The Grace O’Malley arrives on the shores of Lough Foyle for the Foyle Maritime Festival

 

Ireland’s latest sail training vessel has anchored off Greencastle, on her way to Derry for the Foyle Maritime Festival.

She was purchased, in Sweden, by the charity, Atlantic Youth Trust, chaired by Round the World sailor and former Director of Coiste an Asgard, Enda O’Coineen.

The Atlantic Youth Trust was formed to connect Irish young people with the ocean and adventure while developing sustainability and supporting and protecting the environment.

It was formed by private individuals and organisations throughout the island of Ireland to offer youths an introduction to life at sea.

As well as being a sail training vessel, she will have a key role in areas of research, innovation, tourism promotion and providing a support outlet for vulnerable young people.

Mr O’Coineen, and the charity have been campaigning for years to acquire a replacement for the State’s last training ship, “Asgard II” , which sank in the Bay of Biscay on 11 September 2008.

The government of the day would not support salvaging the vessel and, instead, claimed the €3.8 million insurance money.

Thanks to the charity’s lobbying, €950, 000 in annual funding was secured from the National Lottery Fund. The charity committed to raising €2.5 million, in private sponsorship, to purchase the new vessel, “The Lady Ellen”, owned by Tarbet Shipping and operated out of Skarhamn, Sweden.

She is a 164-foot, Tradewind Schooner, built by Kockums Submarine Yard, In Karlskrona, Sweden, and launched 10th August 1980, for the luxury yacht charter market.

Although built of steel, she is a replica of the timber merchant schooner, “Ellen”, originally built in Denmark in 1909, to a design by Lars-Erik Johansson.

She will be upgraded to modern safety standards but will have her luxury passenger accommodation replaced by a simpler layout, better suited to a sail training role.

She will be rigged as a topsail schooner, with a 30-metre mainmast, carrying 13 sails setting 800 square metres.

She is powered by a 550hp Scania diesel engine, a 250hp Hundested bow-thruster, 2 x 46kw and 1 x 29kw generators.

The ship will be tied up in Derry for the Foyle Maritime Festival.

After that she will go to drydock for renovations and surveys before being registered in Ireland and renamed “Grace O’Malley”.

Picture and video of the Grace O’Malley courtesy of Aerial Vision NI https://www.facebook.com/aerialvisionni

New Virtual Reality experiences have arrived at Inishowen Maritime Museum

The three Virtual Reality experiences have been created as part of the EU funded TIDE project, and include ‘The Storm, The Sea – The Saldanha’ at Fanad Lighthouse, the ‘Wrath of the Atlantic, Wrecks of the Armada’ at Inishowen Maritime Museum & Planetarium and the ‘Beware! Convoy Below World War 1’ at Fort Dunree.

The TIDE Project is funded by both the Interreg Atlantic Area Programme and Donegal County Council and is being led by Ernact.  Other project partners are from Northern Ireland, UK, France, Spain and Portugal.  The main focus of the TIDE Project is to promote a common maritime theme among all the projects partners while at the same time adding a new dimension to both the tourism and cultural heritage in the Atlantic region using the latest technology and to enrich the visitor experiences.

The TIDE project focuses mainly on the Napoleonic, Spanish Armada, World Wars & Atlantic Migration eras.

The public are invited to visit Fanad LighthouseFort Dunree and the Inishowen Maritime Museum to enjoy these virtual reality experiences.

Museum will close at 1pm on Wednesday 13th July 2022

To facilitate the official launch of the new Virtual Reality experiences arriving at the museum, we will be closed from 1pm on Wednesday 13th July. We apologise for any inconvenience caused to our visitors, however our normal summer opening times will resume on Thursday 14th – with our new VR experiences available to view.

Coming Soon! New Virtual Reality Experiences

Coming soon! New VR experiences will be launched in Donegal! #lovedonegal
The experiences marry Maritime History with the latest technology in the form of Virtual Reality! #keepdiscoveringdonegal
Here at the Inishowen Maritime Museum we will have two of these VR experiences – ‘Wrath of the Atlantic, Wrecks of the Armada’ – dating back to the 16th Century & the Spanish Armada era, the experience focuses on La Girona and La Trinidad Valencera & their final journeys; https://tide-atlantic.eu/NewsDetail?MediaNewsId=1363
‘Beware! Convoy Below’ – a shared TIDE International Partner experience with Derry City & Strabane Co Co, Devon Co Co & Clarte in France. The experience dates back to the early 20th century & World War 1 era where the ships left Buncrana, headed for Rathmullen pier, attached the Kite Balloons onto the ship and at over 1,000 feet kept an eye for U-boats & mines; https://tide-atlantic.eu/NewsDetail?MediaNewsId=1367
Stay tuned!

La Trinidad Valencera Weekend 2022

Inishowen Maritime Museum is hosting a weekend event to celebrate the launch of an exhibition of a selection of artefacts from La Trinidad Valencera. The weekend will also celebrate the discovery of the wreck at Kinnagoe Bay just over 50 years ago. All are welcome to attend. Please note that booking is essential for fieldtrips.

Book Saturday
Book Sunday

Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain visits Inishowen Maritime Museum.

L-R Charlie McConalogue Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine of Ireland, Rosemarie Moulden Manager, Seamus Carey Chairperson of Inishowen Maritime Museum, Seamus Bovaird committee member of Inishowen Maritime Museum, H.E. Mr. Ildefonso Castro Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain, Kate O’Callaghan Manager, Mrs. Esperanza Cancio de Castro

On Monday the 9th Inishowen Maritime Museum had the pleasure of hosting H.E. Mr. Ildefonso Castro, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain and his spouse, Mrs. Esperanza Cancio de Castro. They were given a tour of the museum with a special focus on the Spanish Armada exhibition la Trinidad Valencera which will have its official launch down here at the museum with the date to be announced soon. Before they departed, Mrs. Esperanza Cancio de Castro was gifted a Glendowen shawl created by Ann McGonigle of Glendowen Craft Studio as a reminder of her and H.E. Mr. Ildefonso Castro visit to the Inishowen Maritime Museum and Inishowen area.

Opening Hours

Summer Opening

May – August

Tuesday – Saturday

10.00am – 5pm

Sunday

12.00pm – 5pm

Last admission 4.00pm

Closed Mondays (except Bank Holidays)

Winter Opening

Monday – Friday

10.30am – 4.00pm

Last admission 3.30pm

Other times by appointment

Norwegian Ambassador visits Museum to launch “The Vikings” exhibition.

Andrew Ward Inishowen Development Partnership, Seamus Carey Museum committee member, Norwegian Ambassador to Ireland Mari Skåre, Seamus Bovaird Museum committee member, Ken Doherty Museum committee member, Karl Vekins Museum committee member

The Norwegian Ambassador to Ireland, Mari Skåre, visited the museum on 26 July 2021 to renew the connections made

by her predecessor, Else Berit Eikeland, with cultural interests in Inishowen and to formally launch a new Norwegian exhibition, “The Vikings  “,

The previous ambassador had arranged the loan, from the Fram Museum, Oslo, of the exhibition, “Cold Recall – Roald Amundsen’s expedition to the South Pole”.

This had been replaced by the new exhibition, but Covid precautions had prevented an official launch, earlier, so Ambassador Skåre did the honours on this visit.

The exhibition will be on display until Spring 2022, when it is hoped to replace it by an exhibition on the Spanish Armada.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the discovery of “La Trinidade Valencera” by Derry sub-Aqua Club, in Kinnago Bay but Covid has delayed this commemoration too.

Ambassador Skåre met with representatives of Inishowen’s four secondary schools, the Inishowen Traditional Music Project and with some traditional boatbuilders and sailors to re-start some of the Embassy projects.

She will be returning in the Autumn to progress the projects.

Norwegian Ambassador launches co-operation programmes with Inishowen.

On Thursday last, the Norwegian ambassador, Else Berit Eikeland, visited McDonald Boats, in Greencastle, to officially launch a programme of exchange projects between 2 districts in Norway and several organisations in Inishowen.
The projects have been co-ordinated by the Inishowen Maritime Museum, in Greencastle.
The first project involves exchanges between Inishowen & Norwegian traditional boat building enthusiasts. The museum has been granted funding by the Fishing Local Areas Group (FLAG) to restore two traditional fishing boats, a drontheim and a half-decker, in McDonald Boats. During the restorations boatbuilders from Trondheim Maritime Museum & Boatbuilding Centre will visit Greencastle to take part in the restoration work. Next year, local boatbuilding enthusiasts will visit Trondheim to take part in a similar project there.
The other project involves educational programmes involving the 5 secondary schools in Inishowen and schools in the Bergen district of Norway. The projects will have maritime and environmental themes. Teachers from Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana, have been invited to Bergen, in March, to tease out the finer details with schools in the Bergen area.
It is also hoped to widen the programme to include a connection around traditional fiddling in the Norway, Western Isles of Scotland and Donegal. The Hardanger fiddle is both a musical instrument and a technique. Fiddling traditions and methods in Donegal are unique in Ireland and are closer to Islay than to Mayo. The methodology is thought to stem from Norwegian techniques that travelled to the Faroes and down the Scottish Islands to Donegal. A partner group in Inishowen has been identified and the Ambassador will be seeking a Norwegian counterpart to move forward with them.
In separate developments, the director of the “Coastal Heritage Week” programme in Norway has been liaising with Donegal Tourism and Inishowen maritime heritage groups to promote coastal tourism in Donegal, based on the successful Norwegian model.
The Norwegian district council is applying for EU trans-national funding for a project around the heritage & culture of the trade routes between Norway, the Faroes, the Western Isles and Donegal. This could link with a trans-Atlantic programme between Inishowen, Newfoundland and the Canadian maritime communities currently being developed.

Rededication of Maritime Memorial at Greencastle Regatta

This year’s Blessing of the Fleet at Greencastle will include a very special event which will commemorate those from Inishowen who lost their lives at sea. The Inishowen Maritime Museum has been working tirelessly over the last year to update the existing memorial and ensure that all those who tragically lost their lives in the waters around us will be remembered. The existing memorial was unveiled in 1997 by President Mary Robinson. As further research was carried out over the years it was realised that many more had lost their lives at sea that had not been previously recorded on the memorial. Realising how significant it was for the families who had lost loved ones it was decided that new panels would be installed to include anybody who had not been included before.

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