Excerpts from our diary
Excerpts from our diary
ISHKA Irish Spring Water sponsored Christmas Tree lighting in Galway City sends out an essential green message This spectacular Christmas lighting design on the historic wooden sailing ship Ilen may well be the greenest in Ireland. Ireland’s last surviving wooden cargo vessel has been illuminated on its seasonal visit to Galway docks. And the display, … Continue reading Christmas Tree Lighting in Galway City
Our 56ft-restored trading ketch Ilen of 1926 vintage is already renowned for her excellent wellness and recovery programme work. It’s one of the ship’s many interests that were vividly high-lighted at her home port when she and the city’s waterfront at Steamboat Quay were floodlit in green to launch Mental Health Week. The Mayor of … Continue reading That’s a wrap on Limerick Mental Health Week 2021
We were very grateful to receive a grant from the Heritage Council to conserve and refurbish Ilen’s accommodation areas in October/November 2020. Though relaunched in 2018, the memory of which has not dimmed, the Ilen has had a very active operational life. What between two Atlantic crossings, numerous coastal and day trips, visitor open days, … Continue reading Heritage Council – Community Heritage Grant Scheme 2020
The Ilen Marine School’s – Community and Cargo 2020 Programme continues. Transportation of cargo to coastal communities was the original purpose of our flagship (floating Classroom) Ilen. Consequently, late last year, pre-pandemic, we decided to recommence her seaborne cargo trade which had come to an end sometime in the early 1980s. We planned to do … Continue reading Community & Cargo 2020
Abbey Fishermen poling their traditional Angling Cot (brocaun) on the River Shannon, Limerick City Download the guide on the link below and make the Ilen flipbook in three easy steps. You could even use as inspiration for making your own flipbook animation. Download the flipbook template here
The good ship Ilen and her crew, like all of us, must for now stay home. Happily, the Ilen crew have embarked on a fun voyage of the imagination. It’s a boat craft and home voyage which we invite you to come on board with. Ilen Salmon’s Wake Tetra Pak Boat Craft Competition Please download … Continue reading Boat Craft Competition
JP McManus ProAm’s much anticipated return this summer will see Tiger Woods and a host of other household names join forces to raise money for charity. July 6-7th 2020 will be the sixth staging of the JP McManus Pro-Am. The Ilen Project is pleased to be hosting a JP McManus ProAM Golf Pre-Qualifier fundraiser this April for the event … Continue reading JP McManus ProAm Pre Qualifier
The Ilen Project was celebrated by Limerick City and County Council with a Mayoral Reception at its chambers on Merchants Quay last Monday evening It was a cozy gathering that saw in attendance many principal individuals, who for over the past 20 years were complicit in its genesis, it’s intermediate stages, and in recent years the achievement of … Continue reading Limerick City honours Ilen Project at Mayoral Reception
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 … Continue reading Heritage award for Ilen restoration project
Last Saturday the final deck plank on the sailing vessel Ilen was laid at a traditional decking out ceremony, in Hegarty’s Boatyard, Skibbereen. The ceremony, hosted by the Ilen Project, Limerick, marked a significant milestone in a re-build project whose primary goal is to bring Ireland’s sole surviving wooden sailing ship back to Limerick. The … Continue reading All Decked Out! – Ilen’s traditional decking out ceremony
Matt slowly releases two new jaws for Ilen’s main gaff, both from prodigious local logs. One of Oak, the other of Black Locust, a gift of Storm Darwin which ripped through Glenstal Abbey, Limerick in February 2014 and brought down the great trees that bore them.
For many years now, since her return from the Falklands, the Ilen has been nursed back to strength by the best of Ireland’s traditional shipwrights in Liam Hegarty’s yard in Oldcourt. To those who wondered whether and when, to those who asked about times and seasons, the answer was that the destination was the journey itself, and that the Ilen served as an educational … Continue reading 30-11-15: Rebuild and Relaunch of the Auxillary Ketch Ilen
An international gathering at the Ilen School, Roxboro, Limerick of expert marine traditional riggers, sailmakers and classic boatbuilders, might induce one to speculate that a sailing ship is somewhere in Ireland nearing completion. And yes, this gathering of last Friday, clearly marks a significant juncture in the rebuild of Ireland’s 1926 wooden sailing ship Ilen The … Continue reading 16-11-15: Designing & making a new traditional rig for the good ship Ilen
The Ilen is a short film on the joy of working with wood, and documents the words and skills of Ireland’s few remaining traditional shipwrights, currently occupied in the rebuilding of Ireland’s sole surviving sail trading ketch Ilen. The awarded comes with a prize of $10,000 from the World Wood Day 2015 through their ‘Wood … Continue reading 06-11-15: Ilen documentary film wins award
The Ilen School’s newly launched sail training programme gets underway this month, with its first cadre of trainees assembled and ready to voyage upon the sea. It is planned that this five day voyage on board the Spirit of Oysterhaven will begin at Galway on Monday 27th July and finish at Limerick City Docks, Friday … Continue reading 10-07-15: Ilen School Sail Training Programme For Limerick’s Youth
The Ilen School, Roxboro, are today celebrating a great River Shannon adventure. This adventure involved 180–miles of Rowing from Belleek in Fermanagh to Limerick City, over a two week period, by a team of two Ilen School boatmen – Tony Daly and Liam O’Donoghue, both residents of Ballynanty. Not only did this intrepid duo navigate … Continue reading 09-07-15: River Shannon Adventure on a Small Cot
Matt shapes a new Greenheart worm shoe. It is a generous 50ft in length, and has a long scarf joint with lips (perpendicular cuts at each end of the joint) – it will soon be bronze bolted to Ilen’s original 1925 elm keel. This will afford the good ship a further level of protection in … Continue reading 01-07-15: Greenheart – Ilen gets a new shoe
First published in the Limerick Leader on the 07/06/15 by Anne Sheridan. With the wind in their sails, a crew of boat builders in Limerick are now piecing together one of the crucial parts of a ship’s infrastructure on a famous sailing vessel. The vessel is being patiently restored in Hegarty’s boatyard in Old Court, … Continue reading 12-06-15: Historic sailing vessel AK Ilen will return to waters
This week Fachtna O’Sullivan commences the task of caulking with Oakum the plank seams of the Ilen. This process will take many weeks over the summer and will require the discerning hand and eye of experienced shipwrights.
The process of rebuilding the good ship Ilen, for an operational and voyaging life at sea, reached an inevitable juncture this week. A juncture that sees new personalities about her decks – with conversation equal to their respective skills, they merge with those who with much joy have brought her to where she is today. … Continue reading 10-06-15: An Inevitable Juncture
Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival – The Ilen School Gandelow crew are back in Limerick and celebrating after taking the big rowing prizes at the Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival 2015. Rowing races at the West Cork festival on Sunday included a Pilot Race Event under sail and oar; an action packed race to land a pilot on … Continue reading 04-06-15: Ilen School Win Top Prize at Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival
JP McManus, Paul O’Connell and AP McCoy push out a Gandelow boat to signal the commencement of the Clean-up. The Ilen School was delighted to be part of Team Limerick clean-up, sponsored by JP McManus Benevolent Fund, launched at Clancy’s Strand Limerick on Good Friday the 3rd April 2015. There was up to 10,000 people … Continue reading 04-06-15: Ilen School participated in Team Limerick Clean-up.
Steadily and purposefully she is realising the wonderful dream of her original designers – stronger than ever and with greater detailing she will take and return the many from epic and wandering odysseys.
Excerpt from Limerick Leader Feb 23rd 2015. Article by Anne Sheridan A RARE celebration for Limerick’s growing fleet of boat builders has been witnessed, as the ‘whiskey plank’ was nailed into the hull of the historic AK Ilen. The famous vessel was sailed to the Falklands Islands by Conor O’Brien, an Oxford-educated Limerickman and the … Continue reading 23-02-15: Limerick’s historic sailing vessel, AK Ilen, will reclaim high seas
The good ship Ilen’s whiskey plank was jointly nailed home by Minister For The Marine, Simon Coveney, Mrs Kate Jarvey, Gerry Boland of JP McManus Charitable Foundation, Rear Admiral Mark Mellett, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces and Gary MacMahon, director of Ilen School. Minister Simon Coveney praised the educational model of … Continue reading 18-02-15: Uniting Ireland’s Coastal Communities
Extract from West Cork Times, February 17, 2015 SAILORS, shipwrights, well wishers and the plain curious gathered in the Great Corn Store at Hegarty’s Boatyard, at Old Court between Skibbereen and Baltimore, recently to witness a major milestone in Irish shipbuilding. They were there to witness Minister for the Marine, Simon Coveney hammer home the … Continue reading 17-02-15: Minister guest of honour at “whiskey plank” ceremony
Nailing Home The Whiskey Plank MONDAY 16 FEBRUARY 2015 Hegarty’s Boatyard, Old Court, West Cork Simon Coveney T.D. Minister for Agriculture, Food & The Marine and Minister For Defence, with a little help from his friends, will hammer home the final ‘whiskey plank’ of European larch on the hull of the good ship Ilen. THE … Continue reading 02-02-15: Ilen’s Whiskey Plank Ceremony
Extract from Irish Times Sat Jan 24th 2015 Witnessing a “Whiskey Planking” is not an everyday event in a politician’s diary, but Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney is on the guest list for one in a south coast boatyard next month. The “whiskey plank” is the last piece of timber fitted to the outer … Continue reading 24-01-15: Irish sail training “shipshape” in spite of Asgard II loss
The Ilen is now planked, but for a few feet of larch left un-nailed in anticipation of a Whiskey Plank ceremony next Spring. The whiskey plank is the last plank of a wooden ship, and it’s arrival is traditionally heralded with a modest celebration and a “drop o’ the quare stuff”. 2014 has been a … Continue reading 28-12-14: A Wonderful Year for the Ilen Draws To A Close
At 11.30 am today the task of planking the good ship Ilen was finally accomplished. A few feet have been deliberately been left unspiked – to facilitate a modest Whiskey Plank celebration, sometime in the Spring when the weather softens. The rig is well underway at the Ilen School, Limerick, with new main, top and … Continue reading 30-11-14: The “Whiskey Plank” of Ireland’s Sole Surviving Sailing Ship
President Michael D. Higgins visits “Naumachia in the Cathedral” The Ilen Boat Building School is holding a Naumachia at St Mary’s Cathedral Limerick, a navigation in the nave, where the new CityOne Limerick fleet is being exhibited. The fleet of racing boats have been built in Limerick, as part of City of Culture celebrations. Each … Continue reading 01-10-14: President Michael D Higgins Visits CityOne Exhibition
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan T.D., this morning officially launched the Ilen School CityOne Exhibition, a public exhibition of their new fleet of CityOne sailing boats, and a celebration of the remarkable community boat building programme that has been the focus of work and innovation in the Ilen School, Limerick, as part of City of … Continue reading 26-09-14: Minister Michael Noonan opens CityOne exhibition
Today’s Ilen School Gandelow Races were a big success. The event, boosted by wonderful September weather, was a magnificent mix of waterborne activity and displays of Limerick sailing and rowing craft. Sixteen teams of rowers and sailors, from Limerick City and beyond, generously put on display their passion for excellence in boat handling and competition … Continue reading 20-09-14: Gandelow Races a mix of waterborne activity and sailing craft
This year’s Gandelow Races include a special event: The CityOne Limerick Sailing Challenge, which involves the launch and racing of four new and spectacular performance sailing boats, designed for racing between the bridges of Limerick and custom-built at the Ilen School in Roxboro, a Limerick City of Culture #madeinlimerick Legacy Project. Expect to see dynamic … Continue reading 17-09-15: Sailing & Rowing Races in Limerick City Sat Sept 20th
You are invited by the Ilen School to the Naumachia at Saint Mary’s Cathedral Limerick, where the new CityOne Limerick fleet will be exhibited and launched by Mr Michael Noonan TD Minister for Finance 11.00am Friday 26t September 2014 St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick This is an exhibition of four performance sailing boats, an outcome of … Continue reading 16-09-14: Exhibition of CityOne fleet at St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick
Our sincerest thanks to the designers from all over the world who accepted our invitation to take part in this exciting design competition. Over the past few weeks the winning hulls and sail designs for the CityOne fleet have been put into production and will debut in Limerick City on the weekend of September 20th … Continue reading 15-09-14: Winning Designs for CityOne Fleet
Today we unveil the exciting new image and promotional poster created for The Gandelow Races, September 20th 2014, featuring the special new event that will be the highlight of race day The CityOne Limerick Sailing Challenge, which involves the launch and racing of four new and spectacular performance sailing boats, designed for racing between the … Continue reading 13-09-14: Gorgeous New Poster For UpComing Gandelow Races
The Gandelow Gang were summoned to the Scattery Island Festival, July 27th – a summoning that was met with more than enthusiasm by our crew, for Scattery is a mythical island which rarely fails to evoke an atavistic experience of an every present past. The small uninhabited island uniquely holds numerous stone remnants from successive … Continue reading 29-07-14: Gandelows Ride The Short Waves to Scattery Island
The first CityOne racing dinghy took to the water and air today, exceeding all expectations of her assembled creators. She was simply a joy to sail, and though breezes were moderate she seems to have attained all those ambitious performance qualities her focused design brief set the development project that shaped her. The CityOne, which … Continue reading 13-07-14: CityOne Racing Dinghy Test Drive
CityOne is drawing close to splash date. Final optimisation continues with the addition of her new daggerboard which adds a wonderful menacing look.
The first CityOne hull painting process was completed with the drying of clear coat yesterday, enhancing further a richly coloured surface luster. The CityOne corporate identity styling was applied with much painterly skill – exceeding all expectations of her builders and designer. Our painter Jason more than interpreted his design guidelines to deliver some artful … Continue reading 02-07-14: CityOne new livery is stunning!
The Ilen School has just launched a CityOne Design Competition – inviting designers to submit graphic designs for the sails and hull of our new CityOne performance sailing dinghy. Four of these CityOne dinghies are currently under construction through our innovative social educational programme. The closing date for submissions Friday 25th July 2014 so get … Continue reading 30-06-14: CityOne Sail & Hull Design Competition Launched
Focus Ireland, who work with homeless people and those at risk of losing their homes, are a participating agency in the Ilen School. Today was a very special day for Focus and their magnificent clients, a day in which they collectively launched a boat which they built over the last two years. The boat, a … Continue reading 26-06-14: Homeless Charity, Focus Ireland, partners with Ilen School
The Gandelow Gang and their swift racing fleet accepted a kind invitation to race at last Sunday’s Lough Gur Summer Solstice Festival. The day could not have been better – we arrived to an exceptionally well organised event and the weather came out in support to give wonderful sunshine, with a warm and gentle breeze. … Continue reading 22-06-14: Gandelow Racing at Lough Gur Summer Solstice Festival
Maasai Warrior Timothy Ole Mosiany, visiting Limerick from the Northern Rift Valley in Kenya, as part of the Become A Friend project, met with the Ilen School to see innovative building design techniques and how they apply to community projects.
The Ilen School’s Gandelow Gang travelled to the 2014 Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival, West Cork, on May 23rd. The school’s busy winter educational building programme, which successfully produced four new 23′ Gandelows, has given much impetus and pleasure to the school rowers and racing teams they comprise. The Baltimore Festival, the fourth event attended by … Continue reading 26-05-14: Gandelow Gang Races, Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival
These are some developing ideas for the hull livery of the first City One, soon to be launched. We are exploring simple and bold graphics shapes, applying the City One visual identity we developed in late 2013 to the hull and sails. While achieving the aesthetic we seek is a first concern, we also have … Continue reading 16-05-14: City One Speed and Colour
Come and welcome the Gandelows and racing crews home from Venice for moreGandelow Racing in Limerick City, Monday May 5th – boats launching on O’Callaghan Strand at 10am, racing starts at 11am from Howleys Quay, Limerick (outside Peter Clohessy’s Bar). Tomorrow’s races are being held as part of the Riverfest2014 celebrations. Picture Above: The Gandelow Gang … Continue reading 04-05-14: Gandelow Races Limerick May 5th for #riverfest
The Gandelow Gang assemble for going-home photograph with Mayor of Limerick Kathleen Leddin and Helen Creed of Limerick City of Culture office, on the steps of the dock at Scala della Miscericordia, Venice. Photo Above: Front Row (l-r) Shane Griffin, Seamus McDonagh, Brother Anthony Keane, Helen Creed, Kathleen Leddin, Joanna Purcell 2nd Row (l-r) Maurice Foley, … Continue reading 01-05-14: Meet The Gandelow Gang…On Tour
Limerick’s Varangian Vikings Raid Venice The Gandelow Races in Venice were a great success. The Venetians threw open their port to Limerick’s superb traditional boat. Having trained our crews on Canal Grande and Bacino di San Marco the main race was held on a six mile course out from the main island to Burano, on Thursday … Continue reading 01-05-14: Gandelows in Venice – win the admiration of the Venetians
The Gandelow fleet on their Venetian mooring at the pontile Madonna dell’Orta, primed for their first race to San Marco tomorrow. How beautiful!
The first few photos have started to come through from the Gandelow Racing team in Venice (now that they have figured out how to turn on data roaming on their phones!) After the boats were discharged and launched in Venice the Ilen School shipwrights and Gandelow racing crews, accompanied by Mayor of Limerick Kathleen Leddin … Continue reading 30-04-14: Day One in Venice for our Gandelow Boats and Crews
Fresh from their millennial victory at the Clontarf replay on April 23rd 2014 The Munstermen in their racing Gandelows have moved on to Venice this week, where they plan to take the city and the local Gondola men by storm. Aided by gallant oarsmen and galleys from within the Adriatic City, and having cleared the … Continue reading 29-04-14: The Gandelow Gang arrive in Venice, Italy
The Ilen School’s fleet of Gandelows, crews and builders gently entered the River Liffey on the morning of April 23rd. Their arrival was not a spontaneous one but one that emerged from a conglomeration of elements, some stretching back a thousand historical years. The myth that is the Battle of Clontarf draws as much historical … Continue reading 25-04-14: Munster v Leinster – Battle of Clontarf Gandelow Races, Dublin
16-04-14: Gandelows built as part of Limerick City of Culture project The launch of the 23ft gandelow built by the Ilen woodboat school, in Roxboro, Limerick, on the river Shannon. The first crew members were Mike Grimes, Robert Smalle and Matthew Dirr who were rehearsing for the re-enactment of the battle of Clontarf. Four replica … Continue reading 16-04-14: Viking vessels mark Battle of Clontarf millennium
The first of four new Ilen School 23ft Gandelows was launched on O’Callaghan Strand today. The river trial was a great success and the boat rowed the waves beautifully. A wholesome outcome of a community building project within the Ilen school.
Gandelow Rowing Teams from Limerick challenge Dublin again On the afternoon of Wednesday 23rd April 2014, Gandelow rowing teams from Limerick are launching another attack on Dublin by land, river and sea in their elegant Viking boats called Gandelows. They seem to do this sort of thing with a periodicity of a thousand years. The … Continue reading 12-02-14: Battle of Clontarf Millenium April 1014 – April 2014
An international and local team of boat builders and naval architects have assembled at the Ilen School, Roxboro, as part of the Limerick City of Culture 2014 celebrations. The school is well underway towards the rollout of its Limerick City of Culture Sport and Legacy Project, which involves the design and build of a new … Continue reading 12-02-14: Meet The CityOne Crew
#cityone – A new Irish sailing dinghy design, the LC1, is under construction in Limerick which promoters say will have a ‘lively performance but at the same time, the relatively broad beam and inherent stability should mean it is not difficult for the inexperienced. The City One Limerick Dinghy from the AK. Ilen Company is … Continue reading 13-01-14: Afloat.ie – New ‘City One’ Sailing Dinghy Design
The Ilen Wooden School would like to involve the public in learning to row Limerick’s traditional boat – the Gandelow. Our free rowing Saturdays are available to all and offer the community a wonderful opportunity to engage directly with the river, within the city. The session will also serve as an opportunity for the public … Continue reading 15-11-14: Learn To Row
The Limerick Gandelow is a beautiful, vague and floating thing, and a boat which is raced on the Shannon. The chase has begun to capture its essence and define its form. Leading British naval architect and yacht designer, Theo Rye, is lending his expertise and coming to Limerick on Wednesday 7th of November 2012, to … Continue reading 13-11-12: Limerick Gandelows Captured
The Ilen School and Network have commissioned a beautiful bronze bell for the Gandelow Races. The Bell was sculpted and cast by renowned sculptor Holger Christian Lonze. The Bell takes its inspiration from early Irish Celtic Sea Bells and is further modelled with wonderful following waves. Saturday next May 19th at 3pm, between the bridges … Continue reading 17-05-12: Gandelow Races Perpetual Bell
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, … Continue reading 03-03-12: French team on exchange to the Ilen School