The family of one of Derry’s ‘most esteemed citizens’ staged a special a ceremony in the City Cemetery last week to mark 100 years since his death.
James McCarron, a trade union leader and an Alderman on Derry Corporation, was one of 500 people who perished when the RMS Leinster was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat.
The sinking of RMS Leinster on October 10, 1918, off the coast of Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire) represents the greatest single loss of life in the Irish Sea.
Family members travelled from America and England and joined those still based in Derry and Strabane, to commemorate the death of the Alderman. Among them was Jim McCarron, the great-great grandson of the highly respected union leader.
“I wasn’t sure what I was going to say or how many people where going to come to the ceremony, but I knew that I needed to fly over from America and come to Derry to see, taste and feel the earth that the Alderman walked on”, he told the ‘Journal’.
During the ceremony Jim spoke about the family’s heritage and the importance of the Alderman’s legacy, local professor Adrian Grant and tour guide Seamus Breslin also gave a speech.
Jim’s best friend who had travelled over from America played the pipes and another family member Elizabeth Blackman DeNagel performed ‘The Parting Glass’.
Local union representatives and politicians were also present at the event to pay tribute to the Alderman.
Daisy Mules, of the Derry Trades Union Council paid tribute to the Alderman’s willingness to go above and beyond for the cause of the every day man.
The DTUC also laid a wreath at the Alderman’s grave.
Jim told the ‘Journal’ that the commemoration ‘meant everything’ as he has spent hours researching the Alderman and feels he is ‘blessed to have someone like him in the family’.