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Sunday, 20 September 2020

RMS Leinster

RMS Leinster


On October 10, 2018 An Post has commissioned a stamp to commemorate the Centenary of the sinking of RMS Leinster.

The sinking of the mailboat, RMS Leinster, in the Irish Sea by a German submarine in 1918 had a particularly devastating impact on the Irish postal service. The estimated death toll of 567 included 21 of the 22 postal workers who were working in the mailroom on board, as the boat made its way from Kingstown (now Dún Laoghaire) to Holyhead in Wales.

The RMS Leinster torpedo sinking is the worst single disaster in that stretch of water and the greatest ever tragedy to involve an Irish-owned ship. Despite the likelihood (definite statistics are unavailable) that more Irish people perished than were lost on the Titanic in 1912 or on the Lusitania in 1915, the sinking has been overshadowed by these two incidents.

An official commemoration will take place in Dún Laoghaire on October 10 to mark the centenary of the actual date of the sinking and to remember those who perished. This will entail a significant cultural element, as well as a formal commemoration and wreath-laying ceremony, with participation by the Irish Naval Service. On that date, the vessel will also come under the protection of the National Monuments Act, which covers all shipwrecks over 100 years old.