Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Aran Island ferry

The bow of the former Aran island ferry Naomh Éanna, which has been broken up for scrap, is en route to Galway.

As The Irish Independent reports, Port of Galway harbourmaster Capt Brian Sheridan hopes to take delivery of the bow within the coming weeks.

He has said he is “thrilled to have secured the bow section” and plans to restore it and have it displayed on the quays in Galway “as a reminder of the historic trading link” between the city and the Aran islands.

He said it was “ a sad day for maritime Ireland that plans to save the ship fell foul of a raft of issues”.

Capt Sheridan had supported efforts to return the ferry to Galway for marine heritage and tourism purposes, after images of it listing to one side in Dublin’s Grand Canal basin prompted calls for it to be saved.

Year-long efforts to realise that failed, and a decision was made to scrap the deteriorating hull.

A contract was awarded last year to Cunningham Civil and Marine to dismantle it.

The bow of the former Aran island ferry Naomh ÉannaThe bow of the former Aran island ferry Naomh Éanna

The 65-year-old ship formerly run by CIÉ as a passenger ferry serving the Aran islands from Galway had been one of the last large vessels built by the Liffey Dockyard Company.

Shortly after it began serving the island route, it was drafted in to the search for survivors of the KLM flight 607E which crashed into the Atlantic ocean some 160 km west of Connemara shortly after take-off from Shannon airport in August 1958.

As Afloat has previously reported, Inis Mór resident Micheál Ó Goill has said islanders had mixed memories of it as sailings could take six to seven hours.

Although it was “not a good weather boat”, it had its own sick bay for use by pregnant women and others, and it also had a bar.

The Naomh Éanna was withdrawn from service in 1986, and was then purchased by the Irish Nautical Trust which brought it to Dublin’s Grand Canal basin.

It was part of the “set” in the 1996 Neil Jordan film on Michael Collins, and was used as a floating surf shop.

The most recent owner, Sam Field Corbett of Irish Ship and Barge Fabrication Company Limited (ISBF) sought Fáilte Ireland support to have it restored as a tourism project or a floating hotel.

When that was unsuccessful, Galway City Council was approached, but it told him there would be “planning issues”.

Fáilte Ireland has said that the owners of the Naomh Eanna applied for Fáilte Ireland capital funding under the Large Grant Scheme 2016 scheme, but the application “was not successful as it did not meet the minimum eligibility criteria necessary”.

Richard Cunningham of Cunningham Civil and Marine said that his company would deliver the bow to Galway, and several other artefacts associated with the ship, including its propeller, anchors and chain, would be saved for historic purposes.

Read The Irish Independent here

Published in Historic Boats

Porpoises, dolphins, fin whales, puffins and guillemots near the Cliffs of Moher...master of the new Aran island ferry Shane McCole promises much marine life on the new direct run between Galway city and Inis Mór.

The 40-metre vessel Saoirse na Farraige, commissioned by the O’Brien family of Carraroe, began its 90-minute sailing schedule last month as Afloat reported here.

Passengers leaving from Galway docks in the morning have the option of a return journey via the north Clare cliffs.

The 40-metre vessel Saoirse na FarraigeThe 40-metre vessel Saoirse na Farraige

Saoirse na Farraige claims to have “ the cleanest exhaust emission” of any ferry on Irish waters.

The vessel built in Cheoy Lee Shipyards in Hong Kong has a speed of 20 knots, and can carry 394 passengers – as in 306 passengers on the main deck, and a semi-covered space for 88 passengers on the top deck.

Shane McCole at the helm of the new Aran Islands direct ferryShane McCole at the helm of the new Aran Islands direct ferry

It is fitted with leather seating, a wheelchair lift, charging points and plasma screens – earning it the local nickname of “GoBus sur mer”.

It is almost 150 years ago since the paddle tug Citie of the Tribes run by the Galway Steamship Company took the same route from the docks to Cill Rónain.

The O’Briens of Carraroe, who took their first passengers to the Aran islands on the Galway hooker An Tonaí almost four decades back, are reporting brisk interest in the route. They are continuing the ferry service between Ros-a-Mhíl in Co Galway and all three islands.

Wavelengths took a run on the vessel and spoke to Shane McCole. Listen to Wavelengths here

Published in Wavelength Podcast

A new fast ferry for the Aran islands was unloaded in an operation lasting several hours in Galway Bay on Friday.

The new 40m (131ft) vessel, costing several million euro, was built in Hong Kong.

It will be operated by Aran Island Ferries between Galway city and the islands.

The vessel will be formally named Saoirse na Farraige at a launching ceremony in the spring.

It will be the first time in some decades – since the era of the Dún Aengus and Naomh Éanna – since passengers transport was provided between Galway docks and the islands.

The company will continue its services from Ros-a-Mhíl in south Connemara to all three islands – a sea journey which takes about 45 minutes to the largest island of Inis Mór.

The new vessel can take up to 400 passengers, and will cater for the sort of volumes now travelling between Doolin, Co Clare, and Arainn. It will take around 90 minutes to steam between Galway and Inis Mór.

Published in Galway Harbour

Tom Dolan, Solo Offshore Sailor

Even when County Meath solo sailor Tom Dolan had been down the numbers in the early stages of the four-stage 2,000 mile 2020 Figaro Race, Dolan and his boat were soon eating their way up through the fleet in any situation which demanded difficult tactical decisions.

His fifth overall at the finish – the highest-placed non-French sailor and winner of the Vivi Cup – had him right among the international elite in one of 2020's few major events.

The 33-year-old who has lived in Concarneau, Brittany since 2009 but grew up on a farm in rural County Meath came into the gruelling four-stage race aiming to get into the top half of the fleet and to underline his potential to Irish sailing administrators considering the selection process for the 2024 Olympic Mixed Double Offshore category which comes in for the Paris games.