Today is a special and emotional day for my family and the City of Belfast. My Grandfather, Jonathan Kendal who served as a gunner on HMS Tiger, survived the 1916 Battle of Jutland. The Tiger took several hits. Unfortunately 8,648 sailors from the British and German fleets died. 358 of those who died were Irish.
HMS Caroline, the second-oldest ship in Royal Navy service and the last survivor of the Battle of Jutland has been docked in Belfast for many, many years. I have gazed on her and watched her decay. However, today (1 June) and following major restoration works costing £14.2 million she will be open to the public at Belfast‘s Titanic Quarter. The restoration work looks very impressive and I look forward to visiting her again.