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Maritime Ireland Radio Show & Podcast Weekly Newsletter April 30

The ‘ILEN,’ Ireland’s last wooden sail trading ketch, has reached London, where she will be a magnificent display of Irish maritime heritage in the London city-centre St. Katharine Dock, beside Tower Bridge on the River Thames, until  Wednesday (May 14). It is a great achievement for the Limerick restoration project, led by Gary McMahon, Director of the Ilen Marine School Limerick. She left Limerick last Saturday and, in London, will highlight, say the ILEN group, “the complex and long-standing relationship between the ancient city ports of Limerick and London.” There will be a ceremony to mark the occasion this Wednesday, May 4. Designed by the famous Conor O’Brien and built in Baltimore, West Cork, in 1926, only a few miles from where she was restored at Hegarty’s Boatyard at Old Court, Skibbereen, she was in the Falkland Islands for seventy years before being brought back to Ireland by the dedicated commitment of Gary McMahon and then restored. ILEN, iIn her 96th year, owned and operated by the Ilen Marine School, Limerick, a not-for-profit community educational organisation, is a remarkable flagship for the maritime traditions of Ireland, the Shannon River region and West Cork traditional boatyard skills.Well done ILEN and all associated with her.


The 5th edition of my hour-long MARITIME IRELAND RADIO SHOW  & PODCAST will be issued this Friday, May 5. In this edition – topics will include – why has Ireland a negative attitude to aquaculture and why is Government policy not supporting this aspect of seafood sufficiently? 120 years after the skill was first publicly shown at an international exhibition in Cork, the Irish angling heritage of fly-tying is highlighted in a new book available free;  British sailors killed in an explosion on a warship in Irish waters are remembered at a ceremony in an Irish graveyard; The importance of ferries to Ireland is discussed, so is – How to rid sailing of its elitist image; There is an analysis of what is happening to waterbirds on the Irish coastline and much more. MARITIME IRELAND provides the most comprehensive coverage of the marine sphere in Ireland. The show is increasing its audience with each edition. You can listen wherever you get your Podcasts as it is now widely available. It is also broadcast on 16 community radio stations around Ireland. Listen on your local community station. Full details on the website

‘LEADER’ is a ‘Community Tall Ship for Northern Ireland’ – a former Brixham  UK trawler, 130-years-old  It has been acquired by Northern Ireland Sailing Charity, Silvery Light Sailing, with the support of the UK Lottery Heritage Fund. It is now based in Newry to be used for community sailing and “ will shortly commence her 2022 sailing adventures,” says the charity.

Tom MacSweeney

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