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Displaying items by tag: Galway Hooker

For many years until her transfer to Galway in 2021, the Clondalkin community-built Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan was a feature of sailing life in Dublin’s River Liffey at Poolbeg Y&BC in Ringsend, and she was a regular attendee at traditional and classic boat events throughout the Irish Sea and further afield.

Maintaining both her seaworthiness and the high level of activity which was central to her successful existence involved many people, but the one man who became known as “The Keeper of the Show on the Road” was Paul Keogh, who was her Sailing Manager for eighteen years after joining the building team which brought her construction to completion.

The result of a remarkable community effort – the Clondalkin-built Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan in Dublin Bay. Photo: W M NixonThe result of a remarkable community effort – the Clondalkin-built Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan in Dublin Bay. Photo: W M Nixon

Paul’s quiet yet very determined enthusiasm, and his sometimes heroic patience as he ensured that Naomh Cronnan was always fully crewed - with newcomers being steadily recruited to the cause - was something for celebration. So when it came to a close in the summer of 2021 with the Cronan’s satisfactory transfer to Galway City custodianship, his fellow members of the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association began preparing a proposal that Paul’s unique contribution should receive the ultimate recognition, the Jolie Brise Trophy, which is the supreme award of their central organisation, the Old Gaffers Association.

She really is breath-taking – the magnificent Joile Brise making knotsShe really is breath-taking – the magnificent Jolie Brise making knots

The award was confirmed in the online and partly active Annual General Meeting of the OGA in Newcastle in northeast England at the weekend, and will be followed by a further presentation in Dublin in due course. Meanwhile, it is timely to note that in celebrating Paul Keogh’s achievement, we are also celebrating what is arguably the greatest working gaff cutter ever built, the 56ft 1913-vintage Le Havre pilot cutter Jolie Brise. She served only briefly on pilot duties before being superseded by powered vessels, but since then has gone in to an unrivalled career as an offshore racer – she won three Fastnet Races – and sail training vessel.

An impression of latent power – Jolie Brise in Belfast Lough in 2015, on her way to being overall winner of that season’s Tall Ships Races. Photo: W M NixonAn impression of latent power – Jolie Brise in Belfast Lough in 2015, on her way to being overall winner of that season’s Tall Ships Races. Photo: W M Nixon

Jolie Brise is a frequent visitor to Ireland, a notable occasion being in 2015 when she was in Belfast Lough during that year’s programme of Tall Ships Race, in which she excelled herself by being winner of both her class and the overall fleet when the series concluded. She is a magnificent vessel which never fails to excite admiration, and young Tom Cunliffe - the John Arlott of English sailing – captures it well in this enthusiastic video

Published in Dublin Bay Old Gaffers

The Conamara family of sailors known as Clann Johnny Jimmy Pheaitín are profiled in a documentary on TG4.

Pádraig, Jimmy and Seáinín are “Na Jimmys”, associated with the Galway Hooker An Mhaighdean Mhara.

The programme “Bádóirí- Na Jimmys” interviews the trio and some of the other relatives well known for their knowledge of sailing and the sea on Inis Mhic Cionnaith island and An Cheathrú Rua in south Conamara.

Pádraig, Jimmy and Seáinín are “Na Jimmys”Pádraig, Jimmy and Seáinín are “Na Jimmys”

One relative, shipwright Pat Michael is finishing his Galway Hooker, a piece of art being built in the shed next door to home, and the Jimmys’ uncle, Johnny Jimmy, relates how he and his two brothers were the best rowers in Ireland and in England in the 1960s.

John Darba talks about Inis Mhic Cionaith, where he was raised, and the stories told by Jimmy an Oileáin, while Johnny Healion recalls when the Mhaighdean Mhara was still hauling peat to the Aran Islands, as he now prepares to launch his most newly built hooker.

Pat agus na ladsPat agus na lads

“Bádoirí-Na Jimmys” is on TG4, December 29th, at 8.15 pm and also available to view online here

Published in Maritime TV
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When Brazilian Paulo Sergio Soares da Paixão became involved with traditional boats in Galway, little did he expect that his ashes would be scattered by fellow crew members at sea.

Musicians and members of Galway group Badoirí an Chladaigh took to the wateron Sunday to bid farewell to their Brazilian colleague after he died last week at the age of 52.

Known in Galway as “Paolo Sergio”, the dancer and choreographer came to Ireland to study gastronomy.

He signed up as a volunteer with Badóirí an Chladaigh, and “everyone he touched just loved him”, according to Peter Connolly of the Galway hooker restoration group.

Brazilian choreographer Paulo Sergio Soares da Paixão whose ashes were scattered by Badoirí an Chladaigh in Galway Bay1.jpgBrazilian choreographer Paulo Sergio Soares da Paixão whose ashes were scattered by Badoirí an Chladaigh in Galway Bay1.jpg

“Paulo was very involved in our outdoor classes for schools, and there was nothing that he couldn’t do,” Connolly said.

When he became ill, he spent a number of months in University Hospital Galway and had two operations in Beaumont hospital in Dublin.

After his cremation last week, arrangements were made to scatter his ashes off Galway’s Mutton island.

The half decker Réalt Feasa and fishing boat Aisling Geal took advantage of a brief weather window on Sunday morning (Oct 31) to steam out to the island.

Paulo’s sister Mariza Soares da Paixao Milo and his cousin, Sergio Severiano Gomes Oliveira, were on board as the wind caught his ashes, a wreath was laid, and prayers were said in his memory.

A group of musicians then played a number of pieces on board the hooker Naomh Cronán, which was moored in full sail in the Claddagh basin and flying a Brazilian flag from its mast.

Relatives and friends of Paulo Sergio Soares da Paixão from left, his sister Maria Soares da Paixao Milo, Esther Niland, Sergio Gomes Oliveira and David Doyle.jpgRelatives and friends of Paulo Sergio Soares da Paixão from left, his sister Maria Soares da Paixao Milo, Esther Niland, Sergio Gomes Oliveira and David Doyle

Mayor of Galway Colette Connolly paid her respects to the family.

Clearly moved by the tribute, Sergio called how his cousin was born in Salvador and how he had studied choreography.

He became a professor of dance at the University of Para in Belem, where he was based for 25 years, and directed works that were staged in theatres in Belem.

“Paulo spent at the University of Para, very far from his home in Salvador, he had a house and car, he returned home to see family and friends, but over time he wanted a little more, something different,”Sergio said.

“He wanted to know the world, and people in a different way, he wanted a reality different from the reality of being Brazilian,” Sergio said.

“He planned to move from Brazil and discover something new...so he came to Ireland to change his way of life and study gastronomy here,”he said.

“Paulo first stayed in Dublin and then decided to move to Galway as it is a small city and a pretty city that gave him more opportunities, and he met many people of many different origins,”Sergio said.

“ He captivated people around him, and he was made welcome here,”he said.

Esther Niland, who offered Paulo lodgings in the West, along with David Doyle and Danny Bailey of Badóirí an Chladaigh said this was “what he would have wanted”.

“I was an immigrant for 20 years myself, many of us have been there, and we felt it was so sad that Paolo died so far from his home,”Peter Connolly added.

“He was a pure gentle giant,” Doyle said.

Published in Galway Harbour

The Galway gleoiteog named Loveen tacked across the Claddagh basin this weekend, some 96 years after it was built by the Reaney family of Spanish Arch.

The gleoiteog has been restored, plank by plank, by the Galway Hooker Sailing Association in a restoration project involving the Port of Galway Sea Scouts.

The vessel was bought by the late Nicky Dolan in 2009, but he passed away before he had fulfilled plans to repair it. With the support of former mayor and Labour councillor Niall MacNelis, it was donated to the Port of Galway Sea Scouts in 2011.

As Afloat reported previously, Expert boatbuilders Coilín Hernon and his sons, Ciarán Oliver, and a large team from the Galway Hooker Sailing Association (GHSA) have worked on the project since funding was secured.

Loveen sailing  on the Claddagh basin Photo: Bartley FanninLoveen sailing on the Claddagh basin Photo: Bartley Fannin

The association, which has over 100 volunteers, began work in earnest in 2019 and continued with careful restrictions through last year’s Covid-19 pandemic.

A flotilla joined the gleoiteog on the water – including The Lovely Anne, a late 19th-century gleoiteog, already restored by the GHSA.

The gleoiteog has been restored, plank by plank, by the Galway Hooker Sailing AssociationThe gleoiteog has been restored, plank by plank, by the Galway Hooker Sailing Association Photo: Bartley Fannin

Éinde Hernon was on the helm of the Loveen as it berthed in the Claddagh basin for a blessing by Fr Donal Sweeney of the Claddagh Dominican church.

“We can nearly always rely on rain,” Fr Sweeney joked.

Mayor of Galway Colette Connolly attended the event, and, in spite of threatening rain, a large crowd gathered at Nimmo’s pier to welcome the Loveen into the Galway hooker fleet.

Fr Donal Sweeney of the Claddagh Dominican church, blessing the gleoiteog Loveen at the Claddagh basin on SaturdayFr Donal Sweeney of the Claddagh Dominican church, blessing the gleoiteog Loveen at the Claddagh basin on Saturday Photo: Bartley Fannin

Published in Historic Boats
Tagged under

Ciarán Oliver's family history goes back over a hundred years to what was then known as the fishing village of the Claddagh in Galway. His great-great-uncle, Máirtín, was the last 'King of the Claddagh'.

The 'Loveen' doesn't go back quite that far, almost but not entirely, just 96 years. It is no surprise that Ciarán is heavily involved in restoring this gleoiteog, the second last Claddagh hooker still in existence.

Ciaran is Commodore of the Galway Hooker Sailing Club which has led a two-year project to restore the 'Loveen'. Tomorrow (Tuesday) the club will announce that she will be going back into the waters of the Corrib next month.

As Afloat reported in June here, a "low key" ceremony was held when the final plank was secured and the occasion was marked with a "modest" round of whiskey.

Ciarán's family were founder members of the club, dedicated to continuing the tradition of Galway Hooker Sailing and the culture around it on the Claddagh, to make sure the next generation knows all about it.

Working on the restoration of LoveenWorking on the restoration of Loveen

The boat was bought by the late Nick Dolan, a close friend of the Oliver family before he died in 2011 and presented to the Port of Galway Sea Scouts. I asked Ciarán how he feels about reaching the completion of the project:

Podcast below

Published in Tom MacSweeney
Tagged under

Award-winning harpist Laoise Kelly has embarked on a concert tour to five west coast islands on a Galway hooker.

As The Times Ireland reports, Kelly aims to reconnect island communities with music, storytelling and song.

Kelly, a TG4 musician of the year and artistic director of the Achill International Harp Festival, is collaborating with fellow Achill islander Diarmuid Gielty.

Their project named “Casadh na Taoide/Turning of the Tide” has secured Arts Council support.

Casadh Na Taoide - An epic cultural journey connecting five off shore islands. Launched on the feast day of St. Macdara, is a traditional maritime pilgrimage off the coast of Connemara’s Carna bay, to the uninhabited monastic island, Oileán Mhic Dara /St. Mac Dara’s island, where fishermen and locals come to venerate the patron saint of seafarers, bless the boats and to keep fishermen safe for the for the year ahead. Pictured is musicians Diarmuid Gielty (Achill Harp Festival), Freda Nic Giolla Chatháin (Casadh Na Taoide) and Laoise Kelly (TG4 Musician of the Year and Director of the Achill international harp festival. Photo: Michael McLaughlinCasadh Na Taoide - An epic cultural journey connecting five off shore islands. Launched on the feast day of St. Macdara, is a traditional maritime pilgrimage off the coast of Connemara’s Carna bay, to the uninhabited monastic island, Oileán Mhic Dara /St. Mac Dara’s island, where fishermen and locals come to venerate the patron saint of seafarers, bless the boats and to keep fishermen safe for the for the year ahead. Pictured is musicians Diarmuid Gielty (Achill Harp Festival), Freda Nic Giolla Chatháin (Casadh Na Taoide) and Laoise Kelly (TG4 Musician of the Year and Director of the Achill international harp festival. Photo: Michael McLaughlin

Both are on board the Galway hooker Mac Duach, skippered and owned by Dr Michael Brogan, who is chairman of the Galway Hookers’ Association.

The vessel participated in a blessing of the boats off the Connemara island of Oileán Mhic Dara last Friday before setting sail for Inishbofin, Co Galway.

The annual blessing event pays tribute to Mac Dara, the patron saint of seafarers.

After Inishbofin, the hooker sets a course for the Mayo islands of Inishturk, Clare Island, and then AchillAfter Inishbofin, the hooker sets a course for the Mayo islands of Inishturk, Clare Island, and then Achill Photo: Michael McLaughlin

After Inishbofin, the hooker sets a course for the Mayo islands of Inishturk, Clare Island, and then Achill.

It will then head north for its final destination, finishing at Árainn Mhór /Arranmore in Donegal.

Kelly, Gielty and crew will meet musicians, artists, storytellers and historians along the route.

As part of the project, an artist has been commissioned on each island to collaborate, compose and create a new body of work.

They include Inishbofin singer Andrew Murray; Inishturk musician Cathy O’Toole; Clare Island weaver Beth Moran; and Árainn Mhór writer Proinsias Mac a’Bhaird.

A tribute will also be made to the late Achill island visual artist Mary Lavelle Burke, who was an enthusiastic participant in the project and passed away last year.

The voyage is being filmed, as is the artistic work on the five islands.

It will feature as the Friday night performance of this year’s Achill International Harp Festival in October, Nic Giolla Chatháin says.

Read The Times Ireland here

Published in Island News
Tagged under

A Galway hooker restored with the support of a city publican has joined the local traditional fleet on Galway bay.

Réalt na Gaillimhe or Star of Galway was built in Indreabhán, south Connemara, by the Cloherty boat builders in 1910.

It has been restored by Bádoirí an Chladaigh, one of the two clubs dedicated to Galway hookers in the city, with the help of Johnny Duggan of Taylor’s Bar.

Bádóirí an Chladaigh has been given the full use of the boat to add to a fleet of 14 traditional vessels.

Taylor’s Bar owner Johnny DugganTaylor’s Bar owner Johnny Duggan

“Since 2008, Bádóirí an Chladaigh has been given trusteeship of seven traditional Galway sailing boats within the community boat club,” the club’s secretary Peter Connolly says.

“ Of these, five have been built or restored or are in the process of being brought to full sea-worthiness,” he says.

Réalt na Gaillimhe or Star of Galway was built in Indreabhán, south ConnemaraRéalt na Gaillimhe or Star of Galway was built in Indreabhán, south Connemara

“These seven traditional boats will be joined by seven private boats to create a fleet of 14 boats, and each will represent one of the Galway tribe families,” he says.

“The community of traders in Galway's West will be responsible for the yearly upkeep of the Galway Hooker,” Taylor’s Bar owner Johnny Duggan says.

“ There is a massive natural respect here in Galway’s for the sea and this age-old tradition, but this will help to reaffirm and re-establish these links again,” he says.

Published in Galway Harbour
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Dr Mick Brogan is very much at home in the west of Ireland, with his life as a country GP in Mayo neatly balancing his life as a traditional boat sailor, home-ported in Kinvara. In fact, he is so much a man of the west that he becomes restless if he spends any significant time east of the Shannon.

But between the day job and the leisure time interests, there was plenty to keep him occupied along the Atlantic seaboard, and though he had retired from medicine, he was very soon back in harness, re-joining the strength for the battle with COVID-19.

In that capacity, he found his interests over-lapping, as he is Chairman of Cruinniu na mBad in Kinvara. It was way back in early May, when he and his Committee crisply cancelled the mid-August 2020 Gathering of the Boats – always an epic party - that many of us properly realized, for the first time, how anything in sailing that had serious socializing at its core was off the agenda for the foreseeable future.

Dangerously sociable for pandemic times – communal unloading of the turf at Kinvara after it has been raced in time-honoured style across Galway Bay from ConnemaraDangerously sociable for pandemic times – communal unloading of the turf at Kinvara after it has been raced in time-honoured style across Galway Bay from Connemara

The fate of Cruinniu na mBad 2021 is still in the lap of the Roll-out Gods, though if it does happen it will be August 13th to 15th. But meanwhile, Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association have signed up Mick Brogan to Zoom talk on Thursday, March 11th about the new life which has been found for the Galway Hookers and other traditional western craft through restoration or re-building projects.

It's a subject in which he has special expertise, as his own vessel, the much-travelled 45ft 6ins Mac Duach, was designed and built on totally traditional lines by Colm Mulkerrins in Connemara in 1979. Originally, she was cutter rigged with an enormous widow-maker of a main boom, but these days she sets a more sedate ketch rig, yet still sails many miles.

The mighty Mac Duach, built in 1979. Originally she was cutter-rigged, and it was under that rig that Mick Brogan sailed her to the Faroes and many other distant placesThe mighty Mac Duach, built in 1979. Originally she was cutter-rigged, and it was under that rig that Mick Brogan sailed her to the Faroes and many other distant places

Mick Brogan's talk at 200hrs on Thursday, March 11th will to some extent following on from Dennis Aylmer's talk on his acquisition of the Galway Hooker Morning Star in 1966. Mick for his part will chart the early revival of interest in the Galway Hooker during the 1970s and 1980s, following its decline during the previous seventy years.

By the 1960s, there no hookers working under sail north of Slyne Head. The Saint John, Inishbofin's mailboat, was under engine. The "Westport" hookers of Achill and Clew Bay were no more. In south Connemara, lorries and improved roads had replaced hookers after WW2.

Ten years later, the introduction of bottled gas and electricity to Aran was killing the turf trade. Hookers were going the way of the horse and cart, but despite all the odds, a revival of interest in the hooker took place. Mick will describe this revival, identify the factors that caused it, and provide details of the people and the hookers involved.

The spirit of the west – a re-juvenated Connemara Hooker making good speed to Kinvara against the distinctive background of The BurrenThe spirit of the west – a rejuvenated Connemara Hooker making good speed to Kinvara against the distinctive background of The Burren

DBOGA Fundraising for HOWTH RNLI: Pre-Covid, DBOGA listened to talks together at Poolbeg while passing the RNLI Yellow Welly around for the €5 donation. In Zoom Land, they can't 
do that but the RNLI needs funds. Please click here

DBOGA have so far collected €2,399 against their target of €4,000.

The details of this Zoom meeting are:

Published in Historic Boats

Although the much-anticipated Galway 2020 Festival was one of the many aspects of 2020 which has been severely curtailed by the pandemic, the spirit of the great western city and its maritime traditions lives vibrantly on.

A recent ceremony in the Claddagh Basin enabled Peter Connolly of Badoiri na Gallimh to formally thank Galway 2020 and Galway Crystal for their support in a continuing restoration programme which included - in early July - the formal taking-over of the Clondalkin-built bad mor Naomh Cronan, transferred to Galway in excellent order for the princely sum of €1 after 15 years of serving the sailors of the “Clondalkin Gaeltacht” in Dublin.

Published in Historic Boats
Tagged under

Irish Sailing has welcomed its newest affiliate in the shape of the Galway Hooker Sailing Club.

The club was formed in 2017 when a group of friends came together to revive and retain the Galway Hooker tradition in Galway.

The Galway Hooker is a traditional fishing vessel, built and designed in Galway, and originally dates from the mid 19th century. Their typical red sails are widely seen in logos and brands around the city.

Current club commodore Ciaran Oliver is one of the founding members and together with a current crew of about 100 people has built a steadily growing club with strong links to the local community — particularly through teaching people the skills to sail these iconic vessels.

To learn more, follow the Galway Hooker Sailing Club on Facebook and Instagram or visit their website at GalwayHooker2020.org

Published in ISA
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