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Ilen
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…
The restored ketch Ilen makes her public debut at the Baltimore Woodenboat Festival
In 1926, Tom Moynihan and his shipwrights on the waterfront in Baltimore built the 56ft ketch trading Ilen to Conor O’Brien's designs at their boatyard in the heart of the West Cork fishing village writes WM Nixon. However, Baltimore nowadays…
Fully rigged and full restored and finished in  a bright new style, the Ilen is afloat in time to be pride of place at the Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival this weekend
The hard-working boat building team behind the restoration of the historic ketch Ilen in West Cork have successfully launched the 1926–built vessel in time for this weekend's Wooden Boat Festival at Baltimore. As Afloat.ie reported earlier this week, the final touches were being…
A ship transformed. While she is still very much a serious seagoing proposition, the restored 1926-built 56ft Conor O’Brien ketch Ilen will take to the waters this weekend in Baltimore with her new and positive educational purposes emphasised by a fresh colour scheme and a brighter style
The restoration of the 56ft 1926-built ketch Ilen by Liam Hegarty and Fachtna O’Sullivan and their team in the boatyard at Oldcourt near Baltimore in West Cork, working in concert with the Gary Mac Mahon-directed Ilen Boat-Building School in Limerick,…
Work continued on Ilen over the weekend and her appearance at Baltimore is eagerly awaited
The final touches are being put to the Ilen at Hegarty’s boatyard in Oldcourt, Skibbereen, prior to her going down the Ilen River this week, heading for Baltimore. There, on Saturday afternoon, at the Wooden Boats Festival, will be her first…
Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival (May 25th-27th) Has Historic Ketch Ilen as Flagship
The 1926-built 56ft Conor O’Brien ketch Ilen, painstakingly restored in a visionary joint operation by the Gary MacMahon-directed Ilen Boat Building School in Limerick working in concert with master shipwrights Liam Hegarty and Fachtna O’Sullivan at Oldcourt Boatyard near Baltimore,…

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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