Maritime Heritage Project Launched In Newry

Newry Maritime Association and NMD Council Launch the James Mac Mahon Heritage Project

Newry Maritime Association and NMD Council Launch the James Mac Mahon Heritage Project

Local history and heritage in Newry has taken another great leap forward with the launch of a major maritime project centred around one of the city’s well-known characters from the 19th century.

Newry Mourne and Down District Council and Newry Maritime Association are delighted to launch the James Mac Mahon heritage project, as part of the Council’s ‘Capacity Building’ programme, supported by the European Union PEACE IV Programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

Match funding has also been provided for this project by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department for Rural and Community Development in Ireland.

The project reflects on the role that James Mac Mahon the Newry merchant and shipping agent made during the famine years, which contributed to the development of the commercial sector in Newry during the 19th century.

Renowned local historian Kevin Murphy will lead guided bus tours of South Armagh, which will form an integral part of the project. The tours will showcase the ill-fated famine ship, ‘The Hannah’, which left Warrenpoint in April 1849 bound for Quebec. Many of the passengers that boarded the ship originated from Forkhill in South Armagh and would have purchased their passage from James Mac Mahon.

The trips are open to everyone and are fully funded by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme. Operating on Saturday 16 October, Saturday 23 October, Saturday 30 October and Saturday 6 November, trips will leave Southern Regional College in Newry at 11am, arriving at Thomas Davis Hub, Newry at 2pm for refreshments, followed by a presentation on ‘The Hannah’ delivered by Kevin Murphy. Passengers will then be returned to Southern Regional College at 4.30pm.

Newry Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Cathy Mason said:I very much welcome this project, it is a great example of how we can come together as a community to learn about our shared history and the contribution that historical figures have made to the development of Newry and beyond”.

The Chairman of Newry Maritime Association, James Mc Arevey added: “We are delighted to have received funding for this important heritage project from the European Union PEACE IV Programme. 

“Working closely with Newry City Library, Bessbrook Heritage and Historical Group and the Church of Ireland congregations in Newry and Bessbrook, we have collectively created a well-researched project for the community to enjoy.”

To book your place on this project or to request more information please email:


• The Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) is a North South Implementation Body sponsored by the Department of Finance in Northern Ireland and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in Ireland.

• SEUPB is responsible for managing two EU Structural Fund Programmes, PEACE IV and INTERREG VA which are designed to enhance cross-border co-operation, promote reconciliation, and create a more peaceful and prosperous society.

• The Programmes operate within a clearly defined area including Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and in the case of INTERREG VA, Western Scotland.

• The PEACE IV Programme has a value of €270 million and aims to promote peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland.

• For more information on the SEUPB please visit: