Newry Maritime Association (NMA) is a voluntary group dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the history of the Port Of Newry and its environs.
We are also a registered charity in Northern Ireland. Last year marked the centenary of the worst tragedy to impact this region. On 3 November 1916, 94 people perished when the collier SS Retriever and the passenger/livestock ferry, SS Connemara collided at the mouth of Carlingford Lough (see pages 42-46 in this month’s Sea Breezes).
As part of our Centennial programme of events, NMA externally illuminated Haulbowline Lighthouse and this was the first time such a feat had been achieved on a wave washed lighthouse in Ireland or Britain. This year, we received a request from HM Coastguard asking if we would dedicate our illumination to the memories of the crew of an Irish Coastguard helicopter which crashed off the coast of Mayo in March this year. All four crew were killed and only two of the bodies have been recovered.
Our event was held at the lighthouse on Friday 11 August and continued until Friday 1 September. The Irish Coastguard conducted a fly past of Haulbowline Lighthouse on 11 August.
Perhaps this little item may be of interest to Sea Breezes readers and it is our way of saying thanks to those who died in the service of others and those in the Emergency Services who risk their lives on a daily basis as part of their job.
JAMES MC AREVEY