President Higgins visit to Union Hall, Cork, April 2012
1 May 2012
The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, visited Union Hall in West Cork on Sunday 22nd April 2012 in order to express his sympathies to the families affected by the tragedy, and his gratitude to all the personnel and agencies involved in the search and recovery operation following the sinking of the ‘Tit Bonhomme’ trawler on January 15th.
During his speech on Union Hall pier, which had been the coordination centre during the 27 days of the search effort, he described the combined efforts to recover the five missing fishermen as heroic, and illustrated clearly the sense of community spirit, resilience and commitment which is still so important in Ireland today.
The President then spoke with family members of the five crewmen, and met with personnel from all the agencies involved in the operation, from Civil Defence, Coastguard, RNLI, Garda Siochana, Naval Service and Customs, as well as the volunteer search and rescue units involved. Civil Defence personnel from throughout Cork West met with the President at this time.
A permanent memorial with the names of all who have lost their lives at sea from the area has also been completed, and will serve as a fitting permanent tribute to the victims of this tragedy.