Our Titanic passengers were just a small few of millions of passengers to emigrate from Queenstown.
We have heardtenders great tales of how the local economy of the time benefited from the passing trade generated by the emigrants and we want to hear more! If you have any local knowledge on how the Queenstown economy benefited from the passing trade, and how passengers were treated while in Queenstown we would love to hear from you. Equally if you are a descendant of an emigrant who departed for a new life from Queenstown we would love to hear your story.


If it’s just one line or a storybook we are interested in hearing it all. If you have any accompanying photographs even better! You can share your story by email at stories@titanicexperiencecobh.ie You can also hand-in or post your story to us at:

Titanic Experience Cobh,
20 Casement Square,
Co. Cork.

We have selected some of our favourite stories to share with you on this page. We hope you enjoy reading them.

8 passengers disembarked at Cobh and 123 passengers boarded. While much is known about the tragedy that unfolded over the following days let us share some of our lesser-known local stories………

The Odell/May Family

Lily Odell along with her son Jack, sister-in-law Kate and her two brothers Richard and Stanley May travelled onodells Titanic from Southampton to Queenstown. The Odell/May party occupied three First Class suites on B-Deck.

On arrival at Roches Point they disembarked boarding the tender “America” to bring them ashore. Kate Odell took some of the last ever photographs of the Titanic while sailing away from the ship towards Queenstown. Little did they know the fate that would befall their fellow passengers just days later.

The Odell/May family toured southern Ireland combining business and leisure in a hire car. As news of the tragedycar
unfolded the family returned to England on April 17th. Upon returning to England the family attended the Titanic Memorial Service in St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Here at Titanic Experience Cobh we have a selection of personal items from the Odell/May family collection relating to their trip to Ireland aboard Titanic including Lily Odell’s suitcase and a collection of family photographs.

John Coffey

John Coffey is the fascinating story of one Cobh mans escape from the Titanic tragedy. John Coffey was a 23 year old stoker working for the White Star Line Shipping Company. Having worked on Titanic’s sister ship Olympic for a time, John signed up to work on Titanic in order to gain free passage home to Cobh to visit his family. On arrival in Queenstown he hid among the mailbags and made it ashore undetected. After news of the tragedy began to unfold word of John Coffeys escape began to make headlines. As the world’s media turned its attention to him, John Coffey’s story became a little more embellished. When questioned after the tragedy he explained he jumped ship as he had a foreboding of tragedy. After his lucky escape from Titanic John Coffey went on to work on RMS Mauretania.

The Rice Familymargaret-rice

The story of Margeret Rice and her 5 young sons is one of the most heartbreaking stories of all the 123 Queenstown passenger stories. Margaret Rice was 39 years old and was travelling 3rd class with her five young sons, Albert aged 10, George aged 9, Eric aged 7, Arthur aged 4 and Eugene just 2 years old. Margaret had returned to Ireland after the tragic death of her husband two years earlier. She was originally from Co. Westmeath and spent two years working there as a housekeeper with her young sons. Margaret had made the decision to return to America with her sons and booked passage on Titanic. Eyewitness reports give us a heartfelt and moving image of Margaret with her five children on board. The family is reported to have been last seen on board the deck. Margaret clutching her 2 year old son, with all four other children grasping at her skirt. Sadly, Margaret and all her five children were lost in the tragedy of Titanic.