The Asgard II - Honourable final voyage

EVER since Erskine Childers sailed the first Asgard and a cargo of 9,000 rifles and 26,000 rounds of ammunition into Howth, on July 26, 1914, for the Irish Volunteers, the name has occupied a prominent place in the Irish consciousness.

Yesterday’s news that the sail training vessel Asgard II had sunk 30km off the coast of France, in the Bay of Biscay, brought the name back to prominence in the most unfortunate way. It is a terrible pity that such a fine institution should be lost but we can take comfort in the fact that no lives were lost. There is too a certain dignity about a ship being lost at sea, especially a craft as beautiful and as graceful as the Asgard. An end like this is far preferable to a lingering, decades-long decay, forgotten at moorings in some dismal backwater.

More in this section