Encyclopedia Titanica

Martin Gallagher

Mr Martin Gallagher was born in the village of Currafarry in Co Galway, Ireland on 18 January 1883. 

He was the son of Patt Gallagher (b. circa 1845), a farmer, and Catherine Finnerty (b. circa 1838), Galway natives who had married on 16 February 1871 in Ahascragh, Co Galway.

Hailing from a Roman Catholic family of nine children, Martin's siblings were: Mary (b. 15 December 1871), Peter (b. 1 June 1873), Margaret (b. 14 June 1875), Kate (b. 30 August 1876), Thomas (b. 29 January 1879), Honor (b. 6 July 1881), Anne (b. 17 December 1885) and Patt (b. 29 October 1888). His eldest brother Peter died from meningitis on 25 April 1892 aged 18.

Martin first emigrated to America around 19011 and lived in New York City. He later secured a job in Rye, New York and was shown on the 1910 census, described as a coachman and living with his employer, building contractor Thomas Steen and his family at Boston Post Road, Rye. 

Gallagher returned to Ireland to visit his family around late 1911 or early 1912; his family were listed on the 1911 census as residents of house 6 in Currafarry.

With his visit complete Gallagher purchased his return ticket on Titanic, as did the others from Caltra parish, at Ryan's Travel Agency in Ballygar, Co Galway. The third class ticket (number 36864) cost him £7, 14s, 10d. Travelling with him was his sweetheart Margaret Mannion and a few others from his locality, including Thomas Smyth, Thomas Kilgannon and Ellen Mockler.

At the time of the crash, Martin located Ellen Mockler and Margaret Mannion and took them and several other Irish girls to lifeboat 16 and helped escort them into the boat. He then stepped back on the deck. The last the girls remember of him was seeing him leading a group of Irish men in the recitation of the Rosary on Titanic's sloping deck.

Martin Gallagher lost his life in the disaster and his body, if recovered, was never identified.

His elderly parents remained living in Currafarry; his father died on 9 April 1928. His mother rallied for years to come before her death aged 95 on 12 June 1933.


  1. A Martin Gallagher of the correct age arrived in Boston on 10 April 1901 aboard the Ivernia; whether this is the same man is uncertain.

References and Sources

Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279]).
Noel Ray (1999) List of Passengers who Boarded RMS Titanic at Queenstown, April 11, 1912. The Irish Titanic Historical Society

Newspaper Articles

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Comment and discuss

  1. cathie

    I have been looking at my father's family bible and found martin's name

  2. Jvail11

    Martin Gallagher saved more than a few lives, including this one: My great aunt. Moderator's note: Edited to correct formatting error. MAB

  3. Arun Vajpey

    Indeed he did. See his ET biography. Come across as a brave and selfless man. RIP. Reading about Martin Gallagher, I wonder if he was the unidentified man who helped Kate Gilnagh and firend when they got lost trying to find a way to the boat deck. The incident is described in page 97 of Walter Lord's A Night to Remember and a few other works. Apparently Kate and her companion got lost and ended up in a Second Class area where an unknown man standing in the shadows helped them onto the deck... Read full post

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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr Martin Gallagher
Age: 29 years 2 months and 28 days (Male)
Nationality: Irish
Last Residence: in Caltra, County Galway, Ireland
Occupation: Farm Labourer
Embarked: Queenstown on Thursday 11th April 1912
Ticket No. 36864, £7 14s 10d
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Recovered

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