The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Sheelah Isabel Mary Plunkett

PLUNKETT, Sheelah Isabel Mary

Sheelah Isabel Mary Plunkett was born in Dublin in 1897, the youngest of six children, to John Randall Plunkett and Cecelia Read. John was a Malster, with a family firm, established in 1819, that had been providing malt to the Guinness Brewery since 1873. Married in Kensington, London in 1878, they lived first in Vesey Place, Kingstown and later in Merrion Square, where Sheelah was born. From 1895 to 1900 they also had ‘Earnscliffe’ at the Baily, Howth, possibly as a summer residence. They were in Herbert Street in the 1911 census, and at John Randal’s death in 1915. The address on Sheelah’s British Red Cross card was Lansdowne Road.

Sheelah’s older brother Leo went to Canada in 1907 and in Winnipeg met and married Lucy Harrington in 1910. They came to Ireland in October 1911 and in 1918 Leo was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Dublin Royal Fusiliers. It is not known if they were living in Ireland or England, but on 10 October 1918 Sheelah, and her sister-in-law, Lucy, were travelling on the RMS Leinster.

A British Red Cross service card exists for the ‘Late Sheila Plunkett’ showing that she enrolled in 1916 and her engagement was terminated in 1918. Her duties were I.W.H.S.D. – Irish War Hospitals Supply Depot.

Lucy Plunkett was rescued but Sheelah was not. Her body was not found, but her name is recorded on the family grave in Glasnevin cemetery, as well as on their War Memorial.

(see also Lucy Plunkett née Harrington)



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