DESCRIPTION: "The news from Rome ... our Pope he was in danger." April 29, 1869 Irish volunteers leave Dublin on the Avatuskey. They are rammed in a gale on May 10 and sink, deserted by the crew. Moses Donohue of Killincooley is among those drowned.
EARLIEST DATE: 1948 (Ranson)
KEYWORDS: drowning sea ship wreck soldier war
FOUND IN: Ireland
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Ranson, pp. 123-124, "Moses Donohoe" (1 text)
NOTES: Did some ship, possibly named Avatuskey -- or some more Polish name -- sail on April 29, 1869 to sink following a collision on May 10, 1869?
Ranson says "I have not been able to check up the correctness of the name 'Avatuskey,' nor have I been able to verify the statement that Irish volunteers went to the defence of the Papal States in 1869." Rome was all that was left of the Papal States in 1869 and it fell to Italy in "The Battle of Porta Pia" on September 20, 1870. Newspapers in Galway and London for the dates may reveal the facts. - BS
We might note that the Papal States were annexed rather than directly conquered by Italy; Porta Pia was more demonstration than battle. Of course, if the Papacy had had an Irish regiment at hand, who knows what it might have tried?
Barbara Lee, of Crosby, Liverpool, writes with a likely explanation:
"[The ship] could perhaps have been the General Abatucci, a packet steamer sailing between Marseilles and Civitavecchia, whose sinking was reported in the Times of London on 13th May 1869. THE TIMES - 13 May 1869:
''Intelligence has been received of the loss of the steam packet General Abbatucci. A French Intendant General, the Pontifical Consul at Marseilles, 16 French soldiers and 15 Papal recruits, on their way to Civitavecchia, have perished... '
"Moses was my great grandfather's first cousin." - RBW
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