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Students Sail into Banagher's Heritage Harbour

31st May 2011
Students Sail into Banagher's Heritage Harbour

As the first vessel edged under the Bridge and the inland waterways. Fleet turned purposely into Banagher Harbour, it was clear that these were no ordinary boats. These were the vanguard of the Heritage Boats that are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their association over the coming weeks.

The 6th Class students of Saint Rynagh's National School were eagerly awaiting the arrival of the fleet. In recent weeks they have been participating is a project centred round the Heritage Boats, their links with Banagher and incorporating the wider heritage and history of the Shannon River. The students, supported by the school principal Mr Fergal McMahon, class teacher Ms Catherine Dolan and associate teacher and local historian Mr James Scully, explored the impact that the River Shannon has had on the town and its hinterland over the centuries.

The Heritage Boats, now visiting the town's harbour, are the very same boats that many decades ago carried the cargos that were the lifeblood of the nation's commerce. Banagher was an important harbour and distribution point on the inland waterway system.

Supported by Offaly County Council and with the great help of renowned artist Ms Rosalind Fanning from the Tin Jug Studio in Birr, the students have documented their work in a unique publication called "HBA 10 @ Banagher".

With their many new young fans, the old boats of the fleet of the Heritage Boat Association are assured a warm welcome in Banagher in the decades ahead.

Published in Inland Waterways Team

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