Annual Laurentic Conference & Commemoration

Date: 22 June 2017 - 23 June 2017
Where: Buncrana
Email: donnymcneill@gmail.com

This years conference with the theme “Sustaining Coastal Communities” will be a two day roving conference taking place over 2 venues over June 22nd and 23rd with day one in Buncrana e.g. Inishowen Gateway Hotel and the 2nd day in Greencastle e.g. Maritime Museum/National Fisheries College/Redcastle. This will offer an opportunity to showcase the diversity that can be seen even in a peninsula the size of the Inishowen Peninsula with Lough Swilly on one side and Lough Foyle on the other and the diverse socio-economic demographics of the two areas.

The conference will also highlight the interdependency with Northern Ireland due to the geographic location and will also be looking out to other areas of the Atlantic Arc such as Newfoundland, Novia Scotia, the Islands and Highlands of Scotland and the Faroe Islands to bring an international dimension to this years conference which will encourage other potential partnerships and collaborations for Northern Periphery opportunities.

Originally built in Belfast by Harland and Wolff for the famous White Star Line to compete whith her sister the Titanic on the Trans Atlantic Route from Liverpool to Montreal, Canada. During the out break of WW1 in 1914 while in Montreal she was comminisined as a troop passaenger ship.

Her finial voyage in 1917 in route to Halifax,Canada from Liverpool carrying a full shipment of Gold Bullion to pay for munch needed war armanents, she stopped at Buncrana, Co Donegal then the base for the Grand British Fleet to relive 4 sick ratings. On the way out of Lough Swilly she hit 2 German mines and went to the bottom. She awas carrying over 43 tonnes of Gold in total of which 25 bars have not been recovered and local divers are constantly diving in search of the Gold.

We are inviting family members, relatives and government representatives of the countries affected by this diesater for a Commemeration including Ireland, UK, USA, Canada, South Africa and Hong Kong along with a cross-border Trans Atlantic Econnomic Development Conference. To date we have 65 Canadian Navy and ex-Navy personal and Veterans and Family Members coming over also with some American and English family members and are only starting to reach out to the the Liverpool Conection and Diaspora which would make up the largest section of men who died on the Laurentic.