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Lusitania's telegraph for display locally

November 9th, 2016 7:15 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Diver Eoin McGarry with one of the telegraphs from the sunken ship the Lusitania, which he recovered on Saturday last off the coast of Kinsale.

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THE diver who recovered one of the telegraphs from the sunken ship the Lusitania off the coast of Kinsale coast intends to mount another operation next year to recover the bridge telegraph from the ship. 

Dungarvan diver Eoin McGarry – who has dived the wreck more than anyone else – along with Mark Brennan, have dived there five times this year, but last weekend’s good weather gave them the perfect window to recover the telegraph.

‘We had been looking at the forecast and the weather looked good for the weekend so we said we would go on Saturday,’ Eoin told The Southern Star.

‘We were searching out off the wreck and we found the telegraph and bought it up by the use of a life bag. 

We still respect the wreck and to recover a few pieces will keep the memory alive.’

Eoin was working under licence from Heritage Minister, Heather Humphreys, which was granted under the National Monuments Acts.

US millionaire Gregg Bemis owns the wreck of the Lusitania, having bought it in 1968, and Eoin has undertaken previous diving missions, including one last year where he bought up the pedestal for the bridge telegraph.

‘I would like to congratulate Mr McGarry and his team for their diligence and success in very difficult recovery efforts, made all the more difficult by weather, tides and lack of visibility at 90-plus metres,’ said Mr Bemis.

‘The co-operation from the Minister’s office has been especially appreciated in our efforts on behalf of history and to the ultimate benefit of Ireland.’

Minister Humphreys also welcomed the find: ‘It is great news that the telegraph was safely on shore and will now be conserved by Mr Bemis, who hopes to place the artefacts recovered from the Lusitania on display locally, which of course would be of great benefit to the people of Kinsale,’ said Minister Humphreys.

Since an Underwater Heritage Order was placed on the wreck of the ship by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Mr Bemis along with Mr McGarry had complained last year that the ‘rules and regulations’ were interfering with the dives, but Mr McGarry said these restrictions had eased somewhat.

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