Cobh is a small town close to Cork. It has a particularly deep harbour which has given Cobh its special place in history, a place associated with great tragedy. Failures of the Irish potato crop to blight between 1845 and 1850 produced a terrible famine. This led to mass emigration, mostly to North America. 1.5 million desperate people left home and family behind during this six year period. The century after the famine struck, saw over six million Irish people emigrating, 2.5 million of them leaving from Cobh. During the first half of the 19th century, 40,000 Irish convicts were deported to Australia from Cobh as well. Huge numbers perished at sea, from storm and disease.
Cobh's next brush with tragedy was in 1912, when the Titanic stopped by to collect the last passengers to embark on its first and last Atlantic crossing. Then, Cobh was known as Queenstown, newly named following a visit by Queen Victoria. Prior to that, it had been known as Cove, the English spelling of Cobh. The final name change took place in 1920. 123 passengers embarked at Queenstown, taking the total on board to 2206, including crew and passengers. next stop was the iceberg.
Three years later, a German U-boat torpedoed the Lusitania, a cruise ship carrying 1959 people, close to Cobh. 761 survived and were transferred to Cobh's hospitals. The dead that were recovered are buried in Cobh's cemeteries. There's the excellent Queenstown Heritage Centre in Cobh which is well worth a visit if you're anywhere near the Cork area. Added bonus for us is that son, Edward lives temporarily (with Karen and little Ffion) just across the water at Rochestown, and there's a great little ferry to take us over. With such a tragic history, its not surprising that Cork gave birth to the fearsome spirit that is Roy Keane,who began his brilliant playing career with Cobh Ramblers.