The sinking of HMS Wasp, 1884 – A curse, sabotage or human error? – IrishCentral

In September 1884, a royal navy gunboat, on route to carry out an eviction sunk off the coast of Tory Island in Donegal. Smashed on rocks, she sank in just 15 minutes and 52 men perished.

The official cause of the sinking was due to negligence, but rumour and folklore persist that sabotage or even a curse could be responsible for the sinking of HMS Wasp.

Ireland in 1884 was a nation in turmoil, the scars of the Great Famine were still raw, two years previously the two most senior politicians in Ireland had been assassinated by the Invincible’s in the Phoenix Park and the Land War still raged all across the island.

Eviction duty

It was in this atmosphere that HMS Wasp began her final journey from her homeport of Westport County Mayo to facilitate the eviction of three tenant families on the Island of Inishtrahull, which is

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