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dublin docks

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

Of the 36 people who died in the bombings, only four bodies were found.

East Wall History Group / YouTube

THE FIRST COMMEMORATION in Dublin of two U-boat attacks on Irish ships will occur today, almost 100 years after the fateful event occurred.

On 14 December 1917, the SS Hare was hit by a German U-boat as it travelled from Manchester to Dublin Port, while less than a fortnight later on the 27 December, the SS Adela was sunk as it travelled to Liverpool from Dublin.

Thirty-six seafarers lost their lives in these tragedies, including two women, one on each ship.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Ardmhéara Mícheál Mac Donncha, will join relatives of crew members of the ill-fated ships, along with local historians, community groups and the public to remember those who lost their lives in the attacks.

Ahead of the event today, he said that the incident was not only tragic for the families of those who died, but also “had a major impact on the city and particularly the Dublin Dock communities”.

“Of the 36 seafarers who died, over half lived in the areas adjoining Dublin Port. Tragóid do phobal na cathrach seo a bhí ann agus ba choir cuimhnú orthu siúd a fuair bás.”

Leaflet BACK Dublin City Council Dublin City Council

Today, commemorative plaques will be unveiled on each side of the River Liffey, close to the Dublin Port berths of the vessels on their final voyages. The SS Hare was destined for North Wall Quay, while the SS Adela had set sail from the south side, where its owner Tedcastle McCormick’s was based, at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay.

Of those who lost their lives, only four bodies were ever recovered.

While the ships and crew are remembered on several memorials outside of the capital, this will be the first time they are being commemorated in such a manner in Dublin City and Port.

“This is a very significant commemoration, as Dublin city remembers these innocent victims of war,” Mac Donncha.

“It will be an honour to stand with the descendants of these men and women, as we ensure their loss is not forgotten.”

The importance of this event for the descendants of the crew members was also expressed by the grandson of Christopher Wolfe, who lost his life aboard the SS Adela.

Shay Wolfe said that his grandfather’s legacy still lives on all the way through to his great-great grandchildren.

“The memorial to him and all who died on the SS Adela and SS Hare that is taking place is a wonderful tribute to those who lost their lives, and, a century on, many of his descendants will be in attendance.”

Read: State spends €650k on WB Yeats’ furniture and letters to his wife

Read: ‘A chance to discover 10,000 years of history’: New project to restore Ireland’s bogland

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