A 38 feet long handmade currach, complete with full sail and oars, will take pride of place in the Maritime Pavilion at the Irish Maritime Festival 2014. The currach, handmade by Cliadhbh O’Gibne of the Boyne Currach Centre in Meath has arrived at Drogheda Port following weeks of meticulous planning in conjunction with the County Museum, Dundalk, and a four hour operation to transport it from the centre. It will be the focal point of the Maritime Exhibition housed in the Pavilion at Drogheda Port alongside the River Boyne on which the Currach played a major role for many years.
The exhibition will highlight the role over thousands of years of the River Boyne – a river that divides one of Ireland's largest towns, provides a boundary between Louth and Meath, marks the ecclesiastical boundary of the Armagh and Meath Dioceses and - according to folklore - was the home of the Salmon of Knowledge.
The Maritime Exhibition is just one of many fascinating aspects of the Irish Maritime Festival taking place from Friday, June 13 to Sunday, June 15. Features of the three-day Festival will include the Drogheda Motor Show with its ‘Keys on the Quay theme promoting 142 reg cars, Boyne Swim, Artisan Food Quarter, Art Exhibition, Chowder Competition, finals of the Pirate and Wench Facebook competition and Urban Beach fun.
The Festival gets off to a fantastic start on Friday with the arrival of the restored classic ships - Irene, Ruth, Bessie Ellen, Soteria, Keewaydin and Vilma and the Irish sail training vessel Spirit Of Oysterhaven with opportunities for visitors to have a look around the boats throughout the weekend.
The vessels are expected to cross the bar at Mornington at approximately 11am to arrive at Drogheda Port town quays at 12 noon.
The two best vantage points for the public to welcome the vessels are at Mornington and Baltray at 11am and on the port’s town quays at 12noon.
Following the arrival of the ships, there will be a welcome ceremony where presentations will be made to the captains of the visiting ships while certificate presentations will be made to local trainees from Irish Sail Training’s Spirit of Oysterhaven. Presentations of Bruichladdich Whisky, brought to Drogheda via the Bessie Ellen, will also be made.
The Irish Maritime Festival 2014 is organised by Louth County Council. The Council’s Mary T Daly said: “It has been a challenge but I feel that we have put together the best Festival possible, with something for everyone. It will be great to get on site and see the Port transform into The International Maritime Festival venue.”
Admission to The Irish Maritime Festival is €2 for adults with children admitted free of charge. The Irish Maritime Festival 2014 is organised by Louth County Council and hosted by Drogheda Port Company, with sponsorship provided by Aura, Coca Cola International Services, Flogas, Drogheda Vintners and Irish Rail, who have announced €4.99* fares each way between Dublin and Drogheda. (*Subject to availability and quotas while transaction and credit card fees apply.)
Further information on The Irish Maritime Festival at Drogheda Port is available at www.maritimefestival.ie or on Facebook at 'The Irish Maritime Festival 2014 ' and on Twitter @maritimefest