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In frame. Dublin Bay 21 Naneen at an early stage of her current re-birth in Kilrush. Photo: Steve Morris
The restoration of classic yachts and traditional craft to the recognised international standard is still relatively new in Ireland writes W M Nixon. In fact, it could be argued that the major project in Dunmore East, completed in 2005 on…
The multi-purpose Markets Field in Limerick has been an unexpected source of quality teak. Teak seating slats salvaged from the re-vamp of the Markets Field Gaelic Football ground have found a new purpose in the restoration of the ketch Ilen. In addition to its historic links with Gaelic Football and greyhound racing, the Markets Field has also been used for soccer – as seen here – and by Garryowen Rugby Club before they moved to Dooradoyle.
The process of restoring the 1926-built 56ft Conor O’Brien ketch Ilen in Limerick and Baltimore has seen a countrywide network developing, a network in which anyone with access to redundant classic quality timber has been happy to see it finding…
Seamus-O'Brien (second from left) making the currach with the local workforce in Haiti
This month a collaboration between Haiti Orphanage Project ESPWA, Cork’s Community Boatyard, Meitheal Mara, and Naomhóga Chorcaí saw two flat pack currachs making their way to Haiti. The mainstay of the Haitian economy was agriculture and fishing which were wiped…
It may be November outside, but aboard Ilen the lights glow warmly in welcome
The process of transforming the restored hull and deck of the 1926-built 56ft Conor O’Brien historic ketch Ilen into a living ship continues writes W M Nixon. The programme is co-ordinated and combined between the Ilen Boatbuilding School in Limerick,…
Dating to 1909 is an old head office of the former British and Irish Steam Packet Company which became better known as the B+I Line. The building on Sir John Rogersons Quay, forms as part of a site under redevelopment in the southside of the Dublin Docklands quarter.
#TheB+ILine - Following Afloat's focus on the former City of Dublin Steam Packet, the series continues with other Dublin based Irish Sea 'steamer-packet' companies and their legacy of architectural heritage and ferries, writes Jehan Ashmore. The ornate crest of the…
Beautiful ornate masonry work is demonstrated in the crest of the former City of Dublin Steam Packet Co. that can be seen on the facade of Eden House located in the capital's inner city along Eden Quay.
#CityOfDublin - It would be hard not to have noticed in particular as a Dublin bus commuter using services at Eden Quay the historic crest of the former City of Dublin Steam Packet Company, writes Jehan Ashmore. The ornate masonry…
(Top) The essence of summer sailing for the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, which also celebrated the Bicentenary of the Harbour. The classic restored Dublin Bay 24 Periwinkle (Chris Craig and David Espey) and the likewise restored 1897-vintage 37ft Myfanwy (Rob Mason) racing neck and neck towards the in-harbour finish. Photo: David O’Brien/Afloat.ie (Above) Another side of 2017’s sailing. 2016 All-Ireland Champion Helm Alex Barry of Monkstown Bay SC revelling in brisk conditions at the Royal Cork’s successful Dinghyfest 2017. Event organizer Nin O’Leary had put in such good work beforehand that he was able to take a day out to go to England and win the huge-fleet Round the Island Race. Photo: Robert Bateman
While sailing is now a year-round interest, and for many a year-round activity too, the notion of a traditional season is natural for anyone who lives in Ireland. Admittedly, there are times when we seem to be experiencing the four…
Ilen Boatbuilding School CityOne dinghies racing on the Shannon in the heart of Limerick city – just one aspect of a remarkable organisation’s many activities
Many people have dropped by the Old Cornstore on the riverside at Oldcourt in West Cork to see work progressing on the restoration of the 1926 Conor O’Brien ketch Ilen writes WM Nixon. And naturally they’ll have the impression that…
Paddy Barry’s Galway hooker St Patrick returns to Dun Laoghaire in 1986 after her pioneering Transatlantic voyage from Ireland to Boston and New York
A Paddy Barry book launch is like no other writes W M Nixon. In fact, as with just about everything to do with this extraordinary man of the sea and the hills, a Paddy Barry book launch is unique unto…
In her original form, Ilen’s midships section was entirely taken up by the cargo hold. But now the challenge is to fill this large space with friendly yet seaworthy accommodation to include seven bunks.
With the hull of the 56ft 1926-built ketch Ilen fully restored in Oldcourt near Baltimore, attention has been turning to detailed items of equipment such as the steering system and the stern gear writes W M Nixon. And the “offering…
The pair of cargoship steamers S.S. Hare (top) and S.S. Adela (bottom) that were attacked in separate incidents by German submarine U-Boats a century ago that led to the combined loss of 36 crew. A joint commemorative public plaques unveiling ceremony for descendants of the victims takes place this Saturday, 30 Sept (13.00hrs) at Custom House Quay, Dublin.
#WWIcargoshipsCeremony - To mark the centenary of the sinking of two merchant cargo steamships in the Irish Sea and loss of life, an unveiling of plaques are to take place this Saturday in Dublin, writes Jehan Ashmore.    Family descendents…
In time-honoured style, Liam O’Donoghue in the Ilen Boat Building School in Limerick parcels and serves the final pieces of Ilen’s wire rigging using his traditional serving board
With the hull of the 56ft 1926-built Conor O’Brien ketch Ilen now restored and painted in the building shed in Oldcourt near Baltimore, attention shifts increasingly to the long list of detail work that is needed to complete the project…
The ketch Ilen’s rig loads will be carried in traditional style by external chainplates on channels
These days, it’s reckoned that chainplates – those vital fittings that attach a sailing boat’s standing rigging to her hull – should be wellnigh invisible writes W M Nixon. Indeed, when you look at some of the latest products of…
This year’s Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Island Voices series opens on Friday 22nd September with an hour-long lecture by Professor Dan Bradley from Trinity College, Dublin who will deliver ‘A Tale of Two Islands: Ireland, Iceland and Viking genetic legacy’
#Lectures - Derry City and Strabane District Council’s lunchtime lecture series Island Voices returns to the Tower Museum this autumn to explore the ancient genetic, cultural and linguistic links which exist between Ireland and Scandinavia. ‘Northern Confluence: Where Celtic and…
Wreckage from the Spanish Armada ships visible on the beach at Streedagh
#SpanishArmada - A Sligo-based group dedicated to promoting the northwest coastal area’s links with the historic Spanish Armada has been honoured by the King of Spain in a special ceremony this week, as RTÉ News reports. The Plate of the…
While there were hundreds of boats in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2017, the Welsh-based Myfanwy, built 1897, and restored by owner Rob Mason (at helm), deservedly attract special attention
In his poem Sailing to Byzantium (1928), William Butler Yeats immortalised the vision of Ireland as “no country for old men”. Expressed so well, the idea took hold and has been re-used internationally in novels and films, even if in Ireland…

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