A special fund aimed at raising money to erect a permanent memorial to Leitrim’s only victim of the Titanic, Matthew Sadlier, has been launched in Carrick-on-Shannon.
The launch was attended by relatives of other victims on the Titanic who travelled from Counties Mayo, Galway and Roscommon to pay their respects, as well as members of the Mohill Youth Group which has been instrumental in starting the ball rolling to ensure that a proper memorial is put in place to the memory of Matthew.
Cllr Francis Gilmartin, who officially launched the memorial fundraising drive said that it was “only fitting that a memorial be set up for this young man” who, like so many other Irish people at the time, had left for a better life in America. He was joined in his good wishes by Cllr John Ward who also paid tribute to Matthew’s memory.
A special parade was held as part of the memorial celebrations with a pony and trap organised by Fred Gill, Drumsna, flag bearers from the Mohill Youth Club, lone piper, Frank McCabe, Keshcarrigan and bell ringer, Michael Kelly. They were joined by local residents and members of a the local choir organised by Bernie Philips, who sang a number of hymns including, “Nearer my God to Thee’, reputed to the be last music played on Titanic as she sank.
Members of the Mohill Youth Club laid red roses on the waters of the Shannon River in memory of Matthew and the other victims of Titanic and TJ Kilgannon, author of ‘Titanic (West of Ireland Connections)’ gave those gathered an insight into the life of the people who, like Matthew, travelled from the West of Ireland to a new life in America on board the Titanic.
A special note of thanks should go to the organising committee, Michael Kelly, Sarah O’Reilly and the Mohill Youth Club. Thank you also to everyone who provided pictures, memorabilia, books etc including Jim Glancy, Brendan Whelan and Adrian Hunt at the launch evening in the Bush Hotel - a big thank you also to Joe Dolan and his wonderful staff for their hospitality. Thanks also to Frank Feery who made the video and provided the fabulous music on the night along with Jason Lyons and also to the local dancers and other entertainers.
Thanks also to Ashton Coles Boyle, granddaughter of Eddie Coles, Carrick-on-Shannon, who painted a beautiful image of the Titanic and to everyone who assisted on the night and in the promotion of the fund launch.
During the next few weeks the memorial fund organisers will be looking for volunteers to assist and run local fundraising events in Mohill and all over Co Leitrim with all funds raised going to the memorial for Matthew.