Friday, 1 April 2011

Kilmore Quay

Kilmore Quay
1.15am Christmas Eve - 1977

Lady Murphy on Christmas Eve
Out from the Kilmore Quay
Seven men in the freak-wave night
Out on the Irish Sea

Rolling over the lifeboat went
Round and upright again
Lost Joe Maddock out in the dark
One of the lifeboat men

"What'll they think - on Christmas Eve
Hearing I'm lost at sea"
The lifeboat searched and picked him up
Out from the icy sea

Four men left in the next capsize
Walsh and Devereux and then
- both the Culleton men hauled back -
Maddock was caught again

Culleton and Devereux held tight
Walsh moved the lifeboat on
Finton Sinnott had drifted off
They searched - but he was gone

Maddock hauled in on Christmas Eve
No-one was fit to stay
The lifeboat went back to Kilmore
And - at the light of day

Another crew came to search again
When they might hope to see
But Finton Sinnott was dead by then
Thrown ashore by the sea

Poor Finton Sinnott the fisher man
Made up a short-run crew
As brave as any man in the boat
He'd known what he must do

© 2002 Charlotte Peters Rock

On Christmas Eve in 1977, the Kilmore Quay Oakley class lifeboat Lady Murphy launched in response to a report of red flares off Bannon Bay, Co Wexford. After a fruitless search and in worsening conditions, the Kilmore Quay lifeboat headed for home but capsized. The acting coxswain was washed overboard but was picked up.

Continuing homeward, the lifeboat capsized again and only three crew managed to remain onboard. When the Lady Murphy righted, all crew except one were brought onboard. Crew Member Finton Sinnott lost his life.

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