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Bere Island to mark US Navy arrival centenary

June 29th, 2017 2:20 PM

By Southern Star Team

The ‘USS Utah' anchored off Bere Island where it and other US naval vessels were based towards the end of World War One a hundred years ago.

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BERE Island will host a number of events to mark the centenary of the US Navy being stationed on the island in 1917, over the weekend of Saturday, July 1st, and Sunday 2nd.  

In 1917, while protecting the sea lanes off southern Ireland during World War One, American battleships and submarines from the US naval fleet anchored in the sheltered harbour off Bere Island, while in between patrols, where they would be protected by the extensive gun batteries on the island.  American sailors came ashore to Rerrin Village to post mail home, and played baseball on a baseball diamond laid out at the British Admiralty Recreation Grounds in Rerrin.  

On Saturday 1st next, at 2.30pm, at the Lecture Theatre, Rerrin, Damien Shiels will give a talk on the presence of the US Navy in Cork in 1917. Damien is a historian and conflict archaeologist with Rubicon Heritage and has undertaken considerable research into presence of the US Navy in Cork during World War One.  

That Saturday evening at 6.30pm, in the Bere Island Heritage Centre, island historian, and author of ‘Bere Island: A Short History,’ Ted Sullivan, will give a talk on the US Navy presence on Bere Island. 

On Saturday evening at 8.30pm, Cúigear will perform a concert at the Heritage Centre, featuring songs from World War One.  

On Sunday, July 2nd, local historian Barry Hanley will lead a guided walk around the military fortifications of the eastern island of the island. 

The meeting point for the walk is outside Murphy’s Shop Rerrin at 11.30am.  

Admission to the concert is €5, all other events are free.  For further details, see www.bereisland.net or contact 027-75099.

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