Ireland's last surviving wooden sail trading vessel has travelled up the Thames in London at an event to mark Anglo-Irish trade and cultural links.

The Ilen, a 96-year-old cargo ketch, left Steamboat Quay in Limerick on 23 April for the 750-nautical mile voyage, sailing up the River Thames and berthing at St Katharine Docks in the shadow of Tower Bridge.

The vessel's skipper, Gary MacMahon of the Ilen Marine School, said the purpose of the voyage was "to celebrate the ancient cultural and trading relationship between the two port cities".

"It is the culmination of a series of voyages - the Kingship voyages – to many of the Irish towns and cities that have grown from medieval walled settlements built on tidal river estuaries," he said.

Since its re-construction and launch in 2018, the Limerick-registered Ilen has voyaged over 10,000 nautical miles, including a trip across the north Atlantic to Greenland, as well as to most of Ireland’s significant ports.

Built in Baltimore in west Cork in 1926, the ketch served for over 70 years, transporting cargo between the Falkland Islands, before being brought back to Ireland 20 years ago and restored by a team led by Mr MacMahon.

It now serves as a community educational platform.