The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster
 

People on board

Florence Enright

ENRIGHT, Florence née Kelly

Florence Kelly was born in Dublin on the 22nd of June 1891 to Thomas Kelly and Bridget McCrea / McCraith, one of the older of their seven children, five of whom were alive in 1911. Thomas was employed by Dublin Corporation at the Pigeon House Electricity Works as a Fireman and Engine Driver. Bridget died in 1910 and in the 1911 census Florence was Housekeeper for the family, who were then living in Eccles Street on the north side of the city.

On the 17th of February 1914 Florence married Patrick Joseph Enright from Blessington Street. He gave his occupation as Engineer. In October 1918 they were living in 55 Mountjoy Street and there were two children in the family. Others may have been born later. According to the Freeman’s Journal Patrick was in England working on “the Continental mail service” and Florence was on her way to visit him.

She survived the sinking and her account of her experiences was picked up by several newspapers. She said that she was sitting on her box on the deck and saw the torpedo coming, though did not know what it was. Only one lifeboat got away and she was still on deck when the second torpedo struck. She jumped into the water and was sucked under the vessel but was able to swim away. She got hold of an upturned boat but was then struck on her head and lost consciousness. She awoke in the bunk of a ship whose engineer was very attentive to her. She was taken to St. Michael’s Hospital in Kingstown and a photo of her appeared in the Irish Independent on the 11th, her head swathed in bandages.

Little more is known of the family after that. At some stage they were rehoused in St Aiden’s Park, part of the Marino housing development undertaken by Dublin Corporation in the 1920s. Patrick Enright died there in 1947. It was also the address given in the newspaper report in 1968 of the dinner held in Rosse’s Hotel in Dun Laoghaire for the survivors of the sinking, organised by crewman Tom Connolly. Florence would then have been seventy-seven.

 

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