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Joe Boylan RIP

23rd January 2020
Mermaid sailor, the late Joe Boylan of Skerries Mermaid sailor, the late Joe Boylan of Skerries Photo: RIP

The DBSC Mermaid Class and Skerries Sailing Club have lost one of their iconic long-standing members when Joe Boylan (88 years of age) died peacefully last Monday surrounded by his family in his home writes Roger Bannon.

Joe will be long remembered, in his younger days for his prowess on the rugby field and for his lifelong involvement in the Skerries sailing community. However, he is probably best known as a very skilful builder of quick elegant Mermaids and as an accomplished competitive sailor. Joe, along with his brother Matt, was in that famous group known during the 1950s as the Barkyard Mermaids when Joe’s first Mermaid creation, the famous Akita no 85, was constructed. Akita was subsequently followed by many boats built for himself and several of his friends. The most famous of these was Zeila no 138 in which he won 4 Mermaid Championships during the 1970s and ’80s. He also found time to act as Commodore of Skerries Sailing Club and ultimately become President of the Mermaid Sailing Association.

Mermaid dinghy race start Joe Boylan's beloved Mermaids line up for a start at the 2012 National Championships hosted at Joe's Skerries Sailing Club Photo: Michael O’Connor

Joe never lost his enthusiasm for building boats and competitive sailing. His last Mermaid creation, the aptly named “This is it” no 177, was skippered by his grandson Mark to a Mermaid Championship win in Galway a few years ago.

Joe will be very sadly missed not only by the Skerries community in which he was a leading light but throughout Ireland’s sailing community, particularly anywhere Mermaids were sailed.

Rest in Peace, Joe.

Published in Mermaid
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