Queen Mary II crew to remember Lusitania in Cobh

THE magnificent €700 million Cunard flagship Queen Mary II is on its maiden visit to Cobh.

Hundreds of people are expected to jam the Cork Harbour town’s quays to watch the 1,132ft-long vessel’s scheduled berthing before noon on Wednesday next.

A spokeswoman for the Port of Cork said that Cunard’s president, Peter Shanks, had asked if he could lay a wreath on behalf of the company at the Lusitania memorial in the town centre.

Cunard owned the Lusitania, which was torpedoed by a German U-boat on May 7, 1915, eight miles off the Old Head of Kinsale.

The ship sank in 18 minutes, killing 1,198 of the 1,959 people aboard.

The sinking turned public opinion in many countries against Germany, and was instrumental in bringing the US into World War I.

Wreaths will also be laid at the memorial by the captain of the Queen Mary II, Commodore Bernard Warner, officials from the Port of Cork, the Irish Naval Service and the Organisation of National Ex-servicemen (ONE).

The wreath-laying ceremony will take place at 2.15pm and a number of dignitaries will attend, including the Mayor of County Cork Cllr Derry Canty and the city’s Lord Mayor Cllr Dara Murphy.

The Queen Mary II is stopping in Cobh as part of a transatlantic crossing and will leave at 6pm the same day.

Her magnificent facilities include 15 restaurants and bars, five swimming pools, a casino, a ballroom, a theatre, a planetarium and kennels.

The 148,528 tonne vessel is capable of carrying up to 3,056 passengers and has a crew of 1,253.

The luxury liner is a gourmet’s paradise.

Each year her passengers consume 230,000 bottles of wine and 1.5 million other drinks.

In addition they scoff their way through 7,000 boxes of strawberries, 38,000lb of smoked salmon, 198,000lb of pineapples and enough beef to supply the city of Cork for a year.

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