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Historic Boats
Ilen as she was this morning, ready to face the rigours of a brief period in the open before a special cover can be fitted over the re-born Conor O’Brien ketch. Photo: Gary MacMahon
The historic 1926-built 56ft ketch Ilen is to exit The Old Cornstore in Liam Hegarty’s boatyard at Oldcourt near Baltimore, the building which has accommodated her re-birth, early in the New Year writes W M Nixon. Much remains to be…
When her restoration is completed and the rigging installed, the 56ft ketch Ilen will be an impressive traditional workboat.
When we recall the exposed conditions in which some coastal boat and ship-builders had to work in the days when life and labour were cheap, and health and safety were considered more important for thoroughbred animals than for workers, then…
The DUP has claimed that Britain accounts for "72 per cent of trade flows" from Belfast Harbour. Afloat adds that the above aerial photo is of the port's main channel, Victoria where the River Lagan flows into Belfast Lough. In the foreground berthed at City Quay is Northern Ireland's fishery and marine research vessel, RV Corystes, see related 'Fishing' report posted on 1 December.
#DUPtradefigures - The Democratic Ulster Party (DUP) has been unable to substantiate its "72 per cent" statistic in relation to trade between Northern Ireland and Britain. As The Irish News  writes, for months the party has been using the figure to support…
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,…
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…
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…
IDRA 14 Pair Henry & Revill Make It 'Three in a Row'
Alan Henry & Simon Revill made it “three in a row” in the picturesque waters of Galway Bay on 17/19th of August, winning the IDRA 14 National Championship for their third consecutive year. 18 boats gathered in GBSC on the…
Star of Dunkirk Movie HMS Medusa is open to the public on the Bealieu river
Buckler’s Hard visitors will be able to take tours on board HMS Medusa – which took a starring role in the recently released Dunkirk movie – while it is moored at the attraction on Friday September 29th close to Cowes and…
The classic Galway hooker in alliance with a suit of Philip Watson sails. John Flaherty’s immaculately-presented Naomh Cailin looked good and went well, winning her class at Crinnui na mBad at Kinvara at the weekend. Photo Pierce Purcell
Colie Hernon and his family were setting the competitive pace over the weekend at the Crinniu na mBad in Kinvara, with the man himself winning the leath bad race with the 2012-built Croi an Cladaig, while his son Colie og…
The International 12s and DBSC sail again in Dun Laoghaire on September 10th
The third annual event in recent years, representing the revival of Ireland's first international class of dinghy, the International 12 and DBSC 12, will be held at the Royal St. George Yacht Club on September 10th 2017. Designed in 1912–despite…

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