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Displaying items by tag: Naomh Eanna

The bow of the former Aran island ferry Naomh Éanna, which has been broken up for scrap, is en route to Galway.

As The Irish Independent reports, Port of Galway harbourmaster Capt Brian Sheridan hopes to take delivery of the bow within the coming weeks.

He has said he is “thrilled to have secured the bow section” and plans to restore it and have it displayed on the quays in Galway “as a reminder of the historic trading link” between the city and the Aran islands.

He said it was “ a sad day for maritime Ireland that plans to save the ship fell foul of a raft of issues”.

Capt Sheridan had supported efforts to return the ferry to Galway for marine heritage and tourism purposes, after images of it listing to one side in Dublin’s Grand Canal basin prompted calls for it to be saved.

Year-long efforts to realise that failed, and a decision was made to scrap the deteriorating hull.

A contract was awarded last year to Cunningham Civil and Marine to dismantle it.

The bow of the former Aran island ferry Naomh ÉannaThe bow of the former Aran island ferry Naomh Éanna

The 65-year-old ship formerly run by CIÉ as a passenger ferry serving the Aran islands from Galway had been one of the last large vessels built by the Liffey Dockyard Company.

Shortly after it began serving the island route, it was drafted in to the search for survivors of the KLM flight 607E which crashed into the Atlantic ocean some 160 km west of Connemara shortly after take-off from Shannon airport in August 1958.

As Afloat has previously reported, Inis Mór resident Micheál Ó Goill has said islanders had mixed memories of it as sailings could take six to seven hours.

Although it was “not a good weather boat”, it had its own sick bay for use by pregnant women and others, and it also had a bar.

The Naomh Éanna was withdrawn from service in 1986, and was then purchased by the Irish Nautical Trust which brought it to Dublin’s Grand Canal basin.

It was part of the “set” in the 1996 Neil Jordan film on Michael Collins, and was used as a floating surf shop.

The most recent owner, Sam Field Corbett of Irish Ship and Barge Fabrication Company Limited (ISBF) sought Fáilte Ireland support to have it restored as a tourism project or a floating hotel.

When that was unsuccessful, Galway City Council was approached, but it told him there would be “planning issues”.

Fáilte Ireland has said that the owners of the Naomh Eanna applied for Fáilte Ireland capital funding under the Large Grant Scheme 2016 scheme, but the application “was not successful as it did not meet the minimum eligibility criteria necessary”.

Richard Cunningham of Cunningham Civil and Marine said that his company would deliver the bow to Galway, and several other artefacts associated with the ship, including its propeller, anchors and chain, would be saved for historic purposes.

Read The Irish Independent here

Published in Historic Boats

Naomh Éanna, the iconic CIE passenger/cargoship that for decades served the main Aran Islands-Galway route until 1988, is through artefacts to feature in a permanent maritime exhibition.

The exhibition according to the Galway Advertiser is to be part of the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life in Co. Mayo.

The ferry custom built for Córas Iompair Éireann to serve the three Aran Islands route, was completed by the Liffey Dockyard in 1958. For 30 years the vessel transported islanders, tourists, cargoes and animals to and from Galway, see port related story.

When the Naomh Éanna was decommissioned, the small vessel returned to the capital in 1989, Afloat adds firstly to Alexandra Basin before moving to the Grand Canal Dock.

There have been renewed calls for the restoration of the historic and rare surviving Irish built vessel, as for decades the vessel has lain in a derelict condition and in more recent times faced scrapping. In January, the vessel partially capsized in a dry dock of the Grand Canal Dock.

To assist in the collection of artefacts, the newpspaper has more details on how to contact the museum's exhibition on this part of Irish maritime heritage and culture. 

Published in Historic Boats

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

Published in Wavelength Podcast
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There have been calls to "urgently remove" a capsized former Galway-Aran Islands passenger and freight ferry that was left to rot in a Dublin dry-dock reports Dublin Live.

 As Afloat reported earlier the veteran vessel had taken in water ingress during the recent cold snap. 

The historic Naomh Eanna, which was withdrawn from the CIÉ operated Galway Docks-Aran Islands route 37 years ago, has been deemed a "risk" by an expert. The ship built in 1958 at the Liffey Dockyard, has languished for decades in the Grand Canal Basin and then moved to a nearby Georgian-era dry dock followed by acampaign to save the heritage deemed ship from scrapping almost a decade ago.

The ship of rivetted hull construction was the main mode of transport to the Aran Islands before being taken out of commission in 1988 and returned to the capital initially Afloat adds to Alexandra Basin, where the Liffey Dockyard was located. According to Inland Waterways Association of Ireland spokesman Reg MaCabe, the ship is an eyesore and needs to be "dealt with as a matter of urgency".

Speaking to RTE News he said: "I think at this stage, the prospect for renovating the ship is extremely limited...I would say any reasonable person would say it's time for it to be removed." The vessel in 2015 was for €1 bought by Sam Field-Corbett of the Irish Ship and Barge Fabrication (ISBF) which was also responsible for restoring the Liffey Dockyard built Cill Airne, which had a long career within Cork Harbour before its current Dublin based restaurant and bar venue roles.

In 2018 there were plans by Mr Field-Corbett to convert Naomh Eanna in a €6.6 million project of a five-star luxury hotel complete with a glazed restaurant on the boat deck, however the plan fell through (likewise to bring ship back to Galway). He said a salvage company had visited the ship in an attempt to shore up the vessel and limit damage to the dry-dock.

He added that the ship may have been scuppered by vandals.

The Naomh Eanna is berthed in one of two dry-docks within lands leased by the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) who said the ISBF remains solely responsible for the ship and its maintenance.

Published in Historic Boats

The long saga of the future of the former Galway to Aran Islands ferry ship Naomh Eanna entered a new chapter during the recent cold snap, when she began to take on a list through the ingress of water into her hull in her Graving Dock berth off Dublin's Grand Canal Basin. Constructed in traditional riveted style in 1958, Naomh Eanna was one of the last ships built by Liffey Dockyard in Dublin.

After de-commissioning from the Aran Islands service from Galway Docks in 1989, she was brought to Dublin's Grand Canal Basin south of the River Liffey towards Ringsend and used for various purposes in a static berth as several proposals - such as conversion to a restaurant ship and hospitality venue - were put forward.

Thus far, none of those plans has come to full fruition, and the latest setback makes it more likely than ever that Naomh Eanna, for decades a key part of the fabric of Galway Bay life, is headed for the breaker's yard.

Since 2014, this was all that could readily be seen of the Naomh Eanna from the Grand Canal Basin as she awaited her fate. Photo: William MurphySince 2014, this was all that could readily be seen of the Naomh Eanna from the Grand Canal Basin as she awaited her fate. Photo: William Murphy

Published in Ferry

#HistoricBoats - Afloat has noted work has recently begun in Dublin's Grand Canal Dockyard to transform a former CIÉ Aran Islands passenger /freight ferry as previously covered into a floating 5-star luxury hotel on the Liffey, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Commenting to Afloat, the owners Irish Ship & Barge Fabrication Co said the initial works are to clear the vessel of combustible materials in preparation for the €6.6m restoration project which is scheduled to be completed next year.

The first stage of the project will require work to survey the vessel's hull, but this can only be done with the ship removed out of the Grand Canal Dock basin's historic Georgian built graving dock of more than 200 years old. This is to facilitate the installation of docking blocks that will correctly position the ship's keel before any further works can take place. 

Naomh Éanna was built for Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) to serve the Galway-Aran Islands ferry route. For almost the last three decades, however the small passenger, freight and livestock carrier ship has languished in the Grand Canal Dock basin. The basin at Grand Canal Dock opened in 1796 which has three locks linking to the Liffey and were last in use by commerical ships until the 1960's. 

In 2015 the IS&BFCo. for €1 acquired Naomh Éanna from the Irish Nautical Trust, as the vessel completed in 1958 is a rare surviving example of an Irish built ship (Liffey Dockyard) and constructed by rivetting. Then the practice was at the end of an era not just in Ireland but in Europe. Following the ferry's withdrawal from the Aran Islands service in 1988, the ship transferred from the state transport company to the ownership of the Trust. They intended to make the ship into a museum about the Aran service in addition to be in a seaworthy state.  

Naomh Éanna's berth in the basin's Georgian graving docks in Ringsend is notable given the facility was disused (see save architecture). The IS&BFCo is working to restore the veteran vessel now in its 60th year in the drydock for a new career as a luxury hotel berthed on the capital's city centre quays.

Naomh Éanna's transformation is to involve a 28-cabin hotel complete with a glazed restaurant on the boat deck. The work follows Dublin City Council awarding a licence earlier this year, which permits the vessel to berth on Custom House Quay along the Liffey following a public tendering process. The waterbased process seeks to animate the river frontage lining the 'Docklands' quarter, the modern financial quarter downriver of O'Connell Street.

Roll back three decades when safety concerns from the Irish maritime authorities, chiefly stability, led to the withdrawal of the 483 tonnes Naomh Éanna from the Aran Islands service. The closure of the three-hour seasonal route on the Atlantic Ocean became the last passenger service directly linking the mainland mid-west city port and the trio of islands. A cargo-only service remains through a private operator, Lasta Mara Teo using the Bláth na Mara. 

Up until recent years the former ferry in Grand Canal Dock was home to a watersports shop. The shop occupied the former cargohold, as shown in a rare photo overlooking the vessel's deck layout. On that occasion a visit involved having to access a quayside building for the purposes of a piece published in Ships Monthly, May 2014. 

In that same year, the fate of Naomh Éanna could of been all so different, as the principle authority in charge of Grand Canal Dock, Waterways Ireland intended to dispose the vessel through scrapping having been alongside Charlotte Quay for decades. Other laid up and abandoned vessels, albeit smaller craft were also subject to a removal clearance programme as the area had become run down.

Fears that the old Aran Islands ferry cargoship would sink led Watersways Ireland to tow the vessel to the nearby Georgian built dry-dock, though this procedure required firstly a digger to widen the entrance to the dry dock. From within the drydock the ship was to have been scrapped. 

A campaign was raised for Naomh Éanna, the Save Our Ship (SOS) group which was led by those concerned in assisting to secure the unique ship launched from the Liffey Dockyard. The shipbuilder no longer exists, though it was rathar apt to have observed the vessel occupy a berth a stone's throw of the shipyard site in Alexandra Basin. On that occasion the visit to the port took place in the year the former ferry returned to the capital in 1989.

Campaigners protests resulted in the Seanad, upper house of the Irish Parliament, to grant a reprieve given the vessel's historic Irish maritime heritage, despite a previous appeal rejected by the Department of Heritage.

An extended timeframe was made to allow efforts to concieve a restoration project, where the IS&BF originally proposed to return the Galway registered ship back to its western homeport. The Port of Galway was where the former ferry would become a floating boutique hostel, micro-brewery and museum recounting the Aran service. However, plans fell through resulting in Dublin retaining its own built ship.  

Afloat's recent visit to Grand Canal Dock basin also noted waterbased commercial boat activity, albeit only applies to the regular traffic of Viking Splash Tours. Their amphibious excursion / tourist craft use the Grand Canal Dockyard's slip, exactly at this location is where the largest of the three Georgian graving docks had occupied but is now infilled. 



Published in Historic Boats

#HistoricBoats - Former ferry cargoship that CIÉ serviced the Aran Islands will writes The Irish Times become home to luxury five-star accommodation berthed at Dublin’s Custom House Quay as its owners plan a significant investment.

The Naomh Eanna, acquired by Sam Field Corbett of Irish Ship & Barge Fabrication for €1 in 2015, has been awarded a licence for berth on the river Liffey following a recent public tendering process that seeks to animate the river.

The ferry built in Dublin in 1956 will now see preliminary work commencing its restoration following Dublin City Council’s decision to offer it a berth once completed.

Private funding of €6.6 million has been secured to restore the ship and refit it as a 28-cabin hotel, to a five-star standard complete with a glazed restaurant on the boat deck.

Once complete the Naomh Eanna will have glass decks and all cabins will be 15-20sq m themed in a classic 1920s style of hardwood and brass.

For further reading on this unique Irish maritime heritage project, click here. 

Published in Historic Boats

#SaveShip! -The owner of a heritage ship is seeking about €2 million from a joint investor to convert the Naomh Éanna into a boutique hotel/ hostel, cafe and restaurant, which he then hopes to berth close to the CHQ building on the north Dublin quays and open for business.

This venture writes The Irish Times would be similar to the Cill Airne in front of the new Central Bank building as recently reported by Afloat which adds this is another rare example of a Dublin built vessel remaining in the capital.

Sam Field Corbett of Irish Ship & Barge Fabrication bought the iconic four-deck Naomh Éanna two years ago for €1. Despite attempts to fund the restoration, the ship still sits in a graving dock at the far end of Grand Canal Dock close to the river Dodder.

The National Asset Management Agency, which until recently was responsible for the graving dock, allowed the Naomh Éanna to dock there for free.

Mr Corbett now says the site could be redeveloped for an iconic building, which could involve filling in the 250-year-old dry dock. In short, the Naomh Éanna will be scrapped (as previously reported) if it can’t be restored or a new home found for it.

‘Act of barbarism’

The clock is ticking because, while the ship is currently docked for free, it costs more than €1,000 a day to keep a ship of this size in dry dock – and there aren’t many available.

“Scrapping the Naomh Éanna would be an act of barbarism to our maritime heritage,” says Mr Corbett. “She was built in Dublin at Liffey Dockyard in 1956 and is one of the last riveted ships, as welding replaced this labour-intensive and highly skilled construction method in the 1940s.

“But she is probably best remembered for her 30 years as the Galway-to-Aran Islands ferry before being decommissioned in 1986.”

His plan for the Naomh Éanna, which he says would take nine months to restore, is to convert it into a 128-bed boutique hostel, a 64-seat cafe and a 52-seat restaurant. There would also be a micro-brewery and exhibits detailing the ship’s history.

For much more on this development on this rare surviving Irish built ship, the newspaper has more here

Published in Historic Boats

#NaomhEanna - The Minister for Transport is being urged to back a campaign to bring Naomh Eanna back to Galway, writes The Connacht Tribune.

The ship once carried passengers (and freight) between the city and Aran Islands, before being withdrawn from service in 1989. It has been lying derelict in Ringsend, Dublin for over two decades.

However, the engine room of the ship is still operational, and campaigners say if enough funds are raised, it will be possible to sail the vessel back to Galway.

Previous attempts to bring the Naomh Eanna home to Galway suggested that the ship could be a major tourist attraction for the city – by changing it into a floating museum.

The proposed project would cost in the region of half a million euro – but a recent application to Fáilte Ireland has been rejected, and campaigners feel the rejection was unfair.

The campaign group has now written to Minister Shane Ross asking him to intervene. Campaigner Sam Corbett says grant support is crucial if the Naomh Eanna is to return home to Galway.

Afloat adds that this rare surviving example of a Dublin built ship dating to 1958 had faced the prospect of been scrapped, however a campaign was launched to save her several years ago. 

The disposal of the ship was to be undertaken by Waterways Ireland in a disused Georgian graving dock. This historic dry-dock (see proposal to save) is located also in Ringsend, at the Grand Canal Dock Basin from where the veteran vessel languishes. 

Published in Historic Boats

#NaomhÉanna - previously reported that restoration of the former Aran Islands ferry Naomh Éanna required solid financial backing before a number of ambitious future plans for the boat could proceed.

Now campaigners for the historic vessel have turned to the internet to seek funding for the first step of their rejigged refurbishment plan – now starting with the proposed micro brewery.

Organisers believe that setting up the brewery first – with a funding target of €3,000 for the necessary equipment and licences – will provide the revenue stream needed to get further restoration works in motion, as well as "show investors and banks that we are actually doing something", as the project's IndieGoGo page explains.

It's hoped that the micro brewery will operate from the Naomh Éanna at its Grand Canal Dock berth – and tours of the ship and the proposed brewing facilities are among the perks available for contributors to the crowdfunding campaign, which has 55 days left to go as of Wednesday 20 May.

Published in Historic Boats
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