The museum would tell the fascinating tale of the RMS Lusitania and house artefacts that have been recovered from the wreck off the coast of Kinsale.
Last day of the Lusitania
On the 7th of May 1915, the RMS Lusitania was nearing the end of what would be her final voyage from New York to Liverpool. She carried 1,267 passengers, including some notably famous and wealthy socialites, and a crew of 693.
About 11 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale, the Lusitania crossed paths with the German submarine U-20. The commanding officer, Walther Schwieger, gave the orders and a single torpedo was all it took. It struck on the starboard bow, alongside one of the cargo holds and moments later a second explosion erupted from within the hull. The ship began to list steeply and just 18 minutes the Lusitania was gone. Of the 1960 people onboard, only 767 survived.
A new museum for Lusitania
The wreck of the Lusitania lies 21 km off The Old Head around 90 metres below the waves. The previous owner, Gregg Bemis, gifted the wreck to Old Head Signal Tower Heritage Group in 2019 in recognition of the achievements of the work of this local community voluntary group and to continue his legacy.
The idea of the museum was first envisioned when the late Mr Bemis signed over ownership of the wreck to the group. Bemis said “The museum will be a permanent recognition of our feelings about the importance of the wreck and of the Lusitania’s place in history – and to pay homage to the victims”
The visitor centre at the Signal Tower has been closed due to Covid and the Old Head Signal Tower Group hope this GoFundMe campaign will help raise the funds to make the brand new museum a reality.
If you would like to donate to the campaign, visit their GoFundMe page.