No. 145  NAI DFA Secretary's Files A2

Memorandum by Joseph P. Walshe
'The Recent Bombing of Our Ships'
(Secret)

DUBLIN, 12 November 1941

Four of our ships have been recently attacked.

1) The 'Glenageary' was attacked by a single aircraft on the 25th October at 8 p.m. 10 miles south-east of Cahore Point, Co. Wexford. The aircraft was identified as German. There were no casualties. The damage to the ship was slight.

According to the statements made by the Captain of this vessel, she was bound from Barry Docks, Wales, to Dublin with a cargo of coal, and was travelling with only side lights at the time of the attack. Colonel Bryan considers that aircraft would find it extremely difficult if not impossible to recognise the national markings on a practically unlighted ship at 20 hours on the date in question. Protest has been made.1

2) The 'Lanahrone', owned by the Limerick Steamship Company, was attacked on 29th October 1 miles north-west of the Saltee Islands (within territorial waters) at 6.20 p.m. The ship was not hit. She had full navigation lights on and the nationality markings were also illuminated. After the beginning of the attack, all the lights were switched off. The aircraft was not identified. Nevertheless, we are asking the German Government to make an investigation, as the circumstances suggest that the attacking plane was German.

3) Two Gas Company ships were attacked on the 5th November at 5.30 p.m. 2 miles north-east of Bishop's Light off the Welsh coast. The aircraft was identified as German.

The 'Glencullen' was slightly damaged, but had no casualties.

The 'Glencree' was somewhat damaged. Two members of the crew were injured, one seriously.

Both ships were flying the Irish flag and were clearly marked. We are sending a protest.

At the time of the attack, the 'Glencullen' was in the company of a British-registered vessel and two Dutch vessels.

The German Minister reminded me today that his Government had never given any guarantee that Irish ships plying between England and Ireland would be free from attack. He had always done his best to explain the situation to his Government, and he thought that he had had a real measure of success in securing relative immunity for our ships.

No doubt, as the war gets nearer to its crisis, the Irish Sea will become as dangerous for our shipping as French and Dutch waters are for German shipping.

[initialled] J. P. W.

1 Handwritten insertion.


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