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Bell From Leon XIII


The naval vessel from Cobh which picked up the Captain of the Leon XIII also took on board the bell of the ship which bore the inscription "Leon XIII". The bell had for more than forty years a history of its own. Mr. Stephen Ebrill, a Limerick auctioneer, had been in Quilty through out the storm of 1907. He became immediately interested in the bell and followed it through the maze of its career. Eventually it got into the hands of an auctioneer in London who had it for sale. Mr. Erbill purchased it and having decided that the most suitable place for it would be the sanctuary of the church in Quilty, he presented it to Fr. Peter Ryan the parish priest, before a large gathering outside Our Lady Star of the Sea Church on Sunday the 6th November 1949. Today it takes pride of place in the sanctuary of the church.


The fiftieth anniversary of the wreck of the Leon was observed at Quilty on the 2nd October 1957. A procession was formed at Quilty Cross where it was met by Most Rev. Dr. Rogers, Bishop of Killaloe. Leading the procession was a lorry within which was a canoe bearing the three surviving rescuers, ninety one year old Michael Moloney, Eighty-six year old Michael Mc Inerney and sixty-eight year old Tom Boyle. The procession proceeded to the church where Mass was celebrated, presided over by the bishop, to commemorate their heroic deeds. During his homily Dr. Rogers recalled the days of October 1907 and commended all those involved. It was an emotional day for the three survivors.

We hope to be part of the celebrations in 2007 to celebrate the centenary of the Rescue in 1907 and again in 2011 as we celebrate the centenary of the church.

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Quilty National School, Quilty, Co. Clare
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