A Donegal priest has said that those who lost their lives in the Arranmore Disaster in 1935 will never be forgotten.
Fr. John Joe Duffy, a former PP of Arranmore Island – said the repercussions of that unimaginable tragedy are still felt to this day on the Island.
It is eighty years to the day – since a yawl carrying twenty passengers left Burtonport harbour bound for Arranmore Island.
However, the yawl ran up on a rock and NINETEEN souls perished in the freezing water.
Only ONE man survived and that was the late Paddy Gallagher, who unbelievably lost his father, four brothers and two sisters in the tragedy.
The following is an extract from The Irish Times which was reported at the time of the tragedy, “The yawl ran up on a rock, throwing the passengers backwards into the sea, and tearing a hole in the keel.
“Nine made it on to the keel from the water, but a moment later, the yawl turned over and threw them off again. This time, one made it back to the keel, Patrick Gallagher, helping his father Edward and brother John up with him.
“A few hours later, Edward lost consciousness and slipped into the water, Patrick unable to hold his father any longer. John died in his brothers arms, but Patrick could not bear to let him go, holding him until they were found about 8 o’clock the next morning.
Fr. Duffy posted the following tribute on his Facebook timeline, “At 6.20 pm on this day 80 years ago, the most tragic event occured off Arranmore Island when 20 people were involved in a boating tragedy.
“It would change the Island forever. The consequences are felt to this day in the demographics of the island. One man survived on that dreadful night. The late Paddy Gallagher.
“Lets us remember Paddy Gallagher and the 19 who lost their lives, and their families.
“Edward Gallagher, 61, his sons, Edward Gallagher, 24, John Gallagher, 22, Michael Gallagher, 29, and Charles Gallagher, 20, his daughters Madge, 28, and Hannah Gallagher, 16, (father and six children), Anthony Gallagher, 17, and Edward Gallagher, 15, brothers, Manus Gallagher, 17, Daniel Gallagher, 27, and Hannah Gallagher, 21, Patrick O’Donnell, 44, and Kate O’Donnell, 45, brother and sister, John Rodgers, 34, John O’Donnell, 50, Edward Ward, 51, Peter Leonard, 61, John Gallagher, 20.”
“May they rest in peace. They will never be forgotten.”Tags: