Today we recall the great tragedy that was the RMS Leinster sinking. The mail boat was torpedoed by a German submarine in the Irish Sea on its way from Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) to Holyhead. Well over 500 people, sailors, civilians, soldiers and Post Office staff lost their lives as, subsequently, did the German submarine crew. Despite being the worst maritime disaster in the Irish Sea, the event was soon forgotten by the general public as the war ended a month later and changed political circumstances in Ireland greatly reduced the importance of the long-established mail boat connection between Ireland and Britain.
Twenty one of the twenty two Post Office staff who manned the on-board sorting office lost their lives. Their particular role and the story of the Holyhead mail boat is told in a new book published by the Irish post office, An Post.