#OurGirl - SeaFest, a three-day (29 June-1 July) jam-packed maritime spectacle began today in Galway Harbour where the public have a rare opportunity to board a supertrawler, Girl Stephanie, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The 45 metre super pelagic trawler, Girl Stephanie based in Killybegs, arrived in the mid-west port yesterday to join SeaFest's Ships on Show.
Among craft that have crammed the quays of Dún Aengus Dock are ships (see below) open to tours from the Naval Service, Commissioners of Irish Lights and the Marine Institute.
As for the supertrawler, Girl Stephanie is owned by retired fisherman Pauric Conneely, whose daughter Stephanie and son, Captain Tomás along with a crew of six will welcome you on board. They will be on hand to talk and learn from about life in Ireland’s fishing sector, fish stocks and sustainable fishing practices of the domestic fishing fleet.
Commenting on the unique occasion, Captain Tomás Conneely said, “I’m delighted to be at SeaFest this year and to give people the chance to tour a working pelagic trawler and to learn about the Irish fishing sector. I come from a fishing background, both my parents are from Aran and worked in the industry. I hope people will see that fishing is not a ‘stone-age’ career choice, as there are lots of opportunities.”
The other exciting line-up of ships open for tours will be OPV LÉ William Butler Yeats (Naval Service) aids to navigtion tender ILV Granuaile (Commissioners of Irish Lights) and research vessel, RV Celtic Explorer of the Marine Institute.