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Annual Laurentic Conference and Commemoration

22nd – 23rd June 2017, Buncrana & Greencastle

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2017 Theme: ‘Sustaining Coastal Communities a Comparative Analysis’

This years conference with the theme “Sustaining Coastal Communities” will be a two day roving conference taking place over 2 venues over June 22nd and 23rd with day one in Buncrana e.g. Inishowen Gateway Hotel and the 2nd day in Greencastle e.g. Maritime Museum/National Fisheries College/Redcastle. This will offer an opportunity to showcase the diversity that can be seen even in a peninsula the size of the Inishowen Peninsula with Lough Swilly on one side and Lough Foyle on the other and the diverse socio-economic demographics of the two areas.

2017 Programme of Events

The conference will also highlight the interdependency with Northern Ireland due to the geographic location and will also be looking out to other areas of the Atlantic Arc such as Newfoundland, Novia Scotia, the Islands and Highlands of Scotland and the Faroe Islands to bring an international dimension to this years conference which will encourage other potential partnerships and collaborations for Northern Periphery opportunities.

The Laurentic Conference and Commemoration remembers the 354 men who died on the sinking of the SS Laurentic in Lough Swilly Co Donegal in 1917.


On May 18th and 19th we will host our annual Laurentic Conference at the Inishowen Gateway Hotel, this years theme will be around Rural Economic Development, Social Enterprise and the Survival of Rural Maritime Communities. This is building on the learning and connections made from the Exploratory, Cultural Trade Mission to Newfoundland that we facilitated last September.

Originally built in Belfast by Harland and Wolff for the famous White Star Line to compete which her sister the Titanic on the Trans Atlantic Route from Liverpool to Montreal, Canada. During the out break of WW1 in 1914 while in Montreal she was commissioned as a troop passenger ship. Her finial voyage in 1917 in route to Halifax,Canada from Liverpool carrying a full shipment of Gold Bullion to pay for munch needed war armaments  she stopped at Buncrana, Co Donegal, then the base for the Grand British Fleet to relive 4 sick ratings. On the way out of Lough Swilly it hit 2 German mines and went to the bottom. It was carrying over 43 tonnes of Gold in total of which 25 bars have not been recovered and local divers are constantly diving in search of the Gold.



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