Titanic workers remembered in Belfast

Published Friday, 06 July 2012
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First Minister Peter Robinson has unveiled a new plaque remembering the eight forgotten victims of Titanic, who died while building the ship in Belfast over 100 years ago.

Titanic workers remembered in Belfast
Peter Robinson and organiser Tommy Smith at the unveiling of the new memorial (© Pacemaker)

Mr Robinson was part of a small group outside Harland & Wolff Welders Club on Dee Street in the east of the city on Friday to unveil the plaque to the eight workers.

Mr Robinson said the men were an integral part of the story of the ship.

"It is right that they are commemorated within the heart of east Belfast where the vast majority of shipyard workers came from," he said.

"In an era when the phrase 'health and safety' did not even exist it was seen as an inevitability that lives would be lost during any major construction or engineering project.

"It is important the story is told of those who built what was the largest ship afloat at that time," he added.

This plaque commemorates part of the proud industrial heritage of Northern Ireland and it could only be unveiled today thanks to the work and initiative shown by members of the Harland & Wolff Welders Club.

Peter Robinson

The construction of Titanic began in Slipway No 3 in March 1909 - over two years before the ship's hull was launched in Belfast Lough on 31 May 1911.

Declared seaworthy, Titanic left Belfast for Southampton days before disaster struck during her maiden voyage on 15 April 1912.

In April, a huge memorial was dedicated in the grounds of Belfast City Hall to those who perished when Titanic sank in the North Atlantic after hitting an iceberg.

It carries the names of the 1,512 passengers and crew who died in the sinking carved into five bronze plaques - the first time all the victims have been recorded together.

The service in Belfast came at the end of three weeks of events to mark the building, voyage and sinking of the Titanic 100 years ago.

© UTV News
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2 Comments
jim in s'land wrote (837 days ago):
40 years ago is too long, but 100 isn't, Peter?
Jamesbelfast in Belfast wrote (837 days ago):
Whilst it good to remember these workers it should be remembered they lost their lives due to the negligence of their employers. In fact it could have been any ship under construction around the same time and nothing whatsoever to do with the Titanic's demise. I feel it shameful that a remembrance plaque should be for only those who lost their lives in building the Titanic. In my opinion it smacks of "Oh let's jump on the Titanic Bandwagon"
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