Bernard “Barney” McKenna was born at 24 Harding Street in Belfast, Ireland on 2 February 1880.1 Coming from a Roman Catholic family, he was the son of Patrick McKenna, a labourer, and the former Lizzie Cushnan.
Described as a sailor and giving his address as 33 Harding Street, McKenna was married in Belfast’s St Peter’s Church on 12 April 1903 to mill worker Ellen Maguire (b. circa 1882). They went on to have six children: Thomas (b. 1905), Elizabeth (b. 1907), Mary Ellen (b. 1909), Catherine (b. 1911), Margaret (b. 1915) and Susan (b. 1916).
The McKenna family appears on the 1911 census living at 42 Scotch Street and Barney was, at the time, described as a stretcher in a linen factory. He may have served in the British Army as a teenager whilst he is known to have joined the Royal Naval Reserve sometime after 1908.
McKenna’s ship prior to Titanic had been the Tinhorn. He joined Titanic at Belfast for the delivery trip to Southampton where he then disembarked.
Bernard McKenna died in Belfast on 1 April 1922 at the age of 42.