The Notorious WASP and Moville

    The Wasp has gone down in history as one of the most infamous British gunboats that ever entered Irish waters. It was lost off the coast of Tory in September 1884 on a mission to collect a few pounds of arrears in rent from islanders on Inistrahull. It was the era of the Land War, when the Land League was in control and led a campaign of non-payment of rent. It was also a decade which saw the…

The U Boat Surrender on Lough Foyle

There were 470 U – Boats in the Germany navy and they played a deadly role in the elimination of millions of tonnage of shipping on the high seas. On April 20 Hitler committed suicide and the Regenbogen (Rainbow) was put into operation. This involved the planned mass scuttling of the German fleet. But the plan fell apart on May 8 when Germany surrendered unconditionally. Some Nazis had hoped that U Boats would provide one last escape route for the…

Tobacco smuggling and the Minnehaha clipper.

Two of the captains of the Minnehaha – the renowned  “green yacht from Derry”- were Pat McGonigle and Willie McLaughlin, who married Sarah McCann of Carrowmena in 1887. Tobacco was becoming very popular and the Minnehaha was involved in smuggling it. Some was smoked but more often than not it was chewed.  It was heavily taxed and consequently a smuggling trade opened up in illegal tobacco. Most of the bales were normally off loaded at Inishtrahull for later shipment to Derry but…

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