Bell Ringing Ceremonies

The society's annual bell ringing ceremony takes place in the very early morning of 15th April, between 2am and 3am. The Timoney Bell in St Patrick's Church grounds, Lahardane, North Mayo is used to commemorate the 14 Addergoole passengers who were on RMS Titanic when it sank. Mícheál O'Tiomnaidhe, the renowned Gaelic Scholar and folklore collector, erected this free standing bell in 1937. It is tolled at 2.20am. We start with slow knells for the 11 victims that drowned. This is followed by fast joyous rings for the 3 women saved. Many of the Society's bell-ringers are direct descendants of the Addergoole Fourteen.

Addergoole is the only location across Europe, where the sinking of the Titanic is acknowledged by the ringing of a lonely church bell in the dead of night. It's the big bell that's now silent for the rest of the year. We have done it each year since the memorial to the Addergoole Fourteen was erected in the church back in 2002.

As the bell tolls for that lonely hour in the dark of the early morning across the deserted village street of Lahardane, over the barren windswept slopes of Nephin and across the empty dark waters of Lough Conn, the custom is a solitary significant reminder of the passing of time and the ending of lives. The dead of the Titanic may have disappeared into the dark waters of the North Atlantic, but they are still recalled by the tolling of a bell in the silence and emptiness across mountains and plains of North Mayo.


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