Cobh Tourism Board Member Jackie Coakley laying a wreath at a Glass Headstone for the victims of the Lusitania at the Old Church Cemetery in Cobh. Photo: Cobh Tourism

Lusitania legacy lives on thanks to Cobh Tourism

Organised by Cobh Tourism, the ceremonies will pay tribute to all those who lost their lives when the British liner was torpedoed by a German submarine on 7 May 1915 off the Cork coast. Many of the dead were buried in Cobh.

The memorial ceremony will start at the Lusitania graves in the Old Church Cemetery on the outskirts of Cobh at 2.30pm this Sunday. Following prayers, musical honours by the Commodore Male Voice Choir, and the laying of wreaths, the proceedings will move to Cobh town centre. Representatives of the Royal Naval Association and other maritime and historical groups will assemble at approximately 3.15pm at the Lusitania Peace Memorial in Casement Square.

On 7 May 1915, the Cunard ocean liner Lusitania was sunk by a German torpedo 11 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale.

The ship had been en route from New York to Liverpool with 1,962 people onboard. Once damaged, the Lusitania quickly listed to one side, making it difficult to launch lifeboats. A flotilla of rescue boats was launched from the nearby Cork coast and while 761 people were saved, 1,201 passengers sadly lost their lives. The majority of their bodies were never recovered.

Survivors were ferried to Cobh, known then as Queenstown, and were accommodated in local hospitals, lodging houses and private homes. Nearly three days after the sinking of the Lusitania, over 145 of her victims were buried in three mass graves and some smaller plots in the Old Church Cemetery, 80 of whom were never identified.

As part of the commemoration, visitors to Cobh are invited to follow the Lusitania Trail which includes the Lusitania Peace Memorial in Casement Square, ‘Lusitania: A Day in May Exhibit’ in Cobh Museum, and the Lusitania Exhibition at Cobh Heritage Centre.

The extensive exhibition includes images from the Poole Collection of glass plate photographs taken by Irish photographer AH Poole in the days following the sinking. In addition, the cruise ship Ambassador Ambience will arrive mid-morning on Sunday. Ambassador is a new UK-based cruise line, the first new British cruise line to be launched since 2010.

Musical performances will take place every Sunday from now until September on the Victorian Bandstand in Cobh’s Promenade.

This Sunday the Cork Light Orchestra will perform from 2.30pm until 4.30pm. The summer series of recitals on the 49 bell Carillon of St Colman’s Cathedral has also commenced. Recitals are from 4.30-5.30pm on most Sundays from May to September.

For more information on Lusitania Commemorations, cruise liner visits, and visitor attractions in Cobh, visit