County Mayo solo sailor, Joan Mulloy of Westport, will sail along the River Thames to Tower Bridge, completing a special journey that replicates one made by her formidable ancestor, the legendary Granuaile, over 400 years ago.
Under black sails emblazoned with her name, Grace O’Malley Irish Pirate Queen, Joan has retraced the route from Clew Bay in Mayo to London, a journey that saw the Irish Pirate Sea Queen come face to face with the Virgin Queen in their historic meeting in late summer of 1593.
In keeping with the re-enactment, Joan will bring a special presentation bottle of Grace O’Malley Irish Whiskey on board commemorating the famous meeting which founded a mutual respect between these two formidable ladies, along with a unique friendship. The legend recalls that Grace gifted of a bottle of Irish whiskey to the Queen who was well known for her partiality to ‘uisce beatha’, having stocks of it delivered to her court.
Whether the whiskey aided in appeasing her highness is not documented, but records reveal that for Grace the trip was successful in its aim. Grace received ‘clemencie and favour’ from Queen Elizabeth I, who following the meeting, released Grace’s son Tibbot, restored his lands and gave the royal assent that Grace could continue her business of ‘maintenance by land and sea’ without hindrance or interference from the Queen’s governors.
Mulloy was one of two Irish entrants in this summer's 50th edition of the arduous single-handed French marathon Figaro Race finishing 38th from 44 starters. More here