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Historic Water Wag 'Pansy' to Be Displayed as Part of Heritage Week Theme

20th August 2019
The 113-year-old Water Wag ‘Pansy' The 113-year-old Water Wag ‘Pansy'

The theme of this week's National Heritage Week for 2019 is ‘Pastimes'.

In recognition of this, the 113-year-old Water Wag dinghy‘Pansy,’ will be put on public display on the East Pier, Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay on Tuesday 20th August from 18.30hrs. till 20.00hrs.

‘Pansy’ was built in 1906 by John Gray of Crofton Avenue, Kingstown, with pine planking and teak elements held together by copper rivets for Joshua Harrison Hargrave, a railway engineer for about £25. When his hearth failed ‘Pansy’ was stored in Gray’s yard. From 1923 a medical student, Jack Stephens raced the dinghy in Dun Laoghaire until he emigrated to England in 1938, and he sold her to his crew Alfred Delany another medical student and his friend Joe Spiro who was an entrepreneur and founder of the IMCO dry cleaning company at Merrion Gates. The purchase price was £37 10s. Later Spiro sold his share to Delany, and she has been passed to the current owner by inheritance.

‘Pansy’ was restored by John Gray’s son ‘Skee’ Gray in the 1960’s and again restored by Dougal McMahon at Belmont Mills Co. Offaly in 2018.

Vincent Delany

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Vincent Delany

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Sailing historian Vincent Delany is a member of the Association of Yachting Historians, and an active sailor in Water Wag, SOD and Squib classes. He has written a thesis on 'Yachting and yachtsmen on the River Shannon 1830-1930.' He has lectured on the history of The Water Wag Club, Royal St.George Yacht Club, and the Killinure Yacht Club, He has written two sailing books 'The Water Wags 1887-2012' and 'The International 12 foot class in Ireland' both of which are available from

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