On Sunday, 2 December, at the altered time of 2.30pm, there will be a ceremony at St. Mary’s Collegiate Church to honour all the members of the Armed Forces lost from Youghal during WW1 and WW2. The ceremony will include the unveiling of a new memorial bearing the names of soldiers and naval crew members from the town who died in battle. As more names come to light as research progresses, they will be added to the memorial plaque in due course. Norman McDonald, one of the organisers said, “Invitations have been sent to representatives of the various Naval and Armed Services such as the Munster Fusiliers, Western Front, O.N.E., Connacht Rangers and others. It’s going to be a dignified and fitting tribute to those that gave their lives and the families they left behind.” Youghal Choral Society members will also be attendance performing songs and hymns commemorating the lives and bravery of those who died. The effect of these losses on the town at the time can scarcely be imagined.
For example, on 25 January 1917, the HMS Laurentic, was en route to Canada from Liverpool. She made an unscheduled stop at Buncrana, Co.Donegal, as 4 passengers were suffering from yellow fever and need urgent medical treatment. As the ship sailed back out to sea, she struck two German mines just off Lough Swilly. In less than half an hour, the ship had disappeared beneath the waves. Of the 475 people on board, only 121 survived. Among the 354 souls who perished that day, were 5 sons of Youghal. A devastating loss for such small, close knit community. Only one of the bodies that of Michael Lynch (30), was recovered washed up on Buncrana strand. He was buried in Fahan churchyard. Co. Donegal. The bodies of Patrick Brennan (22), James Gaule (23), John O’Brien (29) and John Buckley (22) were never found.
On the day of the ceremony, parking will be extremely limited near the church grounds so organisers would like to encourage people to find alternative parking. Any elderly attendees or those with mobility difficulties can be driven as close as possible to the gate and escorted inside but cars must be parked in the various car parks around town. For anyone wishing to lay a wreath during the service, please contact Reverend Andrew Orr at email@example.com or call 024 92350.