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The RMS Lusitania was a British ship that was sunk by a German U-boat (U-20) on the 07th of May 1915. The ship which sank in just 18 minutes has long caused controversy as she was meant to be a neutral passenger ship and therefore not a legitimate war time target. The Germans however claimed that she was carrying arms and this was justified by the secondary explosions which sent the ship to the bottom in such a short space of time. Significantly the sinking of the ship heralded America’s entry in to the war which helped bring World War I to an earlier close than otherwise might have been anticipated.

The ship went down 11 miles off the coast of Cork taking 1,198 souls. Many of the bodies were brought ashore in Cobh and are buried in the Old Church Yard just outside Cobh.