On Saturday 24 June 2017 during the annual Regatta, The Clarecastle & Ballyea Heritage & Wildlife Group will unveil a Memorial to the sinking of the S.S. Keeper which resulted in the loss of four men from Clarecastle and eight other crewmen during the Great War 1914-1918
The S.S. Keeper went missing on or after 10 June 1917 having sailed from Belfast the previous day with a cargo of grain for Bannatyne’s Mills in Limerick. It is thought that the ship was sunk by a German U-Boat. There were no survivors from the ship. Lloyds War Losses notes that the “Keeper” passed Arranmore on 10 June 1917, so the ship must have been sunk off the coast of Donegal. The ship had a crew of twelve men including four men from Clarecastle.
The Clarecastle men of the S.S. Keeper lost on or after 10 June 1917
The Clarecastle men lost on the S.S. Keeper:
MCCREADY, William: Rank: Master of S.S. Keeper..Age at death: 36.
Captain W. McCready was born in Red Bay, Glenarm, Co. Antrim in 1881.He married a Clarecastle woman, Delia Murphy of Main Street on 26 April 1906.
COLE, Robert: Rank: Fireman. Age at dead: 23. He was the son of Richard and Margaret Cole of Clarecastle and he had married Bridget (Delia) Tuohy of Mill Street, Ennis on 27 June 1915.
CONSIDINE, Arthur: Rank: Seaman. He was of an old Clarecastle family of fishermen and river pilots. He was aged 42 and was married in 1900.
MCMAHON James: Rank: Fireman. He was the son of Michael and Mary McMahon of Killoo and Buncraggy and was born in 1891, one of eight children.
The S.S. Keeper Memorial comprises of an old ship’s anchor that was found south of the 1843 Quay in Clarecastle, mounted on a limestone plinth provided by OPW, with wording inscribed by John McTigue, monumental sculptor. The Memorial project was sponsored by Clarecastle Heritage & Wildlife Group with financial assistance from Creative Ireland Clare Community Grant scheme. It is hoped that extended members of the Cole, McMahon and Considine families will be able to attend the unveiling ceremony. The Heritage Group are delighted that Kathleen O’Mahony, a granddaughter of Captain William McCready, will travel from England for the ceremony and will unveil the Memorial. Kathleen has been a frequent visitor to Clarecastle over the years to her late uncle, Pappy McCready, son of the Captain.
Clarecastle Heritage and Wildlife Group is a sub-committee of Clarecastle Community Development –
their aim is to source, collect & publish Cultural, Historical, Wildlife and Natural Amenities material in order to raise awareness and to aid preservation of knowledge and amenities.