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Lahardane’s Titanic commemoration attracts international press

STORY CONTINUES Great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews of Mayo’s Titanic victims, Jessica Canavan (9), her brother Ciarán (6), Grace O’Kane (9) and Eoghan Rowland (8). Behind stands a 12-foot bronze Titanic bow sculpture in the new Titanic Memorial Park, which will be officially opened on April 15. Pic: Henry Wills.

Lahardane’s Titanic commemoration attracts international press

Trevor Quinn

Lahardane, in the parish of Addergoole in north Mayo, suffered the largest proportionate passenger loss when RMS Titanic sank on April 15, 1912. The village lost eleven members of its community on that fateful day (three others survived). Now, with the 100th anniversary fast approaching, the village is attracting the attention of the worldwide press.
Journalists from as far away as Brazil and New York are expected to descend on Addergoole next month to report on its centenary Titanic commemorations.
According to the Chairperson of the Addergoole Titanic Society, Mr Paul Nolan, the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph in London and a television station from Brazil are just some of the media outlets planning to report from Lahardane. 
Mr Nolan, who was speaking at the launch of Mayo Titanic Cultural Week (April 8-15) at the Pontoon Bridge Hotel on Friday, revealed that he is intrigued by the level of media interest. “We were nobody. We were not Cobh, we were not Queenstown, we were not Southampton and we were not Belfast, yet slowly [the media] began to come down to listen to our story, which is very different from the one told in films and books.”
On Easter Sunday, former President and local resident, Mrs Mary Robinson will officially open the Mayo Titanic Cultural Week at 10am at St Patrick’s Church. Fourteen locals will enact the departure by horse and sidecar and travel the two-hour journey to Castlebar Railway station, where a specially commissioned plaque in memory of the ‘Addergoole Fourteen’ will be unveiled.
A new Titanic Memorial Park will also be officially opened in the centre of Lahardane at the end of the week, one hundred years to the day after the famous ship sank. Mr Nolan explained that the park will honour not just those who departed on the Titanic, but all of those who have emigrated from Ireland. He also thanked Dr John Fleming, Bishop of Killala, for donating a site.
Most of the Mayo Titanic Cultural Week events are free of charge. Further details of the week-long programme can be viewed at www.mayo-titanic.com.

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