Racing currachs on the River Thames is one element of a festival bringing Irish culture to London.

The currach race on the River Thames attracted crews from London, the west of Ireland, and the famed Oxford and Cambridge boat clubs.

For many a Londoner, Hammersmith must have looked and sounded like a foreign country.

Seamus McGarry of the Federation of Irish Societies spoke to RTÉ News about the challenges encountered in racing a currach on the river. 

Minister for Trade and Industry Seamus Brennan was at the event and described it as a historic day. This was the first time currach racing had taken place on the London river. Mr Brennan recognised that while currach racing is an important part of Ireland, he wanted to present a modern image of Ireland that is open for business. The previous day the minister had opened the 'Taste of Ireland' exhibition, a display of products from Ireland.

James Garvey of the London Irish Centre outlines the centre's involvement in the trade fair in the hope of promoting Irish products abroad. 

Martin Connolly the race commentator describes how the Oxford and Cambridge rowing crews got on competing in the currachs. 

The race was unsurprisingly won by the Folan Brothers from Carraroe in Galway. 

Festival Organiser Rosalind Scanlon also spoke to RTÉ News about the three weeks of festivities as part of the 'Sense of Ireland Festival' which includes a concert by Van Morrison and The Chieftains.

I think it's going to give a British, Irish and International audience in Britain the very highest experience of Irish culture.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 2 May 1988. The reporter is Leo Enright.