Two anchors from the 1916 gun-running ship ‘Aud’ are to go on display in Cork and Kerry following their extensive renovation and conservation. The German vessel was intercepted by the British Navy off Cork with a munitions shipment for use in the 1916 Rising. The scuttled vessels anchors were retrieved from Cork harbour in 2012.
Originally the British merchant vessel ‘SS Castro’, she was captured in 1914 at the outbreak of the first world war by the Imperial German Navy and renamed ‘Libau’. Her relevance to Irish history began on the 9th April 1916 when disguised as Norwegian vessel ‘Aud’ and under the Command of Karl Spindler, she set sail from Baltic port of Lübeck. Significantly, she was loaded up with munitions that included 20,000 rifles, machine guns, giant bombs and 1 million rounds of ammunition to be brought to Ireland for use in the Rising.
However a communication mix up occurred which meant she couldn’t land the cargo in Fenit, Co Kerry on the 20th of April, as planned. Instead, Spindler and the ship attempted to sail for the safety of deeper water. In this time however the British Navy had formed a blockade and intercepted the ship and her cargo. Captain Spindler allowed the ship to be escorted towards Cork Harbour, in the company of the British navy sloop HMS Bluebell but en route he and his crew decided it was better to scuttle the ship.
The Anchors were recovered in 2012 from the wreck site in Cork harbour and underwent extensive restoration and conservation. The Department of the Arts and Heritage said it expected one anchor to go on display in Fenit, Co Kerry, and the other in Cobh, Co Cork.