The Lusitania

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The Lusitania Medallion at the Museum

On the 7th of may 1915, the Cunard liner RMS LUSITANIA was sunk off the Old Head of Kinsale on its way from New York to Liverpool. She was torpedoed by the german submarine U20, with the loss of 1,195 out of 1,959 passengers, some of whom are now buried at St. Multose Church in Kinsale. Carrying many important personages, including the wealthy american, Alfred Vanderbilt and the art collector, Hugh Lane, the sinking had the immediate effect of bringing America into WW1 and it is because of this that many conspiracy theories exist,not least that Winston Churchill,then Lord Admiral, had prior knowledge of the impending danger from U-boat attack and may have allowed her to be sacrificed for that very end. The LUSITANIA's military cargo, a question which provokes heated debate even today, fuels the argument that, militarily speaking, the Germans may have had a right to sink her.

The inquest into her sinking was held three days after the disaster and its findings have been a matter of much controversy. Today,apart from the court itself, their are various artifacts from and relating to, the Lusitania including the famous Lusitania medallion.

Kinsale Museum, Market Square, Kinsale   ph: (021)4777930       Email                 Site created by Mandy Byrne 2001