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Limerick Ketch Ilen’s Model Gets the Dubarry Boots On

29th April 2020
 The restored Ilen in Greenland last July with her squaresail featuring the Salmons Wake logo which has become a symbol of the ship The restored Ilen in Greenland last July with her squaresail featuring the Salmons Wake logo which has become a symbol of the ship Photo: Gary Mac Mahon

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 headquarters of the international outdoor footwear and clothing company Dubarry of Ireland

The Ilen competition offers a prize of a €150 Amazon Gift Voucher for children (or children and their families) who can create a model which best captures the spirit of Ilen and her original crew with a simplified miniature of the ship based on a very re-purposed Tetra Pak carton, the other materials involved being hopefully available in any contemporary family home.

ilen tetrapak model2 The essence of Ilen with her original skipper Conor O’Brien and his crew is expressed in this model based on a very re-purposed Tetra Pak carton

The idea is to provide the kind of imagination and ingenuity-testing challenge that will help us all get through the National Lockdown. And when the idea was revealed in Afloat.ie last week, Michael Walsh of Dubarry quickly responded: “What a great idea. I’d very much appreciate it if you would pass on to Gary Mac Mahon that Dubarry would very happily pitch in with a pair of Dubarry Boots or Deck Shoes for the winner”.

Dubarry boots3 The Ilen Model competition has been greatly expanded with a choice of Dubarry Sailing Boots (above) and Dubarry Deck Shoes added to the prize

Now Dubarry of Ireland is Official Partners in the Ilen Project Model Competition, which makes the already good prize into a very worthwhile proposition. So folks young and old, once you’ve finished browsing the Dubarry range to find the Dubarry boot or deck-shoe of your choice, let’s get back to work on those models – the closing date is May 22nd.

Published in Ilen
WM Nixon

About The Author

WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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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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