Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sea Tragedy - Islay

As I returned to the car after my walk to the hermitage I came across this monument to a sea tragedy in 1847, when the brig Exmouth wrecked on the nearby shore. The plaque, Gaelic on one side, English on the other, reads:

This memorial is dedicated to the memory of 241 Irish emigrants who lost their lives on the 28th April 1847, when the brig 'The Exmouth of Newcastle' out of Derry and bound for Quebec Canada at the time of the great famine, was wrecked on the N/W coast of Islay. 108 bodies, mostly women and childeren (63 under the age of 14, and 9 infants) were recovered and are buried under the soft green turf of Traigh Bhan. May their souls rest forever in the Peace of Christ.

The beach of Traigh Bhan is just south of the hermitage I'd hiked to. I regret not knowing about the graves, as I would have walked the extra mile to pay my respects. Google Earth shows several large mounds there (55°50'36.37"N, 6°26'59.10"W). Does anyone know if these are the graves?

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