Anchors from 1916 German gun-running ship, the Aud, on way to Cork and Kerry for public display

The two salvaged anchors from the 1916 German gun-running ship, the Aud, will be ready for permanent public display within weeks.

Anchors from 1916 German gun-running ship, the Aud, on way to Cork and Kerry for public display

The Department of the Arts and Heritage said it expected one anchor to go on display in Fenit, Co Kerry, and the other in Cobh, Co Cork, following an extensive restoration and conservation project.

A spokesman for the department said the approved method statement for the recovery, and conservation, of both anchors provides for the stockless anchor to go to Cobh, and for the admiralty anchor to go to Fenit, subject to National Museum of Ireland approval.

“It is the department’s understanding that the National Museum of Ireland has been in contact with Cobh Heritage Centre, with a view to progressing the matter and to advise in relation to the display of the anchor at the centre, and to review the arrangements to receive the anchor, once the conservation process is completed,” he said.

Originally an English merchant vessel captured by the Germans, in 1914, the renamed Aud was disguised as a Norwegian freighter, and was dispatched to Ireland, in 1916, to deliver a shipment of arms for the Easter Rising.

It was carrying 20,000 rifles, machine guns, giant “clockwork” bombs, and 1m rounds of ammunition when it arrived off the Kerry coast on April 20, 1916.

However, as a result of confused communications, it was unsuccessful in landing its cargo, as planned, in Fenit Harbour.

The ship was subsequently intercepted by the royal navy, while attempting to escape into the deeper waters of the Atlantic.

While under escort to Queenstown Harbour (now Cobh) the captain of the Aud, Karl Spindler, scuttled it, rather than have it fall into enemy hands.

Expert diver Eoin McGarry and archaeologist Lar Dunne led a 2012 recovery operation, licensed by the then heritage minister, Jimmy Deenihan, under the National Monuments Acts, to recover the anchors and other artifacts.

Mr Dunne, who has spent the last three years conserving the anchors, attended their unveiling, last month, by German ambassador Matthias Höfner, former minister Mr Deenihan, and members of Tralee Bay Heritage Association.

The anchors have since been returned to Mr Dunne’s facility, for the final stage of conservation, a painstaking process that should be complete within a matter of weeks.

Once the monitoring period passes, and Mr Dunne signs off on the work, the way will be cleared for both anchors to go on permanent public display in Kerry and Cork.

GPO hero Diarmuid Lynch

A new TV documentary is set to shine a light on a forgotten hero of the Easter Rising.

The dramatic story of Corkman Diarmuid Lynch — the last man out of the GPO in 1916 — will air on TG4 on Easter Monday.

Diarmuid Lynch
Diarmuid Lynch

Lynch, from Tracton, attended the fateful meeting with Pearse, MacDonagh, Plunkett, and MacDiarmada on Easter Saturday 1916 which determined that the Rising would go ahead. Four of them would be executed within a month. Lynch was the only one to survive.

Yet despite his key role in a pivotal moment in Irish history, little is known about his life. The documentary, produced by Tony McCarthy and directed by Ciara Hyland of ForeFront Productions, charts his tumultuous life, his escape from death, his jail wedding, his rustling of a herd of pigs to feed Dublin’s poor, his deportation to America, and his long-running feud with De Valera.

McCarthy and Hyland paid tribute to Eileen McGough whose book, Diarmuid Lynch: A Forgotten Irish Patriot, helped restore his place in history. The programme airs on TG4 at 7.30pm on Easter Monday March 28.

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