Seafarers’ monument to be unveiled in honour of lives lost at sea

A seafarers’ monument born out of a fishing tragedy in Union Hall that claimed five lives will be unveiled in the village this weekend.

The monument, which features a five tonne 18th century anchor discovered on the sea bed, is dedicated to lives lost at sea down through history, including the crew of the Tit Bonhomme, which sank on January 15.

The project, initiallyintended to be a flower garden, evolved into a seafarers’ monument during a massive search effort to recover skipper Michael Hayes and his crewmen, Kevin Kershaw 21, 35-year-old Wael Mohamed, 26-year-old Attaia Shaban and 22-year-old Saied Ali Eldin.

Their names, along with more than 70 others from parishes bordering Glandore Harbour who lost their lives at sea, have been inscribed on a plaque to be unveiled on Sunday, July 22.

“When we looked into how many people were drowned out of the parish of Myross and around the harbour area we were astonished,” Union Hall tidy towns committee member Willie O’Donovan said.

The monument marks the entrance of the village from the eastern side and looks out towards the mouth of the harbour. Work was carried out mainly by local volunteers and fundraising to pay for the €16,000 project continues.

The centrepiece anchor measures a towering 23 ft by 13 ft and was recovered from the seabed at ‘Big Sound,’ between Low Island and Myross Graveyard on the mainland in 1999.

It was discovered accidentally by the crew of the Ros Anne when her nets got caught on its hook.

It was raised from the seabed by a local crew on board on An Neachtáin, skippered by Aodh O’Donell. The anchor had been a cause of much annoyance to local fishermen because so many nets had snagged on it.

“It’s something that will be there forever now as you enter the village, dedicated to those who lost their lives at sea. The people gave their time to build it and it’s a credit to them,” Mr O’Donovan said.

Marine Correspondent Tom McSweeney will official open the monument on Sunday at 3pm. The ceremony includes the laying of a wreath by seafaring men from either side of the harbour, Connie Glanton from Glandore and Joe Kelleher from Union Hall.

St Fachtna’s Silver Band, the Myross Choir and singer Yvonne Deasy will perform, while members of the Glandore Coastguard Unit will read out the names of all those lost at sea.

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