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Maintaining Charlie Haughey's Celtic Mist

16th July 2021
Celtic Mist under maintenance at Howth
Celtic Mist under maintenance at Howth

Ten years ago the family of Charlie Haughey offloaded their yacht, Celtic Mist, to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group.

It took most of a year to refurbish it and the cost was put at around €80,000.

The yacht was getting "old and tired and needed rejuvenation," it was stated.

The family said they had great memories of good times aboard, but it was too big for them anymore.

I was invited to do the 'honours' at the relaunch of Celtic Mist at Kilrush Marina on the Shannon Estuary.

Most of the "rejuvenation work" had been done in Kilrush by a mix of volunteers and professionals. I agonised over what to say. For a journalist, there were obvious difficulties, so I approached the event from a predominantly maritime viewpoint – the restoration to a working life of a boat in her proper location – in the water.

Charlie Haughey onboard Celtic Mist Charlie Haughey onboard Celtic Mist

I did have reasonably good relations with Mr Haughey when I became a marine correspondent, as different to my former journalistic incarnation as a news reporter. In the context of our mutual maritime interest, we had discussed the marine sphere, and I was the recipient of friendly Christmas cards. However, it was still an occasion to be treated with great care. In fact, the main interest amongst the public attendance seemed to be to get the opportunity to go aboard and see whether there was, as had been widely reported, a bath attached to Charlie's cabin. In fact, it had been removed during the refurbishment!

Celtic Mist in her new lookCeltic Mist in her new livery

Since that event, I've been bound with an interest in the voyages of Celtic Mist and am impressed by her new livery in which she has emerged from her latest treatment at Howth Boatyard. She has been on 'shakedown survey work' prior to her annual hosting of members of the IWDG who will be doing more marine wildlife surveys.

The Group's Chief Executive has been telling me about the current state of the yacht and the plans for this year as my guest on this week's Podcast.

Listen to the Podcast here.

Published in Tom MacSweeney
Tom MacSweeney

About The Author

Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney writes a weekly column for Afloat.ie. He also presents the radio programme Maritime Ireland on radio stations around Ireland.

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