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Galway Hooker Lit in Ukrainian Colours

16th March 2022
The Naomh Cronán Galway hooker in Ukrainian colours on Galway's Claddagh basin
The Naomh Cronán Galway hooker in Ukrainian colours on Galway's Claddagh basin Credit: Peter Connolly)

One of Galway’s fleet of traditional craft has been lit in Ukrainian national colours in support of the people of Ukraine

The Naomh Cronán is decked out in yellow and blue on Galway’s Claddagh basin each evening after sunset.

The 40 foot Naomh Cronán was built to the design of the traditional craft once used for fishing and turf-carrying along the Atlantic coast.

It was constructed as part of a project among Irish language schools in the Clondalkin area of Dublin under the supervision of the late legendary boatbuilder Joe Murphy.

“We were preparing lights for our fleet for St Patrick’s day on March 17th, and decided to light one of the vessels for Ukraine,” Peter Connolly of Bádóirí an Chladaigh, the Claddagh Boatbuilders, said.

The initiative mirrors responses across Ireland in support of Ukraine, with thousands of families offering to take Ukrainian nationals fleeing conflict.

Public buildings have been illuminated in Ukrainian colours across Ireland since Russia launched its invasion on February 24th.

The Claddagh boatbuilders are one of two groups in Galway city involved in the construction and restoration of the traditional vessels.

The boatbuilder group is involved in the annual “greening” of Galway as part of the St Patrick’s Day national festival over four days.

The wooden craft with the signature “tumblehome” hull has been synonymous with Connemara and Kinvara, host to the annual Cruinniú na mBád regatta.

However, as Connolly says, the craft was fished from the Claddagh in the 19th century, until it was gradually displaced. Connolly’s group was formed in response to the sight of several hooker hulls languishing on the Claddagh quay wall.

They formed a partnership with skilled traditional boatbuilders in Rosmuc, Co Galway, and beyond.

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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