Clifden RNLI help mark 90th anniversary of mass drowning tragedy
The October Bank Holiday weekend saw the Clifden RNLI lifeboat crew participate in a programme of events commemorating 90 years since ‘The Cleggan Disaster’, the worst mass drowning in the history of the region.
On the night of October 28th 1927, a ferocious storm claimed the lives of 45 fishermen at sea. They came from the villages of Cleggan, Inishbofin, Inishkea and Lacken and devastated the families and communities concerned.
On the 90th anniversary of the loss, a programme of events marked the solemn occasion. Clifden RNLI volunteers attended a memorial mass on Saturday evening in Claddaghduff, and also a wreath laying ceremony at Rossadillisk beach on Sunday afternoon where the victims were remembered and honoured by the local community and their descendants.
Local author, Marie Feeney, gave a talk on the history of the tragedy on Saturday evening to a large crowd and warmly welcomed the attendance and support of the local volunteer crew.
Marie is a granddaughter of one of the survivors of the tragedy, and is author of one of the most comprehensive accounts of the events of that night. A percentage from the sale of her book is donated to the RNLI. See www.mariefeeney.ie for more details.
Clifden RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Catherine Pryce said ‘ We were honoured to be asked to attend this sombre occasion on behalf of the RNLI as our volunteer lifeboat crew provide lifesaving support to these coastal communities.’
‘This devastating Connemara tragedy happened in a time where lifesaving at sea was non-existent in the area and we hope that by working together with the community and fostering a sense of cooperation and communication we can work together to prevent anything like this from happening again.’
RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Catherine Pryce Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Clifden RNLI Tel: 086 400 6666 or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager Tel: 087 1254 124 / 01 8900 460 email Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 087 6483547 email: Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.