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It's been 100 years since two Dublin ships were torpedoed just before Christmas

36 people died in two separate attacks just 10 days before Christmas in December 1917.
Dec 24th 2017, 10:33 AM 12,855 25

SS Hare painting A painting of the SS Hare, commissioned by Eric Hopkins in memory of Joseph Hopkins, who died in the torpedo attack. Source: Eric Hopkins

THIS MONTH MARKS a century since two well-known ships were sunk in Dublin Port just over a week before Christmas.

Dublin City Council are remembering the tragic events that surrounded the World War 1 torpedo attacks that killed 36 people with an exhibition and other events.

On 14 December 1917, the SS Hare was travelling from Manchester into Dublin when it was torpedoed. Almost a fortnight later, the SS Adela was torpedoed as it travelled from Dublin to Liverpool.

Just 12 people survived the two attacks.

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John Jones’ great-grandfather George Jones died aboard the SS Adela. He says the two attacks were significant because of the “heavy loss of life in the relatively small and tight knit communities around Dublin Port”.

A newspaper report from the time estimated that there were up to one hundred dependents left behind by those who perished on the SS Adela.

Hilary Wallner is the granddaughter of Able Seaman Joseph Hopkins, who lived on Pigeon House Road and died aboard the SS Hare:

“I am so glad to see, one hundred years after these terrible tragedies that they are being so respectfully remembered by Dublin City Council and the people of Dublin have an opportunity to learn their story.

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It is important to me that my grandfather, Joseph Hopkins, is remembered, but the trauma and hardship his death led to for the surviving family members must also be acknowledged.

“All the victims of these attacks must be properly commemorated, and we must also be aware of the long term effect on those who survived.”

An exhibition remembering the tragic events will be on display at Dublin City Council’s Civic Offices, Wood Quay until Friday 5 January.

Read: A century after the attack, fatal U-boat bombing commemorated in Dublin

Read: Great tragedy of 500 lives lost in sunken mail boat RMS Leinster retold

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Gráinne Ní Aodha


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