Relatives of Titanic victims at Belfast memorial service

Liam McDonald from Belfast leaves a rose in memory of the victims of the Titanic during the 105th anniversary memorial service held at City Hall on Saturday. Photo: Aaron McCracken/Harrisons

Liam McDonald from Belfast leaves a rose in memory of the victims of the Titanic during the 105th anniversary memorial service held at City Hall on Saturday. Photo: Aaron McCracken/Harrisons

A special ceremony marking the 105th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic was held in the Belfast City Hall Titanic Memorial Garden on Saturday.

At noon Dr Aidan McMichael, chairman of the Belfast Titanic Society, led a wreath-laying ceremony and a minute’s silence remembering the 1,523 people who lost their lives on that fatal night of April 15 1912.

He said: “As The Belfast Titanic Society celebrates its 25th anniversary, we are once again proud, in partnership with Belfast City Council, to be associated with the annual commemoration of the loss of RMS Titanic.

“The tranquility of the memorial gardens continues to offer us all the opportunity to take time out to unite and consider the human tragedy the event was, not just for relatives, but for the whole city.”

Belfast Lord Mayor, Alderman Brian Kingston, commented on Saturday: “On this day 105 years ago, people around the world woke up to the tragic news that RMS Titanic had sunk, resulting in the heart breaking loss of life for many men, women and children.

“While today we take time to remember the disaster that befell her, and all those who tragically lost their lives, we must also note that the Titanic herself was not a disaster, and the craftsmanship, skills and ingenuity that built her, also helped build our great city.”

Belfast’s Titanic Memorial Garden, located at the east entrance of city hall, was officially opened in April 2012 to mark the centenary of the disaster, featuring a wall engraved with the names all of those who perished.

Amongst the names are 28 men from Belfast, nine of whom were employees of the Harland and Wolff Guarantee Group, led by the ship’s designer Thomas Andrews.

Over 80 descendants of those on board Titanic and those interested in the wider Titanic story joined attendees at the service, as part of the Titanic Gathering, organised by Simon Medhurst, great grandson of Titanic quartermaster Robert Hichens.