5[Quaile, Declan, "The Koombana Tragedy", Termonfeckin Historical Society Review, 2006, No. 6, pages 27-29]

[available online at http://www.mcveydesign.com/grandmabelle/book/termonfeckin_review.pdf]


Three Local Seamen

James 'Nish' Levins, the oldest of the three local men on the Koombana, was born in Clogherhead on 28th June 1879 to Peter Levins, from Clogher village, and Mary Moore, from Sunhill in Termonfeckin parish. James would have followed his father and other family members to sea in his teenage years, like many of the young men from Clogherhead at the time. In 1912 he was a boatswain on board the Koombana, meaning he was in charge of lifeboats, sails and rigging on board.

The second local man, Peter (Petie) Clinton was born in Termonfeckin village on 20th July 1880 to Patrick Clinton and Margaret Gargan. There were several Clinton families around Termonfeckin at this time, at least two at the Yellow Gap and two more on Big Street and it is uncertain to which family Petie actually belonged.[1] He would have been taught by Patrick Brodigan the headmaster at Thunderhill, who was known to have included navigation lessons to those pupils expressing an interest. By 1912 he was listed as an able bodied seaman aboard the Koombana.

A third man with Termonfeckin links was serving on the Koombana in 1912. This was Villiam "Bill" Carton. Though he was born in Liverpool Bill's father, also William, was born in September 1840, in Termonfeckin. William senior emigrated to Liverpool sometime in the 1860s where he worked on ships from the port in that city. He got married in Liverpool and his son Bill was born there around 1875. Bill junior later went to sea, following in his father's footsteps. He married Amelia Alcock from Plymouth and they had three children, one daughter, who died young, and two sons.[2] Like his two companions from Clogherhead and Termonfeckin Bill Carton would have sailed around the continents of the world on various ships.[3] By 1912 he was an able bodied seaman, alongside Petie Clinton, on board the Koombana.

[1] In the 1856 Griffiths valuation for Termonfeckin a Peter and Michael Clinton reside in separate houses at yellow Gap.

[2] One of the sons, Jack Cadon, is buried in Termonfeckin graveyard.

[3] A note inserted into Mickey Moore's 1898 diary (cf. THS Review 2002) suggests that Bill was on board the RMS (Royal Merchant ship) Orega at Montevideo, Uruguay.