The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Mary Walsh

WALSH, Mary née Swords

Mary Swords was born on the 14th of August 1872 to Edward Swords and Mary Anne Moloney. When Edward, a Fisherman, married in 1865 he was living in Kingstown, though the St Michael’s Church register gave his parents as living in Clontarf. When a child Edward was born in 1870 Edward and Mary Anne were living in Snugborough, Clontarf and that is where Mary was born in 1872. She appears to have been the eldest surviving child, Edward having died in infancy. Five more children followed, one dying at eight months and the family was living in Seaview Avenue in Clontarf from 1876.

Mary Swords married Peter Walsh in July 1893 in the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin city. Peter was a Policeman, a member of the Dublin Metropolitan Police, based in Store Street Barracks in the city and Mary gave her address as Lower Gloucester Street and gave no occupation. She gave her father’s occupation as Sailor. Peter Walsh had been born in Barranisky, near Avoca in County Wicklow in June 1864 to Patrick Walsh, a Carpenter, and Matilda Lovely.

In 1894 both Matilda Walsh née Lovely and Edward Swords died. In 1897 Mary’s sister Ellen married in Dublin, describing her deceased father as ‘Sea Captain’ on her marriage certificate. In 1901 the widowed Mary Anne Swords and her son William and daughter Anne were living in the Railway Huts in Shotton, a colliery area south of Durham in north-east England, where she was a ‘Hut Keeper’. Her daughter Ellen was visiting with her two young children. In 1911 Ellen was with her youngest brother Michael and his family in Cheshire.

Meanwhile Mary and Peter Walsh were living on Rathmines Road in 1901 and in Gullistan Cottages in Rathmines in 1911. With them on the census night in 1911 was their nephew Lewis (or Louis) Francis Byrne, the son of Peter’s sister Hannah, who Peter and Mary brought up. Louis’ age was given as three on the census record, though his birth certificate shows that he would have been six. According to family, Mary and Peter were living in Belvedere Place in the north of the city in 1918 which would tie in with a March 1924 newspaper notice which said that Constable Peter Walsh was being transferred from Mountjoy Station to the Bridewell. However Peter died in April 1924 and was buried with his family in Barraniskey Old Cemetery.

It is not known why Mary Walsh was travelling on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October 1918, but as so many members of her family were living in England it is likely that she was travelling for family reasons. Mary survived the sinking of the ship and was still alive in the 1940s, though the date of her death has not yet been confirmed.



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