Additional Information: From the Dictionary of Disasters At Sea (Hocking/Lloyds)
The Connemara, Capt. G. H. Doeg, was employed on the run between Holyhead and Greenore. On the evening of November 3rd, 1916, in the teeth of a fierce gale the steamer left Greenore with 55 passengers and 31 crew. In crossing Carlingford Bar she ran into heavy seas flowing on a strong ebb tide and was swept across the bows of the s.s. Retriever, 459 tons, Capt. P. O'Neill.
This ship, which belonged to the Clanrye S.S. Co. of Newry, was already in difficulties as her cargo of coal had shifted soon after she left Garston and had made her almost unmanageable.
There was no time in which to take avoiding action and the Connemam's port side crashed on to the bows of the Retriever and then tore away. In five minutes the Connemara had sunk with all on board.
The Retriever managed to keep afloat for about a quarter
an hour, after which she also sank with all her crew save one man.
This man, James Boyle, was an eye
witness of the collision and testified to the helplessness of both captains to avoid it.
The state of the sea prevented the launching of any boats and he had been saved when the boat which he, with other members of the crew, was trying to launch was swept overboard with himself as the only occupant.
The total loss of life was 94 persons, of whom eight were the crew of the Retriever.
Previous update by Bruce Biddulph
Photo supplied by John Ward~McQuaid