People on board
John McCarthy was born in Kinsale, Co Cork about 1886 to James McCarthy and Margaret Willis. He was the second of their seven children, six of them sons, all of whom were alive in 1911. James McCarthy was a Fisherman and in 1901 so too was sixteen year old John and his older brother Patrick. By 1911 nineteen year old James and seventeen year old Thomas were also Fishermen.On the 1st of August 1918 John McCarthy married Bridget Connelly in Kinsale, giving his occupation as Fisherman on the marriage certificate.
It is not known why John and his younger brother Thomas were on board RMS Leinster on the 10th of October. The Kerry News on the 11th reported an interview with John McCarthy in which he said that after the explosion he jumped overboard. He found a little girl of about six years in the water and put her into one of the boats. He got hold of a raft himself and was subsequently rescued. He said that his brother Thomas was in the water for about an hour before being rescued.
It is not clear if both brothers returned to Kinsale and stayed there. The following May a son, James, was born to John and Bridget. On the birth certificate he gave his occupation as Sailor.