The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Martin Flaherty


Martin Flaherty was born on the 2nd of July 1895, along with his twin sister Kate, to Michael Flaherty and Catherine (Kate) Murphy. Michael was a ‘Herd’ according to the birth certificates of his children and the family lived at various addresses in the Ardfinnan area of County Galway, near Tuam. Five other sons have been identified, all older than Martin, as well as one born in 1898.

According to family information six of the sons, including Martin, went to Galway city to sign up in the army. One was refused because of a medical condition and the youngest was considered too young. Martin enlisted with the Irish Guards but it is not known if his brothers also enlisted in that regiment. Martin served in France and on three occasions he is recorded as having been wounded, in October 1915, in September 1917 and again in February 1918. He was apparently entitled to wear a ‘Wound Stripe’ because of these injuries.

He was presumably returning from leave at home when he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October 1918, along with eight others from his regiment. He did not survive the sinking but his body was recovered. He was buried in Grangegorman Military Cemetery in Dublin. His family were then living in Castleboy, Ardrahan, Co Galway. His three brothers who had enlisted survived the war, though one suffered shellshock. The other two subsequently emigrated to the United States and to Australia.


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