The Sweeney Family Tragedy
Máirín Uí Fhearraigh
"The sea will always claim it's own" is an old saying, and no one knows how true that is
better than the people of Gola Island.
It was salmon season in the year 1931. Like every other family on the island Éamainn Bháin
Sweeney, from Mullach and Áird (top of the Hillock) got ready and they headed off for the
pier at Tráigh na mBláthann (Stand of Flowers).
The wind increased that evening and it started to rain. It was a terrible night and the
island women did not sleep a wink until morning.
Morning came and the boats began to return, but "The Celtic" did not.
There were three of Éamainn Bháin's family fishing on "The Celtic", Johnny, Eddie and
Andie and Claude Mór Diver.
A search was organised, but no trace was found of "The Celtic" or of the four fishermen
on board. It was a sorrowful time on Gola Island. The loss of the four young men from an
island was terrible, but it was compounded by the fact that three of them were from the same
Within a few days, news reached the island from Downings that a boat was found. It was "The
Celtic", but from that day to this day their bodies were not found.
The sea had claimed it's own.
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