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Concerts, cruises and exhibits: what's happening to mark the Titanic's anniversary?

Commemorations are taking place in Cobh, Belfast, and Southampton to mark the centenary of one of the deadliest maritime disasters in history.

Image: AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis

IT WAS ONE hundred years ago this weekend that the RMS Titanic sank 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, killing 1,514 people on board in one of the deadliest maritime disasters in history.

A century later, events are taking place to mark the anniversary at Cobh, Belfast, Southampton, and other places associated with the ocean liner. A small number of events will be attended by descendants of people who travelled on the ship but most are aimed at people simply interested in marking the anniversary.

Here’s a round-up of what’s taking place this weekend.

Cobh

The Cork town, which was the final ever port of call for the Titanic, has been running events all year to commemorate the ill-fated ship. On Wednesday, President Michael D Higgins took part in a ceremony to mark exactly one hundred years since the ship arrived in Cork harbour before beginning its final voyage.

The town has ramped up its events this week to coincide with the anniversary; there’s an outdoor concert telling the story of the Titanic’s connection with Ireland, a Titanic Dinner Evening at a restaurant serving a replica of the first class menu during the voyage, a series of lectures organised by University College Cork – and even a Titanic 100 golf classic. The Titanic Experience Cobh, situated in the original offices of The White Star line, is a new permanent visitor attraction in Cobh which tells the story of the people who boarded the ship at Cobh.

(The statue in Cobh to commemorate Irish people who were forced to emigrate. Photo via Titanic 100 Cobh 2012).

Among the events taking place, the Heritage Centre in Cobh has introduced a permanent exhibition of photographs from Fr Browne, who disembarked from the ship in Cobh – but not before he’d taken a series of photos of life on board. The Centre also has an exhibition evoking life on board the luxury ship including artefacts that were rescued from on board.

A full schedule of events can be seen here.

Cruise

Meanwhile, the Titanic Memorial Cruise, currently somewhere  in the middle of the Atlantic, stopped off in Cobh earlier this week to allow passengers to disembark and see the final place the ship ever stopped.

The cruise is retracing the Titanic’s final voyage by following the same route, serving the same food as was on the Titanic, and having bands play music from that era on board the ship. The cruise has 1,309 passengers on board, the same number as was on the Titanic (there were also around 900 staff on board). A service will be held on board today to mark the spot where the ship went down.

Here’s what it was like earlier this week when the Balmoral docked in Cobh:

Concerts, cruises and exhibits: what's happening to mark the Titanic's anniversary?
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    Source: AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis
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Southampton

The Titanic sinking had special significance for the English town of Southampton: more than 500 of the crew who died came from the city, which had been the launch point for the cruise liner.

On Tuesday, it held a special ceremony to mark the anniversary of the ship setting sail, including a minute’s silence throughout the city and wreaths thrown into the water in commemoration.

(All photos: Chris Ison/PA Wire)

Belfast

Unsurprisingly, Belfast is holding a lot of events to mark the hundred year anniversary of the ship which was built in the city’s Harland and Wolff shipyard.

The biggest and most spectacular is the city’s Titanic Belfast, the largest Titanic visitor experience in the world, which opened last month. Tickets for the giant tourist attraction are, perhaps predictably, sold out until Monday. The centre will host a gala ball with singer Brian Kennedy to mark the anniversary and raise funds for the Ulster Cancer Foundation.

The other big event is a commemoration of the Titanic in music and film, with Katie Melus, Bryan Ferry, Joss Stone and the Ulster Orchestra all performing on Belfast’s Waterfront tonight. The concert will tell the story of the Titanic, including how it was built, and will be broadcast live on radio from 8.30pm tonight.

A full series of events in Belfast can be seen here.

(Photo: Paul Faith/PA Wire)

New York

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given that it never reached its destination, not a whole lot is taking place in New York to commemorate the anniversary.

A Titanic anniversary cruise departed from New York on Tuesday and will travel to the site of the sinking to commemorate the 100th year anniversary before returning to New York. The cruise involves lectures about life on board the Titanic, a memorial service, and a visit to Halifax in Canada, where many of the victims were buried.

Lahardane in Mayo

The parish of Addergoole in Mayo has a tragic connection to the Titanic: fourteen passengers on board the ship came from the parish. Of these, eleven drowned and three survived, making it the largest proportionate loss of life of any village in Europe affected by the sinking.

Ireland’s ‘Titanic Village’ has been holding events all week to mark its connection with the ship. Tomorrow Taoiseach Enda Kenny is due to open the Titanic Memorial Park in Lahardane, which will have a 12 foot bronze sculpture of the ship.

Read more pieces about the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic here >

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