Ireland Old News
Between the hours of 2 and 3 o'clock last afternoon the Clarence steamer, on her way from Kilrush to Limerick, approached Grass Island, three men were perceived waving their hats and making eager signals for assistance, the steamer then running at about nine knots an hour, with the wind from the south-west blowing hard. Captain Bingham, with great promptitude and humanity, had the engines stopped and the sails slackened, so as to keep the windward of the island, and drift as near to it as the safety of his vessel would allow. In the meantime preparations were made to launch and man the jolly-boat, as they had supposed that the steamer, form the rapid rate at which she was sailing, as well as her distance, the swell of the Shannon, and squalls, could not stop to take them from their perilous position; but they were most agreeably disappointed, and having been brought on board the Clarence, they gave their names-viz., Patrick Horrogan, Patrick Blake, Thomas Kean, with the following narrative:- Last Tuesday week the Mary, of Carrighaholt, laden with beans, the property of Michael Cumming, left that place for Limerick. Patrick Horrogan had the management of the boat, assisted by Peter M'Mahon and Scanlan, boatmen, and M'Inery, Cumming's clerk; after having sold the beans, the boat was abandoned by all the men except Horrogan, with whom they generously left one shilling's worth of potatoes for his sustenance while in Limerick and on his voyage home. Poor Horrogan contrived to maintain himself as well he could among the boatmen at the Quay (reserving his potatoes for his support during the trip to Carrigaholt) until next morning (Friday), when Blake and Kean agreed to accompany him; they set sail at 8 o'clock and got on well till they reached Sod Island, when the wind blew hard against them; they struggled to make way, but off Grass Island the rudder was carried away, the boat struck upon a rock, sprung a leak, and made water so fast that in order to save their lives they determined to quit her. Horrogan was the only man of the party that could swim, and having fastened the pe?k-halyards about his shoulders he swam ashore, by which means he succeeded in saving the lives of his comrades. Kean, who had received 3l. for beans in Limerick, when he got to the land began to bewail the loss of his money, upon which Horrogan, feeling gratitude to him and Blake for their kindness in accompanying him, swam out to the boat, and got out of the box in which the money was kept Keane's 3l, and 70l. which Blake had received for his employer, Mr. Kean, of Carrigaholt, and having put the whole of the money into a stocking, tied it round his neck, with the notes at the back of it, put a new hat of Blake's on his head, and a pair of new shoes, which also belonged to Blake, and brought them all safe to the island. The boat soon after sunk. The men remained on the island from 11 till a quarter past 3, when they were fortunately saved by Captain Bingham's and from the sate of the weather, they must have inevitably perished if left on the island for the night. If the steamer had not been detained most providentially at Kilrush on Thursday, these poor fellows would have been lost. To the Humane Society we most earnestly recommend Horrogan, for the fearless and manly efforts he made to save the lives and the money too of his comrades (Blake and Keane) A small gratuity would be to him of vast value, and he deserves it most richly.--Limerick Chronicle.
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