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Dubliner Paul Keogh Receives Top Honour For Voluntary Work With Community Project in Traditional Boats

8th May 2022
Paul Keogh (centre) speaks of what the Naomh Cronan project meant to the Clondalkin community after receiving the Jolie Brise Cup from Old Gaffers Association President Patrick Vyvyan-Robinson (right), with Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association Hon Sec Darryl Hughes (left) in  Ringsend's Poolbeg Y&BC in Dublin Port
Paul Keogh (centre) speaks of what the Naomh Cronan project meant to the Clondalkin community after receiving the Jolie Brise Cup from Old Gaffers Association President Patrick Vyvyan-Robinson (right), with Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association Hon Sec Darryl Hughes (left) in  Ringsend's Poolbeg Y&BC in Dublin Port. Credit: Ivan Tonge

The saga of the building and sailing of the traditional Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan by Clondalkin Community in west Dublin goes back nearly thirty years. And though the story has regularly featured in Afloat.ie,
the various lockdowns had made it difficult to properly mark the end of a special era at Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club in Dublin Port when Naomh Cronan was moved west to Galway Bay.

But with normality returning, back in January this year it was announced the international Old Gaffers Association had recognised the outstanding contribution made by Paul Keogh over many years in keeping
the Naomh Cronan ideal alive and active and sailing, until the time had arrived for the boat to be transferred to the traditional boat group in Galway City.

Naomh Cronan, the successful outcome of a very special Clondalkin community project. Photo: W M NixonNaomh Cronan, the successful outcome of a very special Clondalkin community project. Photo: W M Nixon

The OGA's supreme award for contributions to traditional and classic sailing is the Jolie Brise Cup, named in honour of the most famous gaff cutter in the world, the pilot cutter Jolie Brise built by Paumelle of Le Havre in 1913. Jolie Brise's working career was brief, as she was superseded during World War I of 1914-18 by steam and diesel-driven craft. But she then switched to a successful career - which still continues - as an offshore racer, long-distance voyager, and sail training ship of global renown, and the linking of Paul Keogh and the Naomh Cronan with this remarkable craft is a well-earned recognition of a very special effort.

OGA President Patrick Vyvyan-Robinson came to Dublin for the presentation to Paul Keogh, and in recognition of Dublin Port's special relationship with the traditional boat movement, which will be further celebrated next year when the Old Gaffers Association's 60th Anniversary Cruise-in-Company features a Dublin visit.

Jolie Brise - the most famous gaff cutter in the world gives her name to the OGA's premier awardJolie Brise - the most famous gaff cutter in the world gives her name to the OGA's premier award

WM Nixon

About The Author

WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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Dublin Bay Old Gaffers

The Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association aims to promotes interest in traditional gaff rig and seamanship, to offer help, advice and comradeship to members and to organise races and rallies for members in the Dublin Bay Area. 

The Dublin Bay Old Gaffers normally organise a regatta, two rallies and four races during the summer season and a varied, interesting and well-supported series of talks during the winter (proceeds raised are donated to the RNLI). 

Many Dublin Bay members also travel to regattas and rallies organised by other Irish Sea OGA areas. 

While the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers activities are focused on  Dublin Bay, they also have a cluster of members in the Cork area and have members from all over Ireland and some in Britain too.

The Association is working up lans to celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2023.  In 2013 a fleet of boats set off around the UK and Ireland to celebrate OGA50.

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