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City of Limerick

Shipwreck of the City of Limerick Schooner, and plunder of her Cargo.

Picture Representation only!

This vessel was off the heads on Thursday night, and out for sea, when a tremendous wave struck her on the bows, clearing the decks of bulwarks, stancheons, and every portable article, so as to render her almost entirely unmanageable. Her mast was also sprung by the violence of the storm.- Nevertheless, the master and the crew endeavoured to keep her off the coast, but the wind blowing furiously from the west, and a violent sea setting in, drove her nearer to land: as a last resource on Friday morning, daylight appearing, and still nearing the coast, anchors and cables were let out, under which the vessel dragged for some time, but eventually was swept in upon the sands at Ballybunnion, on the Kerry side of the Shannon, by the overwhelming fury of both wind and tide. Representation of a Schooner

For some minutes before this the prominent points of the coast were covered with hundreds of the peasantry, anxiously watching the fate of the vessel, and so soon as she struck they rushed down upon the strand, where the ill-fated schooner was already dashing to pieces at each succeeding shock from the combined force of both elements. The master, mate, and crew, escaped ashore, with no other casualty, but the fracture of a limb to one of the latter, but as soon as those shipwrecked mariners gained terra firma, the peasantry surrounded them, knocked down the master, robbed him of a small parcel he had saved from the wreck, deprived the mate of his watch, and attempted also to strip the unfortunate sailors.

Some of the coastguards had now arrived, and lent their assistance to save the crew from violence and protect whatever portion of the cargo remained from plunder, for the number of the peasantry had rapidly increased, and as the bottom of the vessel had broken up, several puncheons of the whiskey floated towards shore, and these were eagerly broached by the crowds assembled, when the coastguards, striving to cover the property from absolute ruin and spoliation, fired on the plunderers, by which one man was shot. This inflamed the passion of the wreckers to desperation, and the made a simultaneous attack on the small coastguard party, who were obliged to fly for their lives.

Then commenced a scene of indiscriminate wreck and plunder- axes, sledges, and saws were employed to cut up the schooners decks, and get at the residue of the cargo, consisting of beef, pork, bacon and butter, which they hurried away into the interior, upon horses and cars etc. with perfect impunity. Many of these wretches were soon stretched upon the beach like pigs, in a beastly state of stupefaction from the liberal draughts of whiskey they had imbibed, and seven are returned as dead, from too freely indulging in this poisonous liquid. Sunday morning, Mr. Sandes, a magistrate of Kerry arrived to witness this revolting spectacle, and adopted every means in his power to save the wreck and property from utter destruction. A reinforcement of the Police and military came to the aid of the water guards, and the wholesale plunder was at length checked.

(Report Limerick Chronicle)

Reference; Evening Freeman Thursday 5th.December 1833.

0 Comments · 5343 Reads · Print  -> Posted by Tony on April 29 2007


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