#NaomhEanna - Naomh Éanna a former CIE Aran Islands ferry due to be scrapped earlier this year as previously reported, has been acquired by the Irish Ship & Barge Fabrication Company, effectively securing the heritage vessel, writes Jehan Ashmore.
There are plans by IS&BF for a major refit of the veteran vessel that would see her become a tourist attraction back in her former homeport of Galway, as she would feature a boutique hostel, restaurant, cafe and museum in the harbour's single Dun Aengus Dock.
Naomh Eanna is a riveted hulled ship completed in 1958 at the Liffey Dockyard, she carried some 300 passengers and freight including livestock between Galway and the three Aran Islands. She has been lying derelict in Dublin Port for more than 25 years.
She is one of the last such ships built in Europe using rivetted construction technique. In addition she is one of the last ships to be built in the capital and is one of the oldest surviving Irish built ships remaining in our waters.
According to the Naomh Éanna Save Our Ship Campaign, there are negotiations with NAMA over a lease of the graving dock site in Dublin's Grand Canal Basin. This would allow surveyors to access the ship (currently in the graving dock) and determine her hull condition and machinery which is understood to be in working order.
Subject to the outcome of her survey, IS&BF intend to carry out the major refit of the 483 tonnes vessel with her new owners seeking investment from venture capitalists to invest in the project.
Since her shift of berth within Grand Canal Basin earlier this year, there has been an ongoing dispute by campaigners to save Naomh Eanna from scrapping by Waterways Ireland, the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and NAMA.
Prior to Naomh Éanna's relocation earlier this year, she had been laid-up at her long-term berth alongside Charlotte Quay within the Grand Canal Dock since 1989.
The previous year she had been withdrawn from the west of Ireland service as she failed an inclination test and sailed to Dublin Port. She initially berthed in the capital close to the shipyard from where she was launched into Alexandra Basin.