Descendants of Irish sailors sought for HMS Caroline launch

An appeal has been launched to find descendants of Irish sailors who served during the First World War to take part in a commemorative event to launch HMS Caroline.

May 31, 2016 marks the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of Jutland and the date will also be used to mark the contribution of all those in maritime roles across Ireland during the First World War with a Commemoration to the Irish Sailor in Belfast. 

The last surviving vessel of the Battle of Jutland, HMS Caroline, will also be launched as a heritage visitor attraction in Belfast.

The Battle of Jutland was the most significant naval engagement of the war, fought in the North Sea between May 31 and June 1, 1916.

Involving over 250 ships on both sides and more than 100,000 sailors, over 8,000 people from both sides lost their lives during the engagement.

'We will mark the centenary of the Battle of Jutland in Belfast with the theme of the Irish Sailor,' said Commander John Gray, the senior naval officer in Northern Ireland.

'The war at sea and the impact of it on our island tends to be overlooked, but as an island nation, keeping the seas safe and the supplies flowing to feed the people of Britain and Ireland was vital.'

The online appeal is seeking anyone with links to sailors, fishing, shipbuilding and any other maritime activity during the years 1914-1918 and who wish to be involved.

Click here to register your interest.