Canadian Ambassador to Attend Remembrance Ceremony in Fahan, Buncrana, Co Donegal.
Mr Patrick Binns, Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, is to attend a wreath laying ceremony in Fahan on Saturday 26th January, in memory of the 344 men who perished on the HMS Laurentic which was sunk off Lough Swilly on 25/1/1917 at the height of the first World War.
This ceremony is the initiative of Don McNeil, a Newfoundlander now resident in Buncrana, and the Ulster Newfoundland Initiative. 21 of those who died on the Laurentic were from Newfoundland.
The Canadian Ambassador will be accompanied by Captain Norm Jolin who will represent the Canadian Navy, and wreaths will also be laid by the Inishowen Friends of Messine, the Royal Naval Association, the RNLI, and the Ireland Newfoundland Partnership.
Hidden for years behind Fahan COI Church, a large Celtic Cross marks the mass grave in which many of the Laurentics passengers and crew now rest. Many other victims of both the Laurentic and other ships sunk by both Mines and U-Boats are buried in graveyards around the coast of Ireland.
This is the second year in which the Laurentic has been remembered in this way and the ceremony also marks the beginnings of a better appreciation of the links between the North West of Ireland and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It is hoped that further events will be planned and that stronger links will be forged between these two communities.
The wreath-laying ceremony starts at 2pm sharp and the organisers would like to invite everyone from Inishowen and the North West to come along, not only to remember the Laurentic but to show solidarity with the people of Newfoundland, with whom we have such strong historical links.
HMS Laurentic, large Celtic Cross
This large cross in the Church of Ireland graveyard at Fahan in in memory to those who lost their lives following the sinking of the HMS Laurentic.
Below is an extract from the site giving some details on remembering this sad event.
Posted on Jan 16 2008:
DEVON MEN WHO DIED IN THE SINKING OF HMS LAURENTIC IN 1917
On R238 from Derry to Buncrana at Tooban, Burnfoot
Fahan, Via Lifford, Co. Donegal
Republic of Ireland EIRCode F93 XY65
ROI Registered Charity Number (RCN): 20205867