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Dangerous waters – 1942

Connacht Tribune 6th June, 1942 p.5 (abridged)

Kinvara Bay Photo: EO'D
Kinvara Bay
Photo: EO’D

Numerous reports of mines having been seen in Galway Bay and along the west coast have been made during the last week by fisherman, including one proceeding from Connemara to Kinvara with a boat load of turf on Wednesday.  It is worth recalling that, during the last war, only two mines drifted into Galway Bay. Both exploded with fatal results, but the stringent precautions now being taken should avert any repetition of such tragedies.

Captain Hamilton, competent Port Authority at Galway told our representative on Friday that a drifting mine had been reported to him about half a mile south-west of the Margaretta Buoy on Thursday night. He immediately reported the matter to the authorities at Renmore Barracks. “I know,” he said, “that there is a mines expert in this area at present and he went to Furbough yesterday where he dismantled a mine that had come ashore. I understand that the expert has gone to Clifden this morning where he is dismantling two more mines that came ashore there.”

Asked if he thought there was a danger of any of those mines coming ashore at Salthill, Captain Hamilton asked “Why not? Of course,” he said. “There are look-out posts all along the west coast who are keeping a constant watch and they report immediately any sign of mines.” Asked if he could give any explanation for the presence of the mines, Captain Hamilton said that in his opinion they broke away from a minefield in the English Channel and the easterly wind which has been blowing from some time, drove them out into the Atlantic and now they are drifting back in again.