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  History of the RMS Leinster

The Holyhead to Kingstown mailboat during the First World War. This vessel is Dun Laoghaire’s very own Lusitania. The R. M. S. Leinster belonged to the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company, carried passengers and mail between Ireland and Wales. During the conflict the Irish Sea was the scene of much U-boat activity and the Germans had made several attempts to sink boats of the mail service before this. The mail boats were relatively fast vessels and relied on speed rather than convoy protection to carry them safely across the Irish Sea.

The Leinster was attacked by the German submarine UB 123 on 10 Oct. 1918 off the Kish Bank. it was carrying over 700 passengers, about 300 of these would have been soldiers bound for England and the Continent. The ship was torpedoed twice, three minutes apart. The first torpedo struck the post office quarters, killing all but one of the post office staff. In total there were only 256 people rescued, most of the survivors being taken to hospital in Kingstown. This represents one of Dun Laoghaire’s greatest tragedies.

The Museum’s display on the Leinster includes an original model, documents from, and relating to the vessel and a portal from the wreck of the ship.

For more information on the R.M.S. Leinster please visit www.rmsleinster.com

The information on this page was kindly supplied by Paul at the National Maritime Museum

For an interesting site about Irish Wrecks visit www.irishwrecksonline.net

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