Bishops Bless New Titanic Memorial Garden in Cobh, County Cork

The Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, joined the Bishop of Cloyne, the Most Reverend William Crean, in blessing the new Titanic Memorial Garden in Cobh, County Cork on Friday, 11th April.  Queenstown (as it then was) was the last port of call RMS Titanic on 11th April, 1912.

RMS Titanic arriving at Queenstown (Cobh, County Cork) on 11th April, 1912.

RMS Titanic arriving at Queenstown (Cobh, County Cork) on 11th April, 1912.

The Memorial Garden  is situated at the ancient Cove Fort at the eastern end of the town of Cobh beside the Port Operations and Information Station of the Port of Cork (the Pilot Station).  Before the official opening of the Memorial Garden by the Mayor of Cobh, Councillor John Mulvihill, the Bishops joined in a short Ecumenical Service of reading, prayer and reflection before also dedicating the glass memorial ‘wall’ at the heart of the Garden.

The Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Dr Paul Colton, chats with Commodore Hugh Tully of the Irish Naval Service after the dedication.  (Photo:  Brian O'Reilly)

The Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Dr Paul Colton, chats after the dedication with Commodore Hugh Tully, Flag Officer Commanding the Irish Naval Service. (Photo: Brian O’Reilly)

Bishop Colton said:

It really is beautiful and poignant.  Inscribed on the specially designed glass wall are the names of the 123 people who embarked on RMS Titanic at Cobh.  Seventy-nine of those perished in the disaster.   When one faces the memorial and looks through the etching of the ship at the centre of the glass wall it creates the impression of the position of the ship at anchor at the mouth of Cork Harbour on that day in 1912.

I found the occasion very moving, not least because of the music provided by a single cello and one violin, but also, as the new memorial was being blessed, in a lovely moment of thoughtful coordination, the world-famous 49-bell Carillon at St Colman’s Cathedral Cobh, some 100s of metres away in the town centre, played ‘Nearer my God to thee.’  It is a place of solace and appropriate remembrance on that shoreline of embarcation and emigration from which the ship would have been much in sight on that day 102 years ago.

Bishop Colton and Bishop Crean (right) lead the Ecumenical Service prior to the dedication of the Titanic Memorial Garden. (Photo: Brian O'Reilly)

Bishop Colton and Bishop Crean (right) lead the Ecumenical Service prior to the dedication of the Titanic Memorial Garden. (Photo: Brian O’Reilly)

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