Times Past  

By Albert Bree

Sligo Weekender, May 10, 2004

A reader recently gave me the following extract from the 'Sligo Chronicle' dated November 1st 1862 headed 'Shipwreck-loss of life on Innismurray.'

On the night of Sunday 19th October, a vessel, the 'Margaret Night', of Blythe, North of England, bound for South America, laden with coals, was blown on the Western side of the Island of Innismurray, in Sligo Bay, and in a few hours became a complete wreck. The mate and one seaman were saved, but the Captain and six of the crew perished. The bodies of the Captain and three of the men were washed ashore and buried on the Island. The other bodies have not yet been found. The mate and the other seaman could not leave the island until Wednesday last when they landed at Streedagh, where they reported themselves to O. Jones, Esq., agent for Lloyds who had every attention paid to the poor fellows.

It is pleasing to state that the inhabitants of the island behaved with the greatest kindness to the survivors, supplying them with food and clothing.

Scene of the wreck is 'Poll an Ancaire' on the N.W, shore beyond 'Poll an Seantuine'. The anchor in still there. The bodies washed ashore were buried at the Sailors Grave near (south of) the presumed megalithic tomb remains.

Cooper and Noble were the names of the two rescued men and Seanin read out of a book: "Anyone who takes anything of this ship will be transported or chanced to be hung!" In consequence there was no pilfering of the wreck. (With thanks to Finbar McCarthy).