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Fred Ternan of Lough Erne

3rd March 2022
The late Fred Ternan of Lough Erne
The late Fred Ternan of Lough Erne

The boating community and those who treasured the maritime heritage of County Fermanagh’s Lough Erne learned with shock last weekend of the sudden death of Fred Ternan.

Fred was a true son of Fermanagh. He was born on Inniscoonra Island on Lower Lough Erne and it was there he learned to row, swim, waterski and sail and it was there also that he became familiar with the art of wooden boat building and repairs. He lived on the island until he was eighteen and then left to join the Civil Service.

Fred was known to many through his lifelong interest in sailing. He successfully raced a GP14, and later a J24. He rebuilt an early 1900s Fairy class yacht and raced it with his brother George and son Michael. Fred was Commodore of Lough Erne Yacht Club in 1985 and remained as Secretary and Treasurer throughout the period 1996 to 2011 during which time he set up RYA sail training and later RYA youth race training at the club. Fred had been a Race Officer for many years. One of the honours of his sailing career was an award by the Royal Yachting Association for services to sailing, reflecting his inspiration to many people to take up the sport.

With Ken Wilson and John Taylor, Fred founded Lough Erne Heritage, a community project to encourage and impart research about the Lough’s traditional boats and those who built and used them. And in this aim he succeeded admirably, being the source of extensive knowledge of the maritime history of Lough Erne. He tirelessly promoted the history and heritage of boating and island life and was fastidious in his quest to achieve a goal. Fred was passionate about Lough Erne Cots, Snipe sailing dinghies and his Fairy yacht.

Last year Fred proudly launched a restored Snipe dinghy at Crom on Lower Lough Erne and at the time of his passing, he was involved in the building of four Lough Erne Cots and excited about the launch at the end of May. With his friend Brian Osborne he was looking forward to fitting a Spritsail on one of the cots this summer, having read that in 1842 there were sailing Cots on Lough Erne. Fred thought it would be great to try it out for the 180th anniversary.

A proud family man, he will be sorely missed. Our deepest condolences to his wife Florence, son Michael, daughter Edwina, brother George and his wider family circle.

BA

Betty Armstrong

About The Author

Betty Armstrong

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Betty Armstrong is Afloat and Yachting Life's Northern Ireland Correspondent. Betty grew up racing dinghies but now sails a more sedate Dehler 36 around County Down

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