One hundred years after the “greatest ship ever built” left the dry dock in Belfast and sailed into history, the Titanic is now casting its shadow over the shimmering waters of Donegal Bay.
The Salmon Inn, at Mullinasole near Donegal Town, has become a fitting resting place for a 1/25th scale model of the RMS Titanic. The replica was built by local food writer Zack Gallagher, along with Jim Canavan and Gerald Drury from the St Francis NS Parents Association, as the school’s float in the Donegal town St Patrick’s Day parade. It won the overall prize for best float on the day.
Now the Titanic (or rather half of the Titanic) now sits proudly in the garden of local publican and restaurateur Martin Quinn.
“We couldn’t find anywhere to keep it and it was such a shame to let it go to ruin,” said Zack.
“An offer was made by some members of the local Credit Union to display it in their office window. A lovely gesture indeed, but we tried in vain to get it through the door,” he added.
Martin Quinn, of the Salmon Inn, heard about the plight of the local boatbuilders and came to their rescue.
A keen fisherman and sailor himself, he didn’t want to see the ship sink so soon after its glorious maiden voyage. “I’ve spent most of my life by the sea and I thought it would be a shame if the Titanic float couldn’t, well, float!”, said Martin. “So, we have it in the garden for the moment as we are building a tempoary floating pontoon for the boat to sit on. She’ll look great sitting on the water, from the windows of the bar and restaurant, especially when the sun sinks behind her in the western sky”.
The model is only “half a Titanic” as it was built to represent the great ship when it was sinking.
“I was going to build a full-length scale model,” Zack explains. “But it was easier on the budget to give the impression that half of her is under the water.
“We’re grateful to Martin and his wife Margaret for taking care of the ship. After all the work, it would be have been a shame to scrap the boat and it fits in so well with all of the nautical decor at the Salmon Inn. I wonder if someone will adapt it to use in the Raft Races this summer!”