19 December 2020 marked the 80th anniversary of the sinking of Isolda, a service vessel owned by the Commissioners of Irish Lights (Irish Lights). On 19th December 1940, Isolda sailed from Rosslare with a relief crew on board for the Barrels and Coninbeg lightships. Irish Lights, operating the lighthouse service, was considered neutral during World War II. A German aircraft attacked the vessel despite it being clearly marked ‘Lighthouse Service’. The Isolda was carrying buoys, which may have been mistaken for mines. It is reported that the aircraft circled three times over Isolda, and on the last pass released bombs, which hit the ship starting a fire. The survivors landed at Kilmore Quay in their own lifeboats. There were twenty eight crew on board, including the master, Captain Alan Bestic. Six men were killed and seven wounded.
A commemoration video commissioned by Irish Lights can be viewed below.