#LINER TENDERS – As Dubliners and visitors alike enjoy the facilities of Cill Airne, the River Liffey's floating restaurant and bar venue, her sister, Canima is in complete contrast, as she rusts away on the far side of the Atlantic, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The Camina was originally launched as Blarna along with Cill Airne from the Liffey Dockyard in the early 1960's as passenger tenders serving the trans-Atlantic liners out of Cobh for the Cork Harbour Commissioners. The 1,000 passenger capacity sisters, each around 500 gross tonnes, were the last vessels to be built using riveted hull constructed methods in Europe.
With the collapse of the liner trade and proliferation of the jetliner in the early 1970's, they had served short careers in Cobh. Blarna was sold to North American interests while Cill Airne remained in Irish waters. She was sold to the Cork Institute of Technology for radar and navigation training on the River Lee and Cork Harbour.
By 2003 Cill Airne's days were numbered as she became obsolete when high-tech simulators formed part of the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) in Ringaskiddy.
She was sold to Dublin investors in 2006 having completed an extensive restoration project at Hegarty's Boatyard in West Cork. She reflects her liner era heritage with art-deco fittings, wood panelling and timber decks throughout, for more click HERE.
As for Blarna, she later served in Bermuda which lasted until 1988. To read more on what her former captain from the Bermudian career has to say on her fate in Canada, where there are plans to secure her future as reported on the RoyalGazette, click HERE.