No. 250 NAI DFA Secretary's Files P3

Code telegram from the Department of External Affairs (through Geneva)
to William Warnock (Berlin)
(No. 61) (Personal) (No. 93) (Personal) (Copy)

Dublin, 2 August 1940

Please address a note in following terms to Foreign Office:


'1. At 3.45 p.m. Irish Summer Time, on the 1st August, the Irish-registered vessel S.S. 'Kerry Head' was attacked by an aircraft bearing German markings at a point 1½ miles south of Sovereign Island at the entrance to Oyster Haven, Co. Cork. The vessel was on a journey from Swansea to Limerick with a cargo of coal. The S.S. 'Kerry Head', which is owned and managed by Mr. William Talbot Herriott of Limerick and is registered at the port of Tralee, was flying the Irish colours and had the Irish flag painted conspicuously on both sides of her bridge.

2. The aircraft directed several bombs against the S.S. 'Kerry Head', one of which fell 10 feet from her starboard side. The vessel suffered certain damage, including the putting out of action of her steering gear.

3. The Irish Government enters a formal protest against this occurrence, and reserves the right to claim full compensation for the damaged caused.'

Message ends.

In presenting Note, you should add verbally that point of attack is within Irish territorial waters, that owner of boat is own insurer and loss is serious for him, and that, while we are anxious to avoid difficulties, this incident which was witnessed by civilians from the shore is rather too flagrant to be passed over. We hope that German authorities will keep their aircraft away from this part of the world and so prevent such incidents in future.

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