Local passengers ‘fleeced’ before embarking on Titanic

Titanic remembered
‘Extortion’ in Cobh

Local passengers ‘fleeced’ before embarking on the Titanic

Edwin McGreal

While the fourteen people who travelled from Addergoole parish in North Mayo and John Flynn from Clonbur had to contend with expensive prices for the time to travel third class on RMS Titanic - varying sums between £6 and £8, a tidy sum at the time - they had to part with a nice chunk of money to get a bed in Cobh the night before they left. “They were fleeced in Cobh!,” says Dr Paul Nolan, Chairperson of the Addergoole Titanic Society. “They had to pay seven shillings and six pence (three half crowns) each for a bed for the night. If you consider the most expensive room in Galway during Race Week, that price in Cobh, for its time, was three times worse.
“One guy from Caltra in Galway who stayed in the same guesthouse wrote a letter from Cobh back home giving out about the price of the bed and saying that they were sent out by the landlady in the morning in an awful rush without a breakfast and she was telling them that their boat was there and they had to hurry.
“When they got to the pier, the boat wasn’t there at all! Three  half crowns for a bed with no breakfast in 1912 was extortion but the landlady had no problem doing that because she would hardly see them again,” chuckles Dr Nolan.
Interestingly five people from the village of Caltra travelled on the Titanic. One of those five, Ellie Moclair, made it safely to the same lifeboat as Annie-Kate Kelly from Addergoole and both became nuns in subsequent years.