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New Book Of Photos Tells Story Of Boatyard That Rebuilt Ilen

13th February 2020
A look inside the pages of Hegarty’s Boatyard, by Kevin O’Farrell 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 Ireland and remains a hive of activity, mostly servicing the local fishing industry.

Its bigger jobs include the Cill Airne, a 1960s cruise ferry tender refurbished as a restaurant and bar that’s now moored on the Liffey in Dublin, and the ketch Saoirse — “the first boat to take the tricolour around the world in 1923”, according to Liam Hegarty — which is hoped to be ready for Baltimore’s Wooden Boat Festival next year.

But the yard that’s now the subject of a ‘photographic essay’ by Kevin O’Farrell is probably best known for Ilen, the rebuilt sailing ship that carried Limerick’s flag across the Atlantic to Greenland last summer and was more recently recognised at the best restoration project of 2019.

The Irish Times has much more HERE.

Published in Ilen, Book Review
MacDara Conroy

About The Author

MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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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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