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Ilen
The new Ilen Tetra Pak models have sailed on the Rhine and the Shannon
The restored Limerick trading ketch Ilen may have already voyaged to Greenland in 2019, but this year the distinctive vessel – or at least a model of her – has also been seen sailing on the Rhine in Germany. For…
 The restored Ilen in Greenland last July with her squaresail featuring the Salmons Wake logo which has become a symbol of the ship
Our story last week, about how Gary Mac Mahon of the restored trading ketch Ilen of Limerick has launched a unique ship’s model-making competition to express the Ilen spirit, has rung a bell in Ballinasloe in County Galway, at the…
Seeing things differently. Who’d have thought a Tetrapak was actually the Ilen in disguise?
Junior and very junior sailors who’d like a special indoor Do-it-Yourself Challenge in these locked-in times will find something of special interest in the latest idea from current Irish Sailing Presidential Award holder Gary MacMahon of Limerick. Gary received his…
The restored 1926 ketch Ilen takes her departure for Greenland from the MacMahon stronghold of Carrigaholt Castle on the Shannon Estuary
There were several notable Irish sailing families with their names up in lights more than once at Saturday evening’s virtual awards ceremony for the annual achievements in Irish sailing. But none could match the seaborn diversity of an ancient tribe…
 The essence of the restored Ilen is captured in this evocative WoodenBoat cover photo taken in Greenland waters last summer by Gary Mac Mahon, Director of the Ilen Project and skipper for the outward Transatlantic voyage from Limerick to Greenland’s capital of Nuuk
The Limerick ketch Ilen has received the ultimate accolade among classic and traditional boat restorations by being chosen as the cover star for the March/April 2020 issue of WoodenBoat, the American magazine which deservedly has a global reach and reputation…
A look inside the pages of Hegarty’s Boatyard, by Kevin O’Farrell
The Skibbereen boatyard where Ireland’s last trading schooner was painstakingly restored has been immortalised in a new book of photography, as The Irish Times reports. Hegarty’s Boatyard, on the River Ilen near Skibbereen, is the last surviving traditional boatyard in…
(L to R) Industrial Heritage Association of Ireland President Paul McMahon, Gary MacMahon of the Ilen Project, ESB Director Nicholas Tarrant, Father Anthony Keane (Ilen Project), and Michael English (IHAI Board Member) at the presentation of the IHAI’s Best Restoration of 2019 .
Limerick's Ilen Project has been presented with the Industrial Heritage Association of Ireland's Award for “Best Restoration of 2019” with its visionary management of the rebuilt sailing ship Ilen, and the associated community education work in Limerick. The Association’s President…
Brother Anthony Keane
Scribbler, my Sigma 33 yacht, was hauled ashore this week. Now she stands in her cradle in Castlepoint Boatyard in Crosshaven in Cork Harbour for her out-of-the-water winter rest. It is the annual end-of-season ritual. There are owners who don’t…
Ilen at an iceberg in Western Greenland
The Ilen Project has produced a short video (below) of its 2019 Salmon’s Wake Voyage, a sailing trip undertaken this summer from Ireland to Greenland. It recounts ocean voyaging, navigating ice fields, coastal sailing off West Greenland and the way…
The always-absorbing world of a traditional sailing ship – students from Cork Life Centre get busy with Ilen Facilitator Chelsea Canavan during the vessel’s recent participation in Cork Mental Health Festival
The 1926-built 56ft Conor O’Brien trading ketch Ilen of Limerick has had an exceptionally busy first season in 2019 in her restored condition as achieved by the Ilen Boat-Building School of Limerick, and Liam Hegarty’s Oldcourt Boatyard in West Cork.…
Frank Nugent, a crewman on the Ilen Salmons Wakes Voyage to Greenland, climbing the ridge of Tilman Peak (named for pioneering mountaineer/sailor Bill Tilman) in West Greenland, with Ilen a barely visible dot, very far below in the small bay immediately to the right of the rocky summit. Photo: Paddy O’Brien
This past summer’s successful Salmon’s Wake voyage by Limerick’s 56t traditional ketch Ilen to Greenland worked productively in many ways in high mountains, on the sea, and in ports where the crew interacted with Greenlanders on several cultural programmes. But…
The ketch Ilen’s regular training berth in Kinsale has welcomed her back to Ireland from Greenland
The Limerick ketch Ilen returned safely from Greenland to berth at an Irish quayside for the first time in more than two months when, at 0400hrs this morning, skipper Paddy Barry and his crew brought the 56ft 1926-built “little ship”…
The Little Skellig as seen from Ilen eleven months ago, when she was on passage from Batimore to her home port of Limerick
When Conor O’Brien returned from his round the world voyage in Saoirse to Dun Laoghaire in 1925, it was all carefully choreographed so that he arrived in the middle of a Saturday afternoon, and the DBSC fleet, having abandoned their…
Leaving Greenland…..Ilen under Paddy Barry’s command seen recently heading eastward through Prinz Christian Sund, the awesomely steep but very convenient passage inside Greenland’s most southerly headland of Cape Farewell. The colours leaching from some of those cliffside rocks suggest that this rugged environment might hold impressive reserves of valuable minerals, making it one very desirable piece of real estate………..if it were for sale.
There’ll be opportunities in Limerick and Greenland for young people to learn more of what the two Transatlantic voyages – outward and return - of the 56ft traditional ketch Ilen have discovered and explained, with schools now resumed after the…
The Limerick ketch Ilen making knots in Dublin Bay in May. Having since voyaged to Greenland for salmon migration research and the further development of cultural interchange between Limerick and Greenland schools, she is now bound for Kinsale for an Autumn programme of school and health projects before finally returning to Limerick in October
The 56ft traditional ketch Ilen under the command of Paddy Barry has been making excellent progress since departing Greenland on Sunday evening, and is already halfway home to Ireland along the 1200 mile passage from Prince Christian Sund writes W…
The 56ft 1926-built Ilen setting her full traditional rig off the rugged coast of Greenland
Limerick’s restored 56ft Conor O’Brien-designed 1926-built traditionally-rigged trading ketch Ilen emerged yesteray evening (Sunday) from the eastern end of Prince Christian Sound to start her passage back to Ireland writes W M Nixon. The magnificent Sound - noted for its dramatic…

The Ilen is the last of Ireland’s traditional wooden sailing ships.

Designed by Limerick man Conor O’Brien and built in Baltimore in 1926, she was delivered by Munster men to the Falkland Islands where she served valiantly for seventy years, enduring and enjoying the Roaring Forties, the Furious Fifties, and Screaming Sixties.

Returned now to Ireland and given a new breath of life, Ilen may be described as the last of Ireland’s timber-built ocean-going sailing ships, yet at a mere 56ft, it is capable of visiting most of the small harbours of Ireland.

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