Miss Margaret Mannion was born in the townland of Loughaunboy1, Kilconnell, Co Galway, Ireland on 1 November 1883.
She the daughter of Lawrence Mannion (b. 1835), a farmer, and Margaret Small (b. 1840), Galway natives who had married around 1867.
One of nine children, Margaret's siblings were: John (b. 1868), Thomas (b. 1870), Mary (b. 1872), Patrick (b. 1873), Ellen (b. 1876), Bridget (b. 1879), Lawrence (b. 1881) and Celia (b. 1885). The family were Roman Catholic and spoke both Irish and English.
Maggie first appears on the 1901 census living at house 10 in Loughaunboy, Castle Ffrench, Co Galway, described as a farmer's daughter and with no other stated profession. She was still at home in time for the 1911 census when she and her family were living at house 2 in Loughaunboy; again she had no stated profession.
With her sister Mary already living in the USA, Margaret bought her ticket for Titanic at the nearby village of Ballygar and set off for America with a group led by Martin Gallagher of Currafurry. Thomas Kilgannon, Thomas Smyth, Margaret and her friend Ellen Mockler were all from the parish of Caltra and were persuaded to travel to America by Martin Gallagher who was visiting his family in Ireland after living in the United States for several years. Gallagher and Mannion were reportedly sweethearts.
"...We were all so excited about starting a new life in America. I was with the man I hoped to marry. The five of us were all very close and we couldn’t get over the style and luxury of the Titanic..." (Margaret Mannion Hopkins, 1963)
She boarded the Titanic at Queenstown as a third class passenger (ticket number 36866 which cost £7, 14s, 9d).
After the Titanic collided with an iceberg Margaret and Ellen Mockler were assisted to the boat deck by Martin Gallagher and Tom Kilgannon and were placed in lifeboat 16. As the boat was lowered she reported seeing Martin Gallagher praying with his rosary.
Upon arrival in New York City, where her sister Mary was already living, Margaret became a domestic. Before the close of 1912 she received news of the passing of her father back in Ireland. She spent the next seven years in New York before deciding to return home.
On 25 May 1919 Margaret, described as a maid, arrived in Liverpool aboard Baltic; in turn she returned to her native Galway and would remain there for the rest of her life. In 1920 she married Martin Hopkins (b. 1885), a farmer also from Castle Ffrench; the couple had three children.
Margaret and her family spent the next years living in the village of Ahascragh in Co Galway; around 1959 they moved to Lismany, Laurencetown, Co Galway where she spent the rest of her life.
Margaret gave many interviews about her experiences over the years and in 1963 she was interviewed by RTÉ (Raidió Teilifís Éireann), the Republic of Ireland's TV and radio broadcaster, in their first ever live broadcast from a hotel in Ballinasloe, Co Galway. She related:
I was just going asleep on the third night when there was a thud and the engines stopped. Panic set in and as we tried to run down the corridors sailors were firing shots in the air. Lifeboats were lowered as the waters rushed in as children and women were helped onto the boats. Some men tried to get on but were stopped by sailors. It was pure mayhem.
Widowed in 1966, Margaret Hopkins née Mannion died in Laurencetown on 15 May 1970 aged 86.