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Community invited to watch MV Princess Victoria memorial safely from home


A tribute to the MV Princess Victoria victims at last year's Memorial Service. This year's event can be watched on MEABC's social channels on Saturday 30 January at 11am

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council will mark the 68th anniversary of the MV Princess Victoria tragedy with a Virtual Memorial Service this year in light of COVID-19 restrictions.

While it is disappointing that the event cannot take place as normal, Council is committed to ensuring the victims of the ferry disaster are remembered.

The virtual service will be available to view across Council’s social media channels on Saturday 30 January at 11am, with local historian Dr David Hume delivering a historical talk on Sunday 31 January at 7pm.

More than 130 people perished when the vessel sank between Stranraer and Larne in January 1953, and the event came to be known as the worst seafaring disaster in Northern Ireland’s history.

As we continue to keep our Borough safe during these challenging times, Council respectfully appeal to the relatives and those planning to lay a wreath at the Princess Victoria Memorial, to ensure they follow the current COVID-19 restrictions.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor Peter Johnston, said:

“It is so important that we remember those who perished when the MV Princess Victoria sank in 1953. The disaster had a huge impact on Mid and East Antrim and further afield.

“This year is more difficult than most as we cannot be together physically, but we can still gather virtually from home and honour those who died in such tragic circumstances.

“I would encourage anyone who wishes to observe the occasion to follow Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Facebook page for coverage of the virtual commemoration.”

Despite the valiant efforts of her crew, lifeboat men and other seafarers, the Princess Victoria foundered off the coast of Northern Ireland, within sight of the Copeland Islands near the entrance to Belfast Lough.

Some 177 passengers were on board including 49 members of crew, with the disaster claiming the lives of 135 people, 27 of whom were from Larne.