CC BY-SA, Memorial Site © Rude Health -


adapted from islay info

Location: Islay
shipwrecks, ships and boats, travel by sea, gaelic language and placenames

The Exmouth tragedy

The loss of the emigrant ship Exmouth on 28th April 1847 is one of the most tragic peacetime incidents of all of the Isle of Islay shipwrecks. The ship had departed from Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland, bound for Quebec, Canada on Sunday 25th April 1847 with over two hundred and forty emigrants and eleven crew aboard. During a dreadful west coast storm, the Exmouth struck rocks and sank. A memorial was erected near Sanaigmore Bay as a reminder of this terrible tragedy. The plaque is in both English and Gaelic;

"This memorial is dedicated to the memory of 241 Irish emigrants who lost their lives on the 28th April 1847, when the brig 'The Exmouth of Newcastle' out of Derry and bound for Quebec, Canada at the time of the great famine, was wrecked on the N/W coast of Islay. 108 bodies, mostly women and children (63 under the age of 14, and 9 infants) were recovered and are buried under the soft green turf of Traigh Bhan. May their souls rest forever in the Peace of Christ."

"Tógadh an leacht seo i gcuimhne na 241 deoraí éireannach a cailleadh ar an 28ú lá d'aibreán 1847, nuair a briseadh an long the exmouth of newcastle ar an toabh thiar thuaidh d'lle agus í ar a bealach ó dhoire cholmcille go québec ceanada, le linn an drochshaoil, fuarthas 108 corrán-mná agus fáisté a mbunus (63 acu faoi bhun 14 bliana d'aois agus 9 naioman) - agus cuireadh iad faoi mhachaire glas na trá báine, mar a luionn slad inniu faoi shuaimhneas agus faoi shiochain bhuan chriost."

More information on visiting the area can be found here.