If you would like to submit a contribution to our Readers Blog section then follow this link. Be sure to include your full name, address and contact number otherwise your submission will not be considered for publication. We will contact you prior to publication.

Was lead submarine stoker Denis O’Connell a relative of yours?

On June 4, 1919, HM Submarine L55 sank in the Baltic Sea. L55 had been targeting two Bolshevik warships. It is unclear whether the submarine was sunk by Bolshevik gunfire or from straying into a British-laid minefield.

The presence of the British navy in the Baltic Sea area contributed to the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania achieving independence after the First World War.

Denis O’Connell was a leading stoker on the submarine. The casualty details state that Denis was the son of Mary O’Connell of Flaherty’s Hill, Pouladuff Rd, Cork and the late Denis O’Connell.

According to the census returns of 1901 and 1911, the O’Connell family lived in the townland of Curraghconway, Lehenagh, Cork. The O’Connell family in 1901 was, as follows: Denis (36) coachman, domestic servant; Mary (35), William (11), Michael (10), David (8), Denis (7), Mary (5), John (3). The O’Connell family in 1911 was, as follows: Denis (49) coachman, domestic servant; Mary (50) from Co. Waterford; Michael (20) railway porter; Denis (18) general labourer; Mary Margaret (16); John (13).

Estonians are preparing to celebrate 100 years of independence and it would be a fitting tribute to the part played by Denis O’Connell if a representative of the O’Connell family could attend.

Even though my surname is O’Connell, I am not a relative to Denis. My son was requested to try to locate a relative by the Irish Ambassador to Estonia. Any replies to: lachteen@eircom.net

John O’Connell



Co Cork


SECOND Captains is one of the long-running success stories in Irish podcasting. Ostensibly a sports show led by Eoin McDevitt, Ken Early, and Ciarán Murphy, the former Off The Ball team from Newstalk launched the podcast in mid-2013. two Monday shows are offered for free, with Tuesday-Friday behind a Patreon subscriber model and dubbed ‘The World Service’. It has more than 11,500 subscribers.Podcast Corner: First-class podcasts from Second Captains

The incredible life of Ireland’s first celebrity chef has been turned into a play, writes Colette SheridanHow Maura Laverty cooked up a storm

Their paths first crossed on the top floor of the library at University College Cork in October 2010 when both were students there so Amy Coleman and Steven Robinson were delighted to retrace their footsteps on their big day.Wedding of the Week: College sweethearts open new chapter

Peter Dowdall reveals why all roads will lead to Tullow in County Carlow on February 1Snowdrop patrol: Why all roads will lead to County Carlow

More From The Irish Examiner