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Tight Contest for Galway Hookers and Gleoiteogs at 44th Cruinniú na mBád in Kinvara

16th August 2023
An Norah Bheag, an Feichin and Báid Choil Beag competing at the 44th annual Cruinniú na mBád festival in Kinvara, Co Galway
An Norah Bheag, an Feichin and Báid Choil Beag competing at the 44th annual Cruinniú na mBád festival in Kinvara, Co Galway Credit: Máire Ní Éinniú

Tight competition marked the 44th annual Cruinniú na mBád festival in Kinvara, Co Galway at the weekend.

In spite of a dark and overcast day, the festival was a success on and off water, with An Norah taking the top price in the leath bháid class.

In the gleoiteoga móra class, the Ina “kept her winning streak”, according to Máire Ní Einniú who took photos at the event.

An Norah Bheag, an Feichin and Báid Choil beag making their way to a start at the 44th annual Cruinniú na mBád festival in Kinvara, Co Galway Photo: Máire Ní ÉinniúAn Norah Bheag, an Feichin and Báid Choil beag making their way to a start at the 44th annual Cruinniú na mBád festival in Kinvara, Co Galway Photo: Máire Ní Éinniú

The Ina is owned by Clann Uí Ghríofa and was built in 2019 in Sruthán, An Cheathrú Rua by Michael MacDonnacha. It is crewed by three generations of the Griffin family and friends.

An Katherine, took second place in the Gleoiteoga beaga at the 44th annual Cruinniú na mBád festival in Kinvara, Co Galway Photo: Máire Ní ÉinniúAn Katherine, took second place in the Gleoiteoga beaga at the 44th annual Cruinniú na mBád festival in Kinvara, Co Galway Photo: Máire Ní Éinniú

The Katherine was built in 2008 in Leitir Mealláin by Martin Mullins and is owned by Pádraig Barrett.

An Stiofan closely behind the McHugh in breeze at the 44th annual Cruinniú na mBád festival in Kinvara, Co Galway Photo: Máire Ní ÉinniúAn Stiofan closely behind the McHugh in breeze at the 44th annual Cruinniú na mBád festival in Kinvara, Co Galway Photo: Máire Ní Éinniú

Three boats had to restart in the gleoiteoga beaga class. However, two of the three, Norah Bheag and Feichín, managed to make their way back up to take second and third place respectively.

An Norah Bheag is owned by Coilín Ó hIarnáin and helmed by Coilín Óg. It was built in 1916 by Seán Ó Dómhnaill.

An Ina heading to the finish line at the 44th annual Cruinniú na mBád festival in Kinvara, Co Galway Photo: Máire Ní ÉinniúAn Ina heading to the finish line at the 44th annual Cruinniú na mBád festival in Kinvara, Co Galway Photo: Máire Ní Éinniú 

Feichín was built in 2002 by Donal Greene and is owned and helmed by Michael Kelly.

The McHugh is now leading the season’s hooker racing series, with five points, meaning the next two races are vital, Ní Éinniú notes.

The McHugh is another century-old craft, having been built by Pádraig O’Casey in Mweenish in 1917. It is helmed by Donál Mac Dhonnacha and crew Seán Éinniú and Keith Ridge.

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At a Glance -  Galway Hooker 2024 Calendar

July 16th, Mac Dara’s Day in Connemara Galway Hooker Association

August 9th - 11th,  45th Cruinniu na mBad, Kinvara

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