The country's last surviving wooden sail trading vessel has left west Cork on a sea journey to raise awareness of a more environmentally friendly way of transporting goods.
The 'Ilen' and her crew set sail from Baltimore in west Cork for the Shannon Estuary with their cargo of locally produced cheese, coffee, whiskey and gin.
Weather was described as blustery and they hope to arrive in Limerick within the next 24 hours, ahead of the forecast for Tuesday.
A community project, AK Ilen Project Director Gary McMahon said it is all about celebrating locally produced "slow" foods and drinks with slow eco-friendly transport under sail.
He said: "This symbolic voyage is looking to educate people that we have a network of small ports around the coast and the islands which were built in the 19th century for this purpose, and can be used again for eco-trading."
The country's last surviving wooden sail trading vessel has left west Cork on a sea journey to raise awareness of a more environmentally friendly way of transporting goods. | More: https://t.co/tyPEuiE993 pic.twitter.com/TCt0Vl3MUX— RTÉ News (@rtenews) August 23, 2020
This method of cargo delivery was phased out due to the expansion of the road network in the 1920s and 1930s with the last delivery under sail alone taking place in the Shannon Estuary in 1953.
The Ilen was built in Baltimore in west Cork in 1926 and is Ireland's last wooden cargo vessel with a hold.
The cargo ketch served for over 70 years transporting sheep and goods between the Falkland Islands before being brought back to Ireland 20 years ago and restored by a team led by Limerick man Gary McMahon.
From Limerick, the ketch will journey to the Aran Islands, back down the coast to Dingle and will finish its journey in Cork harbour in two weeks time, weather permitting.
Fair winds & following seas to the @ilenproject en route from Baltimore, West Cork with a cargo of local cheeses, coffee, whiskey & gin heading to the Shannon Estuary & onwards to Limerick City on stage one of her sea voyage to small ports along the coast - more @rtenews pic.twitter.com/3afO0Cg3QF— JennïeØSullivân (@OSullivanJennie) August 23, 2020
Mr McMahon said: "Worldwide, eco-trading is a growing movement and serious design time is being put into designing full sized modern cargo ships that can harness the wind and reduce fossil fuel use and air pollution."
The Ilen's journey can be followed on its social media.