Glandore was a trading port throughout the 1800’s, particularly after the development of the piers at Glandore and Union Hall. The main exports were minerals, ores, and salted and smoked fish. The fish processing plant was on Glandore pier. It is said at that time that you could walk from Glandore to Union Hall across the decks of the boats, there were so many fishing boats in the harbour. However the fishing industry went into decline during and after World War I. Many of the local boats were sunk by German U-boats as the fisherman of the south coast were perceived to have been providing food to the British public.
A local man and amateur diver Mel Bendon discovered a sunken ship on the Danger Rock. Some of its cargo was still intact, and consisted of earthenware tiles, bowls and jugs. Little is known about the origins of this wreck or its date, but it is thought to be early to mid 1800. The picture is of a recovered bowl from the wreck.
The Glandore submarine
Towards the end of World War II U 260 a class VII C Vessel was travelling approximately 20 miles south of the Fastnet Lighthouse, what she was doing there is uncertain, there was speculation she was involved in espionage liaison. From recovered transcripts it states that she was struck by a mine at 22:30 on 12th March 1945. The Commander, Captain Klaus Becker headed for the irish coast, intending to make repairs. However, such was the extent of the damage she became unmanageable and surfaced. Becker managed to keep his vessel afloat by running the exhaust gases form the diesel engines into the ruptured ballast tanks. Finally, orders came by radio from Germany to scuttle U – 260. The crew of 3 Officers and 42 ratings boarded rafts and one man dinghies called “cockle-shells”. Two crew members came ashore at Galley Head and raised the alarm with the lighthouse keeper. The Courtmacsherry lifeboat was launched and the remaining crew were brought safely ashore. All crew, the eldest was 23years old, were saved. They were arrested and interned at the Curragh Camp until the end of the war. U – 260 was re-discovered in 1975 when a local fisherman Colin Barnes lost fishing gear and later went back to make further investigations of the site and with a friend Joe Barry, who was a diver, discovered that there was the U – 260 which lays approximately 4.5 miles South of Union Hall. (this is a partial extract from Technology Ireland October 1996)