to bring lo­cal ar­chi­tect Robert Ja­cobs on board, and asked him to come up with a de­sign.

“He came up with the idea of a replica model of a Kin­sale hooker. We had that made by lo­cal ship­wright Ray O’Cal­laghan and had it en­cased in cop­per.”

John O’Ma­hony of Lit­tle Is­land, he re­calls, cre­ated a separate piece, in the shape of a sail, which was erected be­hind the sculp­ture of the hooker.

The me­mo­rial cost in the re­gion of about € 5,000, but the com­mit­tee wasn’t fin­ished — it’s cur­rently hard at work on the third and fi­nal phase of the project, which is ex­pected to be in­stalled some­time be­fore the au­tumn. This will be a touch-screen de­vice, lo­cated at the me­mo­rial, con­tain­ing in­for­ma­tion about those lost at sea from the port of Kin­sale.

“It will act as a kind of data­base from which in­for­ma­tion could be down­loaded re­motely — and also ac­cessed by mem­bers of the public at the me­mo­rial it­self,” Ea­monn ex­plains

“We are cur­rently fundrais­ing for this,” he says, adding that it is ex­pected to cost in the re­gion of about € 8,000, a large por­tion of which has al­ready been raised: “We are now nearly three- quar­ters of the way there and we hope to have it in place by the au­tumn of this year.”

The dig­i­tal de­vice is per­fect for what they are plan­ning he says: “We were look­ing for some­thing which could pro­vide the story and the de­tails of those lost — such as the time, the ves­sel’s lo­ca­tion, and even pho­to­graphs. The dig­i­tal route al­lows us end­less scope for pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion right across the spec­trum about those lost at sea.”

A spe­cial com­mit­tee will over­see the data, which will have to be col­lected and au­then­ti­cated be­fore be­ing grad­u­ally added to the data­base and con­tin­u­ously up­dated.

“The idea be­hind this dig­i­tal el­e­ment is to honour and to com­mem­o­rate those lost at sea from this port,” says Ea­monn, who also adds that the com­mit­tee is cur­rently ap­peal­ing for do­na­tions.

Any­one who wants to con­trib­ute — ei­ther fi­nan­cially or in tech­ni­cally, in terms of de­sign — should con­tact Ea­monn O’Neill or John O’Ma­hony, care of the Har­bour Of­fice, Kin­sale.

Pic: Dan Line­han

Ea­mon O’Neill, John O’Ma­hony, Rob Jacob, de­signer of the me­mo­rial boat, and Al­bert O’Neill at the Lost at Sea Me­mo­rial.

Pic­ture: DP Barry

Joseph Bo­han, son of Ger Bo­han, at­tend­ing the re­cent Sea Sun­day Re­mem­brance in Kin­sale har­bour, with Rev Peter Ruth­ford and John O’Ma­hony skip­per of the Seán Mair.

Pic­ture: Pa­trick Ho­gan/Pro­vi­sion

Mary Bo­han (left), wife of Ger Bo­han, with her fam­ily and An­netta Jaglar, the wife of crew­man To­mas Jagla and her fam­ily at the me­mo­rial ser­vice at Kin­sale in June 2007 for the two men who lost their lives at sea.

Pic­ture: DP Barry

Uni­formed per­son­nel from a se­lec­tion of or­gan­i­sa­tions de­part­ing St Mul­tose Church, Kin­sale, after an ec­u­meni­cal ser­vice to mark Sea Sun­day com­mem­o­ra­tions of those lost at sea.

Pic­ture: Des Barry

Honey­dew II skip­per Ger Bo­han, who died re­spond­ing to calls to help those on board the ‘Pere Charles ‘in 2007.

Pic­ture: DP Barry

Naval per­son­nel stand to attention for the Sea Sun­day cer­e­monies at Kin­sale which re­mem­bered all those lost at sea.

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