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Ilen
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…
 Cool performer. Niall Dowling’s Ker 43 Baraka GP at Wicklow Head at the start of the Volvo Round Ireland Race 2018. Despite being well down the overall rankings off the coast of Mayo, a tactically brilliant second half saw her emerge as line honours victor and overall winner
Anyone who claims to comprehend every nuance of Ireland’s sailing story during 2018 is living in a state of happy delusion writes W M Nixon. For sure, much that happened followed the set path of the annual programme at home…
 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 Great Skellig as seen from the Limerick-bound ketch Ilen this (Saturday) afternoon
The restored Conor O’Brien ketch Ilen may have had her first sailing sea trials as recently as yesterday off Baltimore in West Cork, but the current spell of settled weather in the southern half of the country has been too…
The classic view looking aloft – the restored working ketch Ilen sailed again today, the first time in nearly 20 years
The Conor O’Brien-designed 56ft ketch Ilen sailed for the first time in twenty years today off Baltimore writes W M Nixon. Originally built in 1926 at the picturesque West Cork port, and recently restored at nearby Oldcourt by Liam Hegarty’s…
Making the Ilen concept child-friendly – young visitors to the Ilen Exhibition in the Hunt Museum in Limerick find that learning about the historic ketch can be fun
The eclectic new exhibition in the Hunt Museum in Limerick, which outlines the Shannonside city’s maritime connections, its traditional local boats and its links to the historic sail training ketch Ilen, has been proving popular with local schools and their…
The restored Ilen looking well at Oldcourt, with some final trimming still needed to bring her to her marks
The successful ten-year restoration of the 1926 Baltimore-built 56ft trading ketch Ilen, originally constructed by Tom Moynihan and his shipwrights in West Cork to designs by pioneering global circumnavigator Conor O’Brien of Limerick, has been a continuing story in Afloat.ie…
Gary McMahon of the Ilen project in Limerick will speak at the Glandore Summer School
There's only four weeks to go until the 2018 Glandore Classic Summer School (21/22 July) which promises to be another excellent event writes organiser Cormac O'Carroll. We hosted the first Summer school in 1992 and this event has been running biennially…
Ilen arrives in Baltimore for her launch. See launch video below
A video, by Paul Fuller, features the restored historic ketch Ilen motoring down the Ilen River towards Baltimore for her celebratory launch last week at the Wooden Boat Festival in the West Cork town. Conor O'Brien's famous traditional vessel, that has been faithfully…
Ilen steaming down river to the Baltimore Wooden Boats festival. Scroll down for more photos and a pdocast
On Saturday I was at the relaunch of the Ilen at the Wooden Boats Festival in Baltimore, West Cork. It was a special occasion, one of emotion and memories, but also pride in what determined people can achieve. I have…

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