17 MFómh 2019, 12.25

The Joint Committee on Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will meet tomorrow to discuss the proposed development of the Lusitania Museum in County Cork.

Wednesday’s discussion will be with representatives from Lusitania Museum/Old Head Signal Tower Heritage CLG, with the Committee meeting to start at 2pm in Committee Room 3, Leinster House.

The first sculpture at the Old Head to commemorate the victims of the sinking of the Lusitania was officially opened in 1995 - the 80th anniversary of the sinking, south of the Old Head peninsula. The local voluntary community group, known as Courceys Rural Development (CRD), was responsible for this initiative.

In 2010, CRD decided to explore the development possibilities of the nearby site of the ruinous Napoleonic signal tower. It was established that the Title Deeds to the site were held by the Office of Public Works (OPW). CRD approached the OPW and this resulted in the granting of a 50 year lease.

CRD immediately set about the restoration of the signal tower, the official opening ceremony occurred in 2015 in conjunction with the Lusitania Centenary Commemoration with over 20 Lusitania relatives present.

Once the signal tower had been restored, the design and creation of a sensitive Lusitania Memorial Garden in the sunken semi-circular area on the south sea-ward side of the restored tower commenced. It was opened in 2017.

In May 2019 the wreck of the Lusitania was gifted to the local community by Greg Bemis.

Tomorrow, the Committee will hear about the third part of this plan, the proposed design and build of a Lusitania Museum and Visitor Centre, to inform future generations about the unique value of this historic treasure to the Irish State.

Committee Chair, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, TD said: “The story of what happened to the Lusitania, and the appalling loss of life, is inextricably linked to the Old Head, and Cork, and the local community have long marked and honoured their memory. The Committee is keen to hear from the expert witnesses what is happening locally, and about their plans for development of a museum.”

Committee proceedings can be viewed live here

Learn about the Committee’s recent reports, statements and membership here

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Committee membership

Teachtaí

Independent

Independent

Independent

Fine Gael

Fianna Fáil

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire - Cathaoirleach

Sinn Féin

Fianna Fáil

Seanadóirí

Fine Gael