Irish Ships and Shipping

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Crew and Ships




Irish Sycamore 1966.
The article from the Signal is by Jim Kennedy who was a deck officer cadet at the time, about the trip that we did on the Sycamore. I meet Jim regularly. He became a pilot in Dublin Port and he is associated with the R.N.L.I.

Cormac Lowth
January 2014. R. Cormac Lowth, Chippy, from Dublin,  Brian Carr, A.B., from Cobh, Bernard Richardson, Deckboy,  from Dublin and Bernard Sweetman, Donkeyman/Storekeeper, from Dublin.

Irish Sycamore 1966.

Irish Sycamore 1966.


Irish Sycamore in
Bilbao Spain, Destrehan Louisiana and Colombo, Ceylon 1964.
Aidan Kehoe
(May 2013)
Don Nolan Elec.Officer, Irish Sycamore 1964 Some members of the Crew of the Irish Sycamore, L-R  U.S.
unknowen, P. Conners, Greaser, U.S. unknowen, Aidan O'Reilly AB, Henry
Kent, Bosun, Barry Tallon, Dk. Appr. Mick O'Shea, Dk. Appr. The 2 on
the right and the lower one on the left are Spanish seamen who stood
by the ship while she was in drydock in Bilbao after striking a rock
off of Santender. Photo taken in Destrehan, Louiseanna, May 1964
"Smokeo" in the Irish Sycamore 1964. L-R   P. Leonard,
Greaser. J. Manerio, Greaser (Spain) J. Mc Nally Gally Boy. Henry
Kent, Bosun. E. Swan, Chippy. J. O'Neill, 2nd Cook. P. Conners,
Irish Sycamore football team, Colombo, Ceylon, 1964.
Back Row L-R   P.Boland, Barry Tallon, Mr. Irvine,  Ch. Eng. Colin
Grey, Sparks. S. Cortazar (Spain). J. O'Neill. R. Dunne. S. O'Grady.
Capt. Woolfenden.
Front L.-R.  P.Quinn. M. Curley. M. Tracy. Aidan O'Reilly. Aidan
Kehoe. D. Fitzhugh.


Irish Sycamore
Arriving Dublin port 1963
(April 2012)

  Irish Sycamore 1972
Sean O'Byrne
(August 2011)>>>
          Irish Sycamore Football Team and Opposition Buenos Aires 4th Feb 1972. Irish Sycamore June 22 1972 Cleveland Ohio.


I took this picture on the Irish Sycamore in 1965.  We were on our way across the Pacific.  We lined the space between two of the hatches with some of the feeder boards and a couple of tarpaulins and we had a state of the art swimming pool.  The only one I can recognize in the photo is Bernard Sweetman, engine room storekeeper, who is sitting on the hatch facing the camera.  Cormac Lowth, (Chippy)
  Ice breaker (CCGS Louis S St Laurent-info from J.Kane Canada) heads to free Irish Sycamore at Cornerbrook Canada 1973. Freed from the ice Cornerbrook Irish Sycamore 1973 King Neptune holds court Irish Sycamore 1973. Irish Sycamore heads for Miami USA 1973 A beer with the crew Irish Sycamore 1973 D McClean (AB) with Krakatoa in background Irish Sycamore 1973.


Irish Sycamore aground Mar Del Plata Argentina

Irish Sycamore taken in Boston with a family that come on board in 1963.

Paddy Balmaine, Jack O'Connor, Liam Kelly

This photo was taken on the MV IRISH SYCAMORE in Corpus Christie, Texas in 1966.  L.TO R Ken Humphries, AB, from Kilrush Co. Clare, the Deckboy whose nickname was Tich (I cant remember his name)  Chippy Cormac Lowth from Crumlin and the late Billy Cusack AB from Bangor Road in Crumlin. 

We flew out from Dublin airport to Join the Sycamore at New Orleans aboard an Aer Lingus 707.  The height of luxurious travel in those days.  Six of us missed the transfer at Kennedy Airport in  New York for New Orleans and we were stranded with no tickets.  We talked our way onto the next flight and when we got there we hired a limo to drive around the docks until we saw a big tricolour funnel.  John Davis, of Irish Shipping ltd., who was in charge of the party, had given us up for lost. 

We left New Orleans and did a round trip, calling in at the same port about nine months later before paying off at Gibralter and flying home aboard an Aer Turas chartered plane. Our voyage had taken us around the world via Belgium India, Pakistan , Malaya , hong Kong, Mexico and the USA among other places. We took famine relief grain and bags of flour from the USA to Calcutta  in India .  We had to join the queue as there was a huge backlog of ships waiting to get into the port and we were at anchor tor about thirty days miles offshore, during which time we ran out of drinking water and we were obliged to catch rainwater from the monsoon showers which we diverted via the deck scuppers into the tanks.  The sea was infested with sea-snakes.  We also were caught in a typhoon and even with two anchors out we were dragging into other ships before we got underway. 

The port had no facilities for handling the vast amounts of grain and it was unloaded onto the quay wall by carpet slings filled by shovels. There were vast mountains of it on the quays and it was going rotten at one end while being unloaded at the other end.  It was also being eaten by huge flocks of parrots, mynah birds and some of the biggest rats imaginable.  I am writing my memoirs at the moment of my time at sea and I would like to hear from anyone with whom I sailed.  e-mail.

Best regards,  Cormac Lowth.  7th.August 2008


IRISH SYCAMORE in Madras, India 1965
We joined the SYCAMORE in New Orleans and paid off in Gibraltar after doing a round trip.  
We were in a few places in India, including Calcutta and Madras, mostly with  Famine relief grain and flour, a lot of which was left rotting on the quayside.
Jim Mc Ferran was a great man who had gone out to India and had started several Schools and a 
Leper hospital and farm. He told me he was sent out there with very little and had sent for a few Irish nuns to help as teachers.  The local rich Indians loved to get an Irish Catholic education for their kids and he charged them according to their means to fund the projects.  He brought us on a tour of Madras including a visit to the tomb of St Thomas the Apostle at Mylapore.  
It seems that St. Thomas was murdered there and there are still Christians there who descend from those he converted.  He is also revered as a Hindu Saint.


Irish Sycamore fire 1965


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