by Terri Bey
I would like to wish everyone reading this blog a Happy St. Patrick's Day. This is a traditional Irish day of celebration in honor of St. Patrick. I hope everyone has something green on. I realize that the current circumstances have once again canceled many St. Patrick Day parades, but hopefully, 2022 will be the year they return and I hope that today will be celebrated somehow.
As today is St. Patrick's Day, I have decided to write a brief blog about the Irish who traveled on the Titanic in hopes of a better life in the New World. Ireland had suffered through the Irish Potato Famine, also known as the Great Hunger, which began in 1845 and lasted until about 1852. The famine, caused by a fungus, killed about one million Irish, due to starvation, as one-half of the crop of potatoes were ruined the first year and over the following years, three-quarters of the remaining crops were destroyed.
The effect of the Famine cause many in Ireland to leave their home country. Even decades after the Famine, people in Ireland were still leaving because of lack of work, etc. These folks left Ireland on various ships, including the Titanic, for a better life in the New World. As most were very poor, they sold most of what they had and took what they needed, and traveled in Steerage or Third Class. Ship Companies like the White Star Line made most of their money from Steerage Class. Many of these passengers boarded RMS Titanic at Queenstown, Ireland, now Cobh.
The most notable Irish passengers on the RMS Titanic are known as the Addergoogle 14. This is a group of 14 people from the Addergoole parish from a village called Lahardane in Mayo County, Ireland. All 14 boarded the Titanic at Queenstown and traveled in Third Class. Of the 14 who sailed, only 3 survived. Addergoole parish sadly suffered the largest proportionate loss in all of the localities when the Titanic sank. It is really hard to imagine losing 11 people from one place.
There is a memorial in Addergoole as well as a plaque in St. Patrick's Church in Lahardane to honor the Addergoogle 14.
The following is a wonderful documentary about the Addergoole 14. I highly recommend it.
I can't imagine what it was for those people, as well as that parish, once they received the horrible news. It had to have been unimaginable.
I dedicate this St. Patrick's Day blog to the Addergoole 14 and to all the Irish Passengers who sailed on that fateful voyage.