Limerick’s Ilen Project this week picked up the Industrial Heritage Association of Ireland’s Award – Best Restoration of 2019 for its management of the rebuilt sailing ship Ilen and its community education work in Limerick. The Association’s President Paul McMahon presented the award at the IHAI Awards 2019 in the ESB Archive Building, Finglas. The event was sponsored by the ESB, and Michael English IHAI Board Member read the citation.
The Ilen has recently, this year, carried Limerick’s flag across the Atlantic to Greenland and back, and, having confirmed that things are indeed cold within the Arctic Circle, may set sail for the islands of Madeira in 2020. The Ilen Project’s marine educational programme has already extended to the islands, and the arrival of the ship is eagerly awaited. It is now some ninety-five years since she last docked there, in 1925 on her way to the Falklands, and her return visit to Funchal should make for an interesting project.
The ship has turned out every bit as well as anyone expected. She has handled with equanimity what the North Atlantic threw at her this summer. Her combination of sturdiness, elegance and speed win admiration wherever she goes.
The Ilen has had a very full first operational season conveying community groups and individuals around the wonderful coasts of Ireland. Further, her utility as a floating classroom and educational platform give credit to all who gave so generously of their time and treasure to bring her to where she is now.
(L to R) IHAI President Paul McMahon, Gary Mac Mahon and Br Anthony Keane Ilen Project, ESB Director Nicholas Tarrant and Michael English IHAI Board Member.