Lahardane, ('leath ardán' which means 'half the hill' in Irish), is a beautiful, tranquil village nestled at the foot of Nephin mountain. It is just over 25km from Castlebar heading north and just under 10km to the south of Crossmolina. Lahardane is known as 'Ireland's Titanic Village' as the parish (Addergoole) was home to fourteen passengers who were on that ship which sank on April 15th, 1912. Eleven of those perished in the tragedy with the other three surviving.
The locals decided some years ago that it would be appropriate to commemorate the story of the ‘Addergoole Fourteen’. The 100th anniversary was in 2012 and the committee worked hard to have the memorial park open for those commemorations. The park tells the story of the devastating impact the sinking of the Titanic had on a small rural community.
The 11 who perished were; Catherine Bourke, John Bourke, Mary Bourke, Mary Canavan, Pat Canavan, Bridget Donohue, Nora Fleming, James Flynn, Catherine McGowan, Delia Mahon, Mary Mangan. The 3 who survived were; Annie Kate Kelly, Delia McDermott, Annie McGowan. Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny performed the official opening of the park in April 2012 and the event was attended by descendants of Pat Canavan, Annie McGowan, and Delia McDermott. Descendants of Annie McGowan traveled from Chicago including her daughter, Mary Kabolnek. As part of the commemorations, local craftsmen in the parish built a replica of the Titanic (which was one-eleventh of its size) and launched on Lough Conn during a Titanic Ball. The building of the vessel was a closely guarded secret and came as a total surprise to the more than 400 people attending the ball as it floated past the Pontoon Bridge Hotel on Saturday 14th April 2012.
The local church, St. Patrick's, has two stained glass windows dedicated to emigration and the Titanic. The 'Emigration Window" is dedicated to all those who left Addergoole Parish over the years while the 'Titanic Window' depicts Boat 16 being lowered. Every year, the bells of the church ringing out through the night remembering their dead. The Addergroole Titanic Society website explains:
"The society's annual bell-ringing ceremony takes place in the very early morning of 15th April, between 2 am and 3 am. The Timoney Bell in St Patrick's Church grounds, Lahardane, North Mayo is used to commemorate the 14 Addergoole passengers who were on RMS Titanic when it sank. Mícheál O'Tiomnaidhe, the renowned Gaelic Scholar and folklore collector, erected this free-standing bell in 1937. It is tolled at 2.20 am. We start with slow knells for the 11 victims that drowned. This is followed by fast joyous rings for the 3 women saved. Many of the Society's bell-ringers are direct descendants of the Addergoole Fourteen."
More details can be found here: http://www.addergoole-titanic.com/
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