Centenary of Lusitania (1915-2015)
Thursday May 7th 2015 marks the centenary of the Lusitania tragedy. Two Coolmeen men were among 1,198 passengers drowned
when the British ocean liner, the Lusitania, was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat. The tragedy happened on May 7, 1915,
when the ship was just 18km off the Irish coast at Kinsale. The Coolmeen passengers were Michael Galvin of Derryshane and
Dr. Joe Garry of Shanahea. Michael Galvin had emigrated to New York on September 21st, 1906 aged 22, he was coming home to
visit his family in Coolmeen when disaster struck a short distance from Ireland. Michael Galvin has one niece living; Sr.
Anne Galvin who is aged 96 years and is a nun in Kent. Recently another niece Delia Willcock's aged 97, was called to her
eternal reward, while last December, Sr. Margaret Galvin aged 98, also a niece died at the convent, in Sittingbourne, Kent.
Dr. Joe Garry was a son of county councillor Patrick Garry and Mary Garry (nee Murphy) of Racket Hall, Ballynacally. Dr.
Joe had another brother in the medical profession - Dr. Michael Garry, who was an Irish international rugby player. Another
brother, John Garry farmed at Shanahea while two sisters, Margaret lived in Loughrea and Ita in Dublin. There are three near
relatives of Dr. Garry still living; Michael Garry a nephew in Canada, Joe Garry a nephew in U.K and Olive a niece
in England plus many cousins in Coolmeen, Kildysart, Ballynacally, Ennis, Limerick and Cooraclare. Dr. Joe had qualified
in medicine at Dublin in June 1914. He had been serving as doctor on the Lusitania for the first time when his life came to
an end. Both Michael Galvin and Dr. Joe Garry will be remembered at their parish church, St. Benedict's Coolmeen on Sunday
May 10th at 9.45am when Very Rev. Fr. Albert McDonnell P.P. will celebrate mass.