Historical Wreck Diving in Ireland

Sep 13 2012 Posted by Office Administraton

diving irelandNUIG/GMIT Subaqua Club are delighted to welcome Edward Bourke to NUI Galway
on 18th October to give a talk on “Historical Wreck Diving in Ireland” –
exploration of historic wrecks shortly after they sank.

While there were few diving inventors or innovators in Ireland it is
remarkable that many of the early diving pioneers worked around the Irish
coast. Local entrepreneurs and salvors were quick to exploit the invention
of the helmet and rapidly took on salvage work on their own account. Even
before the helmet the wrecks on the Irish coast were salvaged by bell divers
and some accounts of their work survive. The main focus of the salvage was
cannon – the scarce nuclear weapons of their age and only second coin. This
was for two reasons – good cannon were difficult to forge and very scarce
but also because of the troubled and rebellious nature of Ireland cannon had
to be recovered to prevent their use by Irish insurgents. Thus it happened
that many wrecks of historical importance were explored by early divers in
Irish waters and several of the big names in diving development submerged
around the Irish coast. This talk looks at some of their exploits over the
years and will be of interest to local historians and divers alike. Much of
the activity was on the west coast so there is some local maritime interest.

Edward Bourke is a diver with Viking sub aqua in Dublin for 30 years and has
dived in Australia, South Africa, Spain, Croatia, France and UK as well as
Ireland. For a period he edited the CFT magazine Subsea. Over the years he
has published three volumes on Shipwrecks of the Irish Coast cataloguing
some 6,000 wrecks in Irish waters. A book of Irish shipwreck photos and a
book on the wreck of the Tayleur at Lambay near Dublin are also published.
His most recent publication was a history of Guinness. While history and
historical research is an abiding interest, he is a microbiologist by
training and did research into microbial enzymes for his PhD. He works as a
scientist with Diageo.


You can view the full announcement by clicking on the following link: