#SaveShip! -The owner of a heritage ship is seeking about €2 million from a joint investor to convert the Naomh Éanna into a boutique hotel/ hostel, cafe and restaurant, which he then hopes to berth close to the CHQ building on the north Dublin quays and open for business.
This venture writes The Irish Times would be similar to the Cill Airne in front of the new Central Bank building as recently reported by Afloat which adds this is another rare example of a Dublin built vessel remaining in the capital.
Sam Field Corbett of Irish Ship & Barge Fabrication bought the iconic four-deck Naomh Éanna two years ago for €1. Despite attempts to fund the restoration, the ship still sits in a graving dock at the far end of Grand Canal Dock close to the river Dodder.
The National Asset Management Agency, which until recently was responsible for the graving dock, allowed the Naomh Éanna to dock there for free.
Mr Corbett now says the site could be redeveloped for an iconic building, which could involve filling in the 250-year-old dry dock. In short, the Naomh Éanna will be scrapped (as previously reported) if it can’t be restored or a new home found for it.
‘Act of barbarism’
The clock is ticking because, while the ship is currently docked for free, it costs more than €1,000 a day to keep a ship of this size in dry dock – and there aren’t many available.
“Scrapping the Naomh Éanna would be an act of barbarism to our maritime heritage,” says Mr Corbett. “She was built in Dublin at Liffey Dockyard in 1956 and is one of the last riveted ships, as welding replaced this labour-intensive and highly skilled construction method in the 1940s.
“But she is probably best remembered for her 30 years as the Galway-to-Aran Islands ferry before being decommissioned in 1986.”
His plan for the Naomh Éanna, which he says would take nine months to restore, is to convert it into a 128-bed boutique hostel, a 64-seat cafe and a 52-seat restaurant. There would also be a micro-brewery and exhibits detailing the ship’s history.
For much more on this development on this rare surviving Irish built ship, the newspaper has more here