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French Yawl to Visit Galway as Part of "Mini Brittany Fest"

6th May 2022
A French yawl built from a late 18th-century replica will be on display in Galway from this weekend
A French yawl built from a late 18th-century replica will be on display in Galway from this weekend

A French yawl built from a late 18th-century replica will be on display in Galway as part of a “Mini Brittany Fest” which runs from May 7th to 14th.

Mayor of Lorient Fabrice Loher will lead a delegation to Galway to coincide with the festival and to mark 47 years of twinning between the two cities.

Crew members of the French yawl or “yole” will discuss maritime skills with schools and groups throughout next week, and it will take part in a sailing display with the Claddagh Galway Hooker fleet on Saturday, May 14th, weather permitting.

Crew members of the French yawl or “yole” will discuss maritime skills with schools and groupsCrew members of the French yawl or “yole” will discuss maritime skills with schools and groups

Lorient is Brittany’s primary fishing harbour, and the delegation will meet with Údarás na Gaeltachta for an overview of economic development in the Gaeltacht.

It will also visit Ros-a-Mhíl fishing and ferry port, and meet representatives of the Port of Galway, the Portershed, Aerogen, the Atlantic Technological University and iHub, and NUI Galway.

This follows a trip to Lorient in March to discuss “shared interests”, led by Mayor of Galway Cllr Colette Connolly, along with representatives from Galway Chamber, NUI Galway, and the Portershed, French honorary consul Catherine Gagneux and Marian Ni Chonghaile from the Galway-Lorient committee.

The first France-Ireland twinning conference on Sunday, May 8th, will gather committees from France and Ireland in the Connacht Hotel in Galway.

Its aim is “to focus on helping and motivating committees through talks and collaborative workshops”.

French yawl or “yole

The Mini Brittany Fest from May 7th will include sean nós workshops, traditional music sessions, performances by Breton dancers from Lorient (le Cercle Celtique Brizeux), outdoor Breton games, a pop art exhibition of Breton rural life and pop art workshop with Hangar’t using photos from the Old Ireland in Colour books.

French Ambassador HE Vincent Guerend said that “through the promotion of sharing and cultural exchanges, twinnings are also an instrument of peace, encouraging the development of individual friendships between citizens of France and Ireland”.

“On May 9th, we will celebrate Europe Day,” he said.

“In the context of the French Presidency of the EU and at the beginning of the EU50 initiative, celebrating 50 years of Ireland’s EU membership and reflecting on the importance of our European identity, heritage and home, I would like to rejoice and welcome the ties that bind our two countries, France being now Ireland’s closest EU neighbour,” the ambassador added.

Visits to the French yawl can be booked through French honorary consul Catherine Gagneux on email [email protected]

Lorna Siggins

About The Author

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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Galway Port & Harbour

Galway Bay is a large bay on the west coast of Ireland, between County Galway in the province of Connacht to the north and the Burren in County Clare in the province of Munster to the south. Galway city and port is located on the northeast side of the bay. The bay is about 50 kilometres (31 miles) long and from 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) to 30 kilometres (19 miles) in breadth.

The Aran Islands are to the west across the entrance and there are numerous small islands within the bay.

Galway Port FAQs

Galway was founded in the 13th century by the de Burgo family, and became an important seaport with sailing ships bearing wine imports and exports of fish, hides and wool.

Not as old as previously thought. Galway bay was once a series of lagoons, known as Loch Lurgan, plied by people in log canoes. Ancient tree stumps exposed by storms in 2010 have been dated back about 7,500 years.

It is about 660,000 tonnes as it is a tidal port.

Capt Brian Sheridan, who succeeded his late father, Capt Frank Sheridan

The dock gates open approximately two hours before high water and close at high water subject to ship movements on each tide.

The typical ship sizes are in the region of 4,000 to 6,000 tonnes

Turbines for about 14 wind projects have been imported in recent years, but the tonnage of these cargoes is light. A European industry report calculates that each turbine generates €10 million in locally generated revenue during construction and logistics/transport.

Yes, Iceland has selected Galway as European landing location for international telecommunications cables. Farice, a company wholly owned by the Icelandic Government, currently owns and operates two submarine cables linking Iceland to Northern Europe.

It is "very much a live project", Harbourmaster Capt Sheridan says, and the Port of Galway board is "awaiting the outcome of a Bord Pleanála determination", he says.

90% of the scrap steel is exported to Spain with the balance being shipped to Portugal. Since the pandemic, scrap steel is shipped to the Liverpool where it is either transhipped to larger ships bound for China.

It might look like silage, but in fact, its bales domestic and municipal waste, exported to Denmark where the waste is incinerated, and the heat is used in district heating of homes and schools. It is called RDF or Refuse Derived Fuel and has been exported out of Galway since 2013.

The new ferry is arriving at Galway Bay onboard the cargo ship SVENJA. The vessel is currently on passage to Belem, Brazil before making her way across the Atlantic to Galway.

Two Volvo round world races have selected Galway for the prestigious yacht race route. Some 10,000 people welcomed the boats in during its first stopover in 2009, when a festival was marked by stunning weather. It was also selected for the race finish in 2012. The Volvo has changed its name and is now known as the "Ocean Race". Capt Sheridan says that once port expansion and the re-urbanisation of the docklands is complete, the port will welcome the "ocean race, Clipper race, Tall Ships race, Small Ships Regatta and maybe the America's Cup right into the city centre...".

The pandemic was the reason why Seafest did not go ahead in Cork in 2020. Galway will welcome Seafest back after it calls to Waterford and Limerick, thus having been to all the Port cities.

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