Dun Laoghaire pays tribute to Mr Holyhead

by Rebecca Ryan
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John Cave at Cable Bay Burial Chamber

Dun Laoghaire has been paying tribute to dedicated community worker and historian “Mr. Holyhead” who has died.

John Cave MBE, who was in his 80s, was described at his funeral in Wales as a man who “developed links with Ireland” through joint community involvements.

His activities promoting his native Holyhead brought him regularly to Ireland, especially Dun Laoghaire and Greystones, where he helped develop links with Ireland’s National Maritime Museum, Gael scoilanna, and the business community.

Among many things, John Cave was a founding member of The Holyhead Dun Laoghaire Link Organisation. The group worked on expanding and developing existing links between these two port towns.

Breasal O Caollai was joint chairperson of the Holyhead Dun Laoghaire Link Organisation and told Dublin Gazette that John was also heavily involved in organising the RMS Leinster centenary events, which are taking place across Dun Laoghaire and Dublin City.

Mr O Caollai said: “John was involved in the Welsh side of the organising of the centenary events. There will be events in Dun Laoghaire and Holy Head at the same time.

“We were planning [with John] of having a minutes silenced and church bells ringing at the same time in both towns. A lot of Dun Laoghaire and Holyhead crew members died on that ship.”

President of the Maritime Institute of Ireland Richard McCormick and; John Cave in 2014, Holyhead

President of the Maritime Institute of Ireland, Richard McCormick, also paid tribute to John, and told Dublin Gazette that he was a “nice, decent and honest man” who has left an immense legacy.

“The tragic news that Mr John Cave MBE, lifetime President of the Holyhead Maritime died recently was received with great sorrow in the National Maritime Museum of Ireland in Dun Laoghaire.

“Many of his friends and long-standing members of the Museum who knew him well, attended his funeral in Holyhead, indicating the esteem in which he was held on this side of the Irish Sea.

“John Cave was an outstanding gentleman who received due recognition for his unstinting work on behalf of Welsh maritime heritage through the award of a well-deserved MBE.

“John was very much community focused and, by encouraging children’s interest in the museum, they became instilled with a sense of pride in their local maritime heritage and in time would become its staunchest defenders.

“Because of the shared maritime heritage between Dun Laoghaire and Holyhead, John also cultivated many enduring relationships with Dun Laoghaire and other ports along the Irish coast.”


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