St Mura, the O’Neills & 256 bodies of the HMS Laurentic

St Mura’s Parish Church is located in the beautiful village of Fahan in co. Donegal. It dates from 1820 and takes its name from a local saint, Mura, who was a relative of St.Columba. Mura is regarded as the patron saint of the Ui’ Neills, the High Kings of Ireland between 500 and 1100 a who ruled from the nearby Grainan of Aileach. Fahan was chosen as their monastic site and was, therefore, an important early Christian settlement. Within the church, graveyard is an impressive memorial to the 256 seamen who lost their lives with the sinking of the HMS Laurentic. In 1917, SS Laurentic was chosen to carry forty-three tons of gold bullion from Great Britain to Canada. On 25th January 1917, SS Laurentic struck a mine in Lough Swilly. It sank within an hour with a huge loss of life in 40 meters of water. Out of the 3211 gold bars, 20 gold bars are still unaccounted for and lie at the bottom of Lough Swilly worth approx £10 million at current prices!