On the way we passed more road art. There was a sequence of four or five pillars, a memorial to the Choktaw nation’s sending relief during the Famine.
Cobh is a small town on an island in Cork harbour; it was the last stop the Titanic made on its only voyage. It was the embarkation point for a lot of crossings, particularly emigrations. Cork Harbour is one of the largest natural harbours in the world, and was used by the British Navy before independence.
Cobh waterfront buildings, with a view of the cathedral.
Memorial to the sinking of the Lusitania, with an angel representing the desire for peace and exhausted figures representing the local fisherman who rescued several hundred people from a ship that sank in minutes.
Dr. Michael Martin, told us that the Lusitania is now known to have been carrying munitions and thus was a legitimate military target which the shippers surrounded with human shields (something that is now considered a war crime). It also was never mentioned in the American debates over whether to join the Great War, so the legend that it brought the USA into the war is false.
Dr. Martin also told us about the Titanic. At the time number of lifeboats was set by ship tonnage, not number of passengers on board. The ship indeed had too few lifeboats, by a factor of about two, but that was the law of the time. As with the Lusitania, there are false legends, in this case “women and children first.” There were plenty of spaces for all the women on board, but classism kept people from steerage off the lifeboats entirely until the 8th or 10th (my memory fails me). This building was where people would have embarked – the upper classes being allowed to wait inside, while the lower classes had to stay outside.
Afterwards, we drove to County Kerry and the city of Cill Airne (Killarney), where we had dinner and spent the night.