The Sinking of R.M.S. Lusitania and Safety of Life at Sea;

The importance of the great trans-Atlantic Liners to Irish Emigrants.

Luton Irish Forum, 102 Hitchin Road, Luton LU2 0ES

 Advance booking is essential    Doors open at 7pm    Free parking onsite and in adjacent public car park


Luton Irish Forum introduces its latest cultural seminar this November with a presentation by Michael Kingston on the sinking of the R.M.S. Lusitania, the safety of life at sea and the overall importance of the great trans-Atlantic Liners to Irish Emigrants.

On May 1st 1915, the British passenger liner Lusitania, under the command of Captain Turner, set sail from New York destined for the port of Liverpool. On 7th May the ship crossed paths with the German U-boat U20 off the Head of Old Kinsale, Ireland. At around 2:10 pm a single torpedo was fired without warning at the side of Lusitania on the command of Captain Schweiger. This caused a large explosion, followed by a second, muffled explosion coming from the bottom of the ship. Lusitania tilted to its right side and within eighteen minutes was sunk. Several ships responded but only reached the Lusitania two hours after she had sunk. Out of approximately 2,000 passengers that were on board, 1,201 people lost their lives.*

In the seminar, Michael Kingston will take a look back at the failures of duty to rescue during the sinking of the Lusitania and the role of the United Nations in helping to avoid dangerous encounters at sea. He will use the seminar as a chance to explain the pre-war links between the wife of the Captain of the German U-boat and the local doctor’s wife in Michael’s home village of Goleen, and how their correspondence after the event sheds a very different light on the knowledge and intentions of the U boat Captain.

Michael Kingston was brought up in Crookhaven Harbour, Co. Cork under the glare of the Fastnet Lighthouse, the last landmark that the Lusitania saw before she sank. Kingston now works in London for DWF LLP (a British Law Firm) in their marine Trade and Energy Group and was named Global Maritime Lawyer of the Year by the Lloyd’s List in 2014. A recipient for the United States Coastguard Challenge Coin for his contribution to safety of life at sea, Kingston is currently representing the International Union of Marine Insurance at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) on Polar Issues.

Kingston is heavily involved in the Irish Community in the United Kingdom, and maintains close connections with Ireland. He is a Director of the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith and is a member of the Mayor of London’s St Patrick’s Irish Advisory Forum representing the GAA and London Irish, and he is a member of the GAA All Britain Competition Committee. He also supports the business community of both countries though the important trade associations such as the British –Irish Chamber of Commerce, the London Irish Construction Network, The British Irish Trade Association, the IDA and Enterprise Ireland.

Launching at 7.30pm on Tuesday 8th November 2016, the Luton Irish Forum are looking forward to hosting the Lusitania seminar.

Tom Scanlon, Chairman of Luton Irish Forum said: “The Luton Irish Forum is delighted to have the opportunity to host a discussion about one of the most infamous maritime incidents in history.

This is going to be a really exciting evening, when we get the chance to learn more about an event that shaped the future of safety at sea.”

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PRESS RELEASE Luton Irish Forum presents The Sinking of R.M.S. Lusitania