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John P Holland

Date of Birth: 
Date of Death: 

The Liscannor Man who invented the Sub


John P. Holland was born in 1841 in Liscannor and attended the local national school.  After his father died the family moved to Limerick and he attended the Christian Brothers in 1853.  As he had been born near the sea, he was very interested in sea travel and scientific experiments.  He also drew up some plans for an aeroplane.

By 1859, he had completed his first drafts for a submarine design and he believed that naval warfare of the future would be dominated by the country that used submarines to steal close to the battleships.

John went to Boston in 1873 as his mother had emigrated and he later taught in Paterson, New Jersey.  He was introduced to the Fenian Movement who encouraged his designs.  When the Fenians were no longer prepared to back his designs, he sold them to the British Navy.  He built two submarines for Japan which were used against the Russians in 1904-1905 war.  He received the Rising Sun from the Emperor of Japan for his contribution to the Japanese Naval Victory.

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Castle Street in Liscannor was renamed Holland Street in his honour.

Location in USA: 
Paterson, New Jersey