Five Coastguardsmen Drowned


It is with much regret I have to announce a most deplorable catastrophe which took place on Monday night in Dundalk Bay. Five fine fellows, all married, and some having six children each, left their station at Dunany with a load of firearms for Soldier's Point on Monday. They arrived safely about mid-day, and in a few hours after, about five p.m., they left Soldier's Point for their station at Dunany. There was some wind, but no danger was apprehended, and especially as it was blowing off the shore. In a conversation with the coastguardsmen at Soldier's Point, they praised the sailing powers of their boat, which was her first voyage, having been only a few days at the station, and was a new cutter. They left in the prime of life and strength, little thinking it was their last voyage in this world. The crew consisted of Henry Granton, chief officer; Daniel Sweeny, and James Clancy, commissioned boatmen; James M'Cracken, and Richard Frazer. Not having reached their destination on Monday evening or night the greatest alarm was felt along the coast and at Dunany, and early on Tuesday morning the coast was searched for the missing boat and her unfortunate crew. The revenue cruiser, the Fanny, had a sharp look out, and fell in with the boat outside Dunany, and drifting towards Clogher Head. Her sails were set, and under water, and it was with great difficulty she was towed into the small harbour at Dunany.. The fearful scene of grief of frantic widows and orphans cannot be described, and there is no hope that any of the brave men have been saved - all have perished in a watery grave. The chief boatman at Soldier's Point, a person of great experience, Mr. Thomas Jones, informs me that he feels quite sure that the boat was upset in a squall, and that as the accident happened late in the evening, and probably a good distance from the shore, that all have been drowned. The wind is blowing from the land, and in all probability the bodies will be carried out to sea, and it will be some time before they are recovered.

About three years ago a somewhat similar calamity occurred, when three pilots were drowned on the Cooley coast. On that occasion it was supposed they were under the influence of drink, having got a bottle of rum from a foreign ship in the bay; but it is satisfactory to know that the five fellows drowned on the present occasion were all perfectly sober when they sailed from Soldier's Point on what proved to be their last sad voyage of life. Up to the time of sending off this dispatch, seven p.m. none of the bodies have been found, and there is a cry of grief and sorrow at Dunany that words cannot describe.

Reference: "Freemans Journal" 30th. April 1868.

1 Comment · 13390 Reads · Print  -> Posted by Tony on November 08 2014

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#1 | kdxxx on 18/02/2015 03:55:32
I am a descendant of Morgan Sweeny, Coastguard Dungloe, Malin Beg 1828-maybe a relative Daniel also, Killkerin 1838, Killieres 1839-1848 (possibly Wyke Regis Dorset 1841-1848)Clifden,Galway and Strangford, Down. Does anyone know any details of the Daniel Sweeny who drowned at Dundalk Bay so I can see if he is related to Morgan Sweeny, thanks kdxxx
 

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