Published on Wednesday8thMay2019

Minister Madigan meets Owner of RMS Lusitania Wreck on Plans for Museum and Research

-      Memorandum of Understanding is signed to provide framework for future research and artefact recoveries from the wreck

-      WWI wreck to be gifted to local Museum group

-      Plans to expand Lusitania Museum on Old Head of Kinsale

20190508 Madigan Lusitania

The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD, met with Gregg Bemis, who gifted the historic wreck of the Lusitania to a local community group planning to develop and enhance visitor facilities in commemoration of the ship on the Old Head of Kinsale.

Gregg Bemis became co – owner of the wreckage in 1968 before eventually buying out his partners, completing his full purchase in 1982. Gregg’s ambition with the Lusitania wreckage was to discover the cause of the second explosion on board which caused the ship to sink in under 18 minutes. Now, at the age of 91, Gregg feels that the Old Head of Kinsale Lusitania Museum Committee is best placed to continue the investigation.

Minister Madigan commenting on the gift said “We owe a debt of gratitude to Mr Bemis for the investigative work that has been completed to date and for gifting this important historical wreck to the Old Head of Kinsale Lusitania Museum in order to continue investigations into this important chapter in history.” 

She praised the “great work done locally on the Lusitania Museum and the Memorial garden, and looks forward to seeing it being further enhanced to add to the tourism attractions in the area and our understanding of what happened on that fateful day in 1915.”

Mr. Bemis said “I’ve come to realise that, at almost 91 years old there is only so much more I can do to further this project and I think because of the Lusitania’s part in history, it’s very important that it be done properly and we get all the artefacts we can from the wreck to put in the museum planned for here. ”