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Ilen
Ninety-three years after she was briefly a member of the fleet of the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, the restored ketch Ilen visited the historic clubhouse for a special reception this weekend
In 1926, the newly-built 56ft trading ketch Ilen was for six months part of the fleet of the Royal Irish Yacht Club. Built in Baltimore in West Cork under the inspiration of pioneering global circumnavigator Conor O’Brien of Limerick to…
A fair wind from Dunmore East for the historic Limerick ketch Ilen returning (after 21 years) to Dublin Bay.
The Limerick Ketch Ilen arrived back at Dublin yesterday after a 21-year absence. She departed Dunmore East on Friday, where she had been joined by a group from Aiséirí, a dynamic residential treatment centre for adults affected by addiction. This…
Ilen in Kinsale this week
The Ilen will be setting course for Dublin this weekend for a high profile launch at Dun Laoghaire on Friday of next week. She arrived at Kinsale this Wednesday night after what was described as a “bouncy bouncy run from…
Check out the video below to see Ilen depart Limerick City down the Lower Shannon and on towards Baltimore, West Cork.
The historic ketch Ilen of Limerick put to sea again from her home port on April 20th at the beginning of a complex 2019 sailing programme which will see the restored ship voyage in July towards southwest Greenland. Check out the video below to see…
Symbol for a voyage – the Salmons Wake logo inscribed on Ilen’s squaresail in the Ted Russell Dock in Limerick
The historic ketch Ilen of Limerick puts to sea again from her home port this weekend at the beginning of a complex 2019 sailing programme which will see the restored ship voyage in July towards southwest Greenland writes W M…
The Ilen with sails set at Limerick Docks
After an eleven year rebuild, last Saturday offered a first opportunity for sending up ‘Ilen’s’ entire suit of sails, save her square sail - a headwind at Limerick Docks precluded its participation. It might be observed how ‘Ilen’ seems to…
The Square sail set on Ilen in Limerick
Joseph Conrad wrote many stories and novels with a nautical setting, based on his time in the British and French merchant marine and in the old sailing ships. They depict trials of the human spirit and one of his memorable…
The jaunty look. Miraculous mid-winter calm for the first setting of Ilen’s new squaresail in the dock at Limerick
In ancient Greece, the Halcyon Days were a mythological seven day period of calm clear weather at the mid-winter Solstice writes W M Nixon. Down Limerick way, they’ve been making the best of the Halcyon Days, with the blue River…
Somewhere, under the rainbow…..the bright side of the rainstorm favours the Ilen in the Ted Russell Dock in Limerick – she has her own private rainbow, when everyone else was facing flash flood warnings
When we’d flash floods pestering the country recently with wayward downpours, Gary MacMahon went to check out the beloved Ilen in Limerick docks, and found the old girl sitting serenely under her own private rainbow writes W M Nixon But…
 Ilen in search of wind as she heads seaward past Scattery Island in the Shannon Estuary
Foynes Island in the Shannon Estuary exerts an almost supernatural attraction for the O’Brien family writes W M Nixon. The great circumnavigator Conor O’Brien always regarded it as his one and only true home. And though his voyagings and other…
Everyone Welcome to Limerick Party to Celebrate Restoration of Sail Trader Ilen
The return of the restored trading ketch Ilen to Limerick after 92 years has been a matter of quiet celebration among all involved since the 56ft “small tall ship" sailed up the Shannon Estuary from Baltimore at the beginning of…
 Ilen secure for the winter in the Ted Russell Dock in Limerick, where there are daily reminders that this is very much a working port, and Limerick is a manufacturing town
The restored 1926-built 56ft ketch Ilen proudly tells us on her transom that her home port is Limerick writes W M Nixon. And while Limerick may have come to prominence as a raiding base and trading centre for the Vikings…
The Ilen as she is today, fully restored and sailing into port past the Baltimore Beacon before departing for her passage to Limerick. Back in 1952, she was far from being in the same excellent order when Pat McCarthy, originally of Bantry, managed to deliver her from the Falkland Islands to Chile for a much-needed complete refit.
The story of the historic 1926-built trading ketch Ilen, and her recent return in her restored state to the Shannon Estuary and Limerick, has evoked many memories writes W M Nixon. But few if any of these stories are as…
Aboard Ilen in Limerick Docks are (left to right) boatbuilder Liam Hegarty of Baltimore, Gary MacMahon of the Ilen Project, President Higgins, Brother Anthony Keane of Glenstal Abbey, and Sabina Higgins
President Michael D Higgins wished further fair winds for the historic ketch Ilen when he and his wife Sabina went aboard the newly-restored Conor O’Brien ketch during his visit to Limerick writes W M Nixon. Ilen has been brought back…
AK Ilen arrives in Limerick City
Limerick was in celebratory mood once more as another long wait ended with the arrival of the historic sailing vessel Ilen, which first sailed Shannon waters some 92 years ago. As Afloat.ie previously reported, In an autumn of great homecomings…
The Ilen crew onboard in Limerick
The restored Ilen has arrived in Limerick. She was sailed there over the weekend from West Cork, reports Tom MacSweeney. Conor O’Brien’s historic 1926-built tradition ketch, the last of Ireland’s wooden schooners, originally built in Baltimore, was restored in a…

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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