03-03-12: French team on exchange to the Ilen School

The ILEN School of Wooden Boat Building has welcomed this week a trainee ship’s carpenter from the Brittany boat building school, Ateliers de L’Enfer, based in Douarnenez. Julien Blondeau, who is part-French and part-Brazilian is nearing the end of his apprenticeship. He has already completed one exchange visit to a boat building project in Cornwall, England, and has now come to Limerick for a further four week training programme. His exchange visits are being funded by the European Social Fund.

Julien is accompanied by his brother, Jean Loïc Antunes, and friend, Candy Cahuana Villegas, who comes from Venezuela but is resident in France. While Julien pursues advanced work, Candy and Jean Loïc are working as volunteers on the many projects underway in the School. They are working alongside two established Interns at the School, Sophie Barry from Cork and Hugh Kavanagh from Clare.

Gary Mac Mahon, Director: “We are delighted to welcome yet more students and visitors to our workshop here in Limerick. We already have links with North America, with Spain and with England – and Julien’s request to come to Limerick is confirmation of our growing reputation. I look forward to the day we send a young person from Ireland abroad to complete their training.”

The ILEN School is the National Centre for Wooden Boat Building in Ireland. It is staffed mostly by volunteers but is now expanding its programme in partnership with Limerick City Enterprise Board.

“We are currently looking for people trained as carpenters who might wish to contribute their experience to the Centre and assist with projects and workshop supervision.”

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