November 24, 2008 by Evin
Cobh, or Queenstown as it was once called, was the last place many Irish saw before emigrating to America. The RMS Titanic stopped off-shore to take on passengers by tender/ferry before proceeding west to its fate. The RMS Lusitania was on her way to Cobh when a U-boat fired a torpedo on her. For these reasons, Cobh carries a solemn feeling for many. We went on the feast day of the saint after whom Saint Colman Cathedral is named. High atop a hill, this may have been the final place of worship for many embarking on journeys to a new homeland. The city itself is beautiful and we found refuge from the cold wind in the Commodore Hotel‘s bar for toasted sandwiches and Bulmer’s. We also visited the structure that once served as the transport station. Signs remain marking where waiting areas were (first and steerage class) as well as photographs and memorabilia. Though we had heard from a few friends that you could look at the log listing everyone who left Queenstown (as it was called back then) if you had a name and date, this seems to have changed. Now it is only possible to submit a form requesting a general search of Irish records for a fee. I am not sure it is anything more than I can do online and at the County Cork Archives, so this was a disappointment. Particularly since we had heard so much about the Cobh Heritage Centre and this place seems more like an exhibit. But the beauty of Cobh as a city is reason enough to go there.