Wrecks List
Total Records: 1
Name Nationality Location Date Lost
Irrawaddy   British  Cahore Point Co Wexford  1856 

Irrawaddy : 
Flag British  Builder Built at Rangoon 
Port Glasgow  Build Date 1855 
Official No   Material Teak 
    Tonnage nrt/grt  
Ship type Sail Vessel  Dimensions  |  | 
Ships Role  Cargo Ship   Rigging Style Barque  
Super Structure
Wreck Location Blackwater Bank / Cahore Point Co Wexford 
Date Lost 13/10/1856  Captain Thomas Miller 
Cause Ran a Ground  Crew Lost
Position 52.33 N / 66.11 W  Passengers Lost   
Google Map Location


On Monday night at half-past nine o'clock wind S.S.E blowing strong with a heavy sea on.The Barque Irrawaddy Captain Thomas Miller of and from Glasgow with a general cargo - 700 tons of goods on board bound to Rangoon and Moulmien struck near the south end of the Blackwater Bank and in a short time bilged.

Twelve of the crew including the captain and chief officers arrived here early on Tuesday morning some of them with very little clothing being the watch below but we regret to state that three seamen were washed overboard and drowned. The ship has floated off the bank and drifted on the main land near to Cahore Point.

Wexford Independent. Wednesday, October 15, 1856


Several of the Arklow men, charged with having taken an active part in plundering the wreck of the Irrawaddy at Cahore have been arrested and informations sworn against them. Ten arrived on Thursday at the gaol under a strong escort of police and two more in the evening were brought in and committed by Mr. Greene, J.P. and also charged as participating in the plunder. Several men in order to avoid being captured abandoned their boats and took to the hills whilst others put to sea and have not yet landed.
- Wexford Independent.
Freemans Journal, Tuesday, October 28, 1856

Several articles appear in the London papers relating to the recent attack and plunder of the ship Irrawaddy by wreckers at Arklow, and copies have been published of the strong representations made to the Board of Trade by Mr. Harper, representing Lloyd's. He states that the coast guard and police were completely overpowered by the numbers of the Arklow men who however succumbed at once upon the arrival of the revenue cutter which had been ordered round by Mr. Farrer of the Board of Trade in the most prompt and praiseworthy manner by telegraph.

Mr. Harper strongly urges the stationing of an armed ship on the coast with orders instantly to repair to the scene of a wreck. It will be remembered that on the occasion of the loss of the Racer when the unfortunate emigrants were so cruelly plundered we made the same suggestion almost in the same words and its effect on the present occasion has completely proved the necessity.

Mr. Harper also strongly urges the getting rid of all the old receivers of droits with as little delay as possible, and appointing public officers who not being agents will have no commissions out of the wreck.

Mr. Farrer replies that the Board will take every opportunity as vacancies occur of appointing collectors of customs as receivers and if the coast guard are insufficient to repress outrage the board will apply to the Admiralty and in the meantime an inquiry will be established into the circumstances causing the loss and plundering of the Irrawaddy.
It seems only just to Mr. Farrer to bear testimony to the zealous and prompt manner in which the aid required was afforded and the representations made attended to. It is to be hoped even for the sake of the misguided men themselves that an overawing force may be placed on the coast.

The cases of the Robert Kelly, Racer, and Irrawaddy have followed too close on each other not to cast a stigma on the neighbourhood and it can only be said in mitigation that there is a vague idea among these men that a vessel once wrecked is lawful prize and what is more to their credit they have always paid every regard to the preservation of the lives of all on board and the outrages and murders that have too often stained the proceedings of the wreckers in England and Scotland have never been laid to the charge of the Arklow men - on the contrary they have at times delivered large numbers of persons from imminent jeopardy.
But their best friends will endeavour to dissuade them from a persistence in a lawless course which will only eventuate on some occasion or other in a frightful massacre should they come to an encounter with the Queen's force or perhaps a yet more lamentable encounter with a captain who will be determined enough to use similar means and with a few rounds of grape scatter death broad cast.
Indeed to their respect for life they probably owe forbearance in this respect on former occasions when a commander of a vessel did not feel himself justified in resorting to so frightful an alternative where property only was in jeopardy and after all this it is probable that these unfortunate men would have received a very much greater amount in the shape of salvage than their ill gotten gains could possibly produce them.

We earnestly trust that now that the attention of the government is called to the subject they will as they have shown a disposition to do make such arrangements will protect both parties and assure all of ample protection and justice. In the meantime we must again repeat that the mercantile community have much reason to be satisfied with the promptitude of the Board of Trade.

Freemans Journal, Monday, November 10 1856

Having condemned the lawless conduct of the Arklow men last week in the matter of the Irrawaddy, we feel bound in justice to them to state in reference of the wreck of the Racer, from which vessel upwards of 500 passengers were conveyed ashore by the fishermen that we understand on good authority that the latter have been very shamefully treated that having only asked 2s. per head for bringing the people ashore this small sum was refused and £30 offered to them for the entire service and even this has never been paid so that these men who have performed this valuable and meritorious service have never received one single shilling for their services although the law declares that saving of life is to be superior to any other salvage.

If this be truly the case it is much to be regretted and these men who are to be punished when they violate the law ought to be supported in obtaining redress for such an injustice. If neither Owners, Captain, nor Passenger Agents are amenable we think the government ought to make good the requisite sum sooner than such an important and necessary service should go unrequited.

Freemans Journal, Monday, November 17, 1856
Record Created on  08/02/2009
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