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New Traditional Rig for the Good Ship Ilen

16th November 2015
Ilen_School_Rig_Team
Front Row: Patrick Beautement, Wooden Boatbuilder UK, Matt Dirr, Wooden Boatbuilder US, James Madigan, Wooden Boatbuilder, Colin Frake, Traditional Ship Fittings UK, Dermot Kennedy, Traditional Ship Sailor. Back Row: Eoghan O’Mahony, Traditional Sailmaker, Liam Hegarty, Wooden Boat Specialists, Trevor Ross, Traditional Ships Rigger NZ, Gary MacMahon, Director Ilen School, Br Anthony Keane OSB, Ilen School Director.

An international gathering at the Ilen School, Roxboro, Limerick of expert marine traditional riggers, sailmakers and classic boatbuilders, might induce one to speculate that a sailing ship is somewhere in Ireland nearing completion. And yes, this gathering of last Friday, clearly marks a significant juncture in the rebuild of Ireland’s 1926 wooden sailing ship Ilen. The way has now been mapped, essential tasks identified, and if rebuilding milestones are achieving, then there is no reason to think that the good ship will not be plying a new trade in Education of the Sea by late summer 2016.Ilen IrishSailingShip

Published in Ilen
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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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