There have been five ships named Innisfallen. They served on the Irish Sea route between Cork and Fishguard. The first two were war casualties. The third was broken up. The final two (which have been renamed) are still in service, albeit in warmer waters.
An earlier ship named Innisfallen was built at Blyth, Northumberland, England, in about 1863. She sank with the loss of eight lives in the English Channel in the vicinity of the Goodwin Sands in a storm at the end of November 1897, on a voyage from South Shields to Cowes. She was carrying a cargo of gascoal when she sank.
The first Innisfallen was built in 1896. She was torpedoed and sunk, without warning, by German U-boat U-64 on 23 May 1918, 16 nautical miles (30 km) east of the Kish Light Vessel. She was on her way from Liverpool to Cork. 10 died. She had been owned by City of Cork Steam Packet Company.
The City of Cork Steam Packet Company built the second Innisfallen in 1930. City of Cork Steam Packet Company, was taken over by the Coast Lines group. They set up their Cork – Fishguard operation as “B & I Lines” (British and Irish Lines). She sailed the Dublin – Liverpool route.
The third Innisfallen was launched in 1948 by B&I. The B&I had an advertising slogan: "Travel the Innisfallen Way". She was sold in 1967, to Hellenic Maritime Lines and renamed Poseidonia. She was broken up at Brindisi in 1985. In 1967 the Irish Government bought B&I Lines from the Coast Lines group.
The fourth Innisfallen was launched in 1969. She sailed the Cork-Swansea route, while her sister ship, Leinster, sailed Dublin-Liverpool. In 1983 all sailings from Cork were closed, as there were not enough passengers.
Innisfallen was sold to Corsica Ferries who renamed her Corsica Viva. There were several more changes to her name. In 2003 she was sold to Sancak Lines, Turkey, who renamed her Derin Deniz. She was broken up in 2004.
The B&I Line then renamed Leinster, which was also launched in 1969 as the fifth Innisfallen. The new 'Innisfallen', being a deeper draught than the previous ship now sailed Cork-Pembroke Dock. In 1986 she was sold to Strintzis Lines and was renamed Ionian Sun. In 2000 Strintzis Lines renamed themselves as Blue Ferries. In 2001 she was sold to Marco Shipping Agency, Dubai and renamed Merdif.
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