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A Future for the Naomh Éanna - Islander Michéal Ó Goill's Proposal

14th February 2023
Inis Mór resident Micheál Ó Goill believes there is still a future for the Naomh Éanna
Inis Mór resident Micheál Ó Goill believes there is still a future for the Naomh Éanna

Aran island resident Micheál Ó Goill was all of six years of age when he saw the Naomh Éanna making its first sailing in from Galway to Inis Mór.

That was April 1958, and in August of that year, it was involved in the search for any survivors of the KLM Dutch airline crash off the Irish west coast.

As he recalls, the ship had its own sick bay, and a bar, but it was not a good weather boat, and the island piers weren’t built for a vessel of that size – hence currachs helped with unloading.

Naomh Eanna capsized in  Grand Canal Basin Photo: DublinLive/TwitterNaomh Eanna capsized in  Grand Canal Basin Photo: DublinLive/Twitter

Anyone going to Inis Oírr could have a six to seven-hour sail ahead of them, and there were times when the weather would force the ferry to turn around and head back to Galway. Islanders, therefore, have mixed memories of the former CIÉ-owned ferry.

However, recent aerial shots of its listing in the Grand Canal Basin’s graving dock have reignited a debate about its future. Ó Goill has one excellent suggestion – he spoke to Wavelengths about it at Trá na Leachtaí on Inis Mór.

You can listen to him on Wavelengths below

Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Search and Rescue: True stories of Irish Air-Sea Rescues and the Loss of R116 (2022); Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004); and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010). She is also co-producer with Sarah Blake of the Doc on One "Miracle in Galway Bay" which recently won a Celtic Media Award

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Afloat's Wavelengths Podcast with Lorna Siggins

Weekly dispatches from the Irish coast with journalist Lorna Siggins, talking to people in the maritime sphere. Topics range from marine science and research to renewable energy, fishing, aquaculture, archaeology, history, music and more...