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Historic Galway Gleoiteog 'Loveen' is Blessed in Claddagh Basin

17th October 2021
Mayor of Galway Colette Connolly and Fr Donal Sweeney of the Claddagh Dominican church at the blessing of the gleoiteog Loveen in the Claddagh basin
Mayor of Galway Colette Connolly and Fr Donal Sweeney of the Claddagh Dominican church at the blessing of the gleoiteog Loveen in the Claddagh basin Credit: Bartley Fannin

The Galway gleoiteog named Loveen tacked across the Claddagh basin this weekend, some 96 years after it was built by the Reaney family of Spanish Arch.

The gleoiteog has been restored, plank by plank, by the Galway Hooker Sailing Association in a restoration project involving the Port of Galway Sea Scouts.

The vessel was bought by the late Nicky Dolan in 2009, but he passed away before he had fulfilled plans to repair it. With the support of former mayor and Labour councillor Niall MacNelis, it was donated to the Port of Galway Sea Scouts in 2011.

As Afloat reported previously, Expert boatbuilders Coilín Hernon and his sons, Ciarán Oliver, and a large team from the Galway Hooker Sailing Association (GHSA) have worked on the project since funding was secured.

Loveen sailing  on the Claddagh basin Photo: Bartley FanninLoveen sailing on the Claddagh basin Photo: Bartley Fannin

The association, which has over 100 volunteers, began work in earnest in 2019 and continued with careful restrictions through last year’s Covid-19 pandemic.

A flotilla joined the gleoiteog on the water – including The Lovely Anne, a late 19th-century gleoiteog, already restored by the GHSA.

The gleoiteog has been restored, plank by plank, by the Galway Hooker Sailing AssociationThe gleoiteog has been restored, plank by plank, by the Galway Hooker Sailing Association Photo: Bartley Fannin

Éinde Hernon was on the helm of the Loveen as it berthed in the Claddagh basin for a blessing by Fr Donal Sweeney of the Claddagh Dominican church.

“We can nearly always rely on rain,” Fr Sweeney joked.

Mayor of Galway Colette Connolly attended the event, and, in spite of threatening rain, a large crowd gathered at Nimmo’s pier to welcome the Loveen into the Galway hooker fleet.

Fr Donal Sweeney of the Claddagh Dominican church, blessing the gleoiteog Loveen at the Claddagh basin on SaturdayFr Donal Sweeney of the Claddagh Dominican church, blessing the gleoiteog Loveen at the Claddagh basin on Saturday Photo: Bartley Fannin

Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004) on Irish helicopter search and rescue; and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010).

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