Friday, 10.30 - 11pm

Seascapes Friday 22 August 2014



The maritime programme for this island nation presented and produced by Marcus Connaughton.

Seascapes Friday 22nd August 2014

features Heritage Boat Association at Lough Erne Yacht Club with Mary McBrien; Eva of the Nation -Headford Currach & Hugh Oram ; Maritime artist Kenneth King and his biographer Marianne O Kane Boal.....




1. l-r  Derry O’ Driscoll (Chairperson, Sirius Art Centre), Marianne O’ Kane Boal (Curator), Rear Admiral Mark Mellet DSM, Kenneth King (Artist)

Hello and welcome aboard this week’s edition of your maritime programme Seascapes , this week we’ll be speaking with the distinguished maritime artist Kenneth King a former Naval chaplain aboard HMS Eagle and Ark Royal and his biographer Marianne O’ Kane Boal ; Mary McBrien meets members of the Heritage Boat Association at Lough Erne Yacht Club.....we hear a cautionary tale from international race officer Bill O Hara ......... First on this weeks Seascapes lets learn more about a mens shed group in Headford in County Galway and their currach “Eva of the Nation “ and the story behind it with writer and broadcaster Hugh Oram...............

A group of retired men in Headford,County Galway,came together recently to bring their boatbuilding skills to the construction of a new craft,a currach.   The men involved are in the Men’s Shed in Headford,which has been going for just over three years now.The Men’s Shed concept,under the patronage of the President,Michael D.Higgins,brings together retired and unemployed men,and there are now 180 such centres around the country similar to the one in Headford.   One of the men involved in the Headford Men’s Shed,Brendan McGee,came up with the idea of building a currach and under the auspices of the Galway-Roscommon Education Training Board,and with tremendous help from Teresa Byrne and the Adult Learning Centre,the project started coming to fruition with the help of an Inverin woodwork teacher and boat builder,Patrick Connolly.   Work on building the boat began last October in the Headford premises of Ger Monaghan and over the following months,the men cut,shaped and nailed the while deal to form the hull of the currach,as well as the oars.Oak was used to form the ribs of the boat,while teak was used for the seats and gunwales.The canvas covering on the hull was covered with five coats of bitumen.The 21 foot or 6.5 metre long currach was built to the design of a traditional Aran currach.   The group from the Men’s Shed worked night after night and within six months, had the currach completed and  it was ready for the St Patrick’s Day parade in Headford earlier this year.The long term plans for the boat are still under discussion.   The men involved in the boat building project included Paul Burton,a retired national school principal from Dublin,now living in Headford,and the chair of the Headford Men’s Shed;Willie Buckley,a retired sergeant from the Irish Army and Derek Lockhart, a retired British civil servant,now also living in Headford.Others involved in the boat project included Pat Broderick;Mark Buckley;Tom Larkin;Richard and Paul O’Connor;Neil Rogers and Brian Toft.   Once the boat was completed,what was it to be called?A man with a great interest in local history,Fursey Walsh,came up with the name,Eva of the Nation.She was Mary Anne Kelly,born in Headford in 1830,who became the poet of the Young Irelanders in the 1840s.She had begun writing poetry when she was 15 and used the pen name of Eva.   The young poet often stayed at Lisdonagh House at Caherlistrane,not far from Headford;Eva was related to Eva O’Flaherty,brought up in the same house but 40 years later,and who became famous for helping to found Scoil Acla on Achill Island in 1910 and for running the St Colman’s knitting industry on Achill for many years.   As for Eva,the poet,hers was a ready-made name for the newly built currach and so it acquired the name,”Eva of the Nation”.The great great great granddaughter of Eva the poet is Vivian Nesbitt,an American writer and an actor.She has written an award winning one woman play,The Bark and the Tree,which she performs herself,all about her famous literary ancestor.The play and performance have already been widely acclaimed in the US.   Now comes word that she is going to perform her play about Eva of the Nation in Headford on Saturday,September 6th and that special pride of place will be given to the Headford currach named after Eva and which will be on display that day.   The Headford Aran-style currach has indeed been the result of a unique boat building project,but it has also created a reminder of astonishing political and literary history from 170 years ago.

Hugh Oram and Eva of the Nation you can see and read more on the Seascapes webpage about that men’s shed group in Headford county Galway........


Next here on Seascapes to the author of “Kenneth King Life and Work” Marianne O ‘Kane Boal.......first to Kenneth King on Marianne ....



Kenneth King (Artist)

Marianne explained how she came to work with Kenneth



 l-r Mary O’ Kane Boal (Curator),  Rear Admiral Mark Mellet DSM, Kenneth King (Artist)


You can see and read more about maritime artist Kenneth King on the Seascapes webpage and we’ll hear more from Kenneth on next week’s edition of your maritime programme.........the exhibition at The Sirius  Centre in Cobh continues until next weekend.....


To Lough Erne Yacht Club next where last weekend members of the Heritage Boat Association rallied from around the country – Mary McBrien went along to meet some of those participating and spoke to Paul Martin , PRO of the Heritage Boat Association



   Mary also talked to Daniel Burke whose father Gerry we’ve met on Seascapes in the past on our inland waterways .....Daniel is the proud owner of Barge 77M ...



   “Next week here on your maritime programme Seascapes we have Part 2 of our conversation with distinguished maritime artist Kenneth King now living in Glencolumbkille ; Mary McBrien takes on sailing aboard a 1720 at The National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire and we preview the commemorations being planned for the centenary of the passing of John Philip Holland by the people of Liscannor in county Clare ................ all that and much more here on Seascapes...until next Friday night , tight lines and fair sailing.”

New Irish Championship for Sailors with Disabilities to Compete in Paralympic and International Classes

‘The Presidents Cup’ in honour of 10-time Paralympian and current President of the IFDS John Twomey


*Photo of John Twomey, Ian Costello & Anthony Hegarty at the 2013 IFDS Worlds to be credited to Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision*



Sailability Ireland, in conjunction with the ISA, has launched ‘The Presidents Cup’ - a new championship to encourage sailors with disabilities to compete in the classes sailed at Paralympic and international level.


‘The Presidents Cup’ has been named in honour of 10-time Paralympian and current President of the International Disabled Sailing Association, John Twomey from Kinsale Yacht Club. John himself is this week competing at the IDFS World Championships in Canada in the hopes of qualifying for his 11th consecutive Games.


A team of 10 sailors from each of the four Irish provinces will compete in four different classes; the Hansa 303, SKUD 18, Squib and Sonar for this prestigious prize. Kinsale Yacht Club has kindly agreed to host this inaugural event which will be held on 6th and 7th of September. In 2013 the Club hosted the IFDS Disabled World Sailing Championships to incredible success and this event will form part of that legacy.


Six races will be sailed and the team that has the best results in the four classes will be crowned champions. The event is being kindly sponsored by Kingspan, who are a global leader in high performance insulation, building fabric, and solar integrated building envelopes.


Sailability Ireland and the ISA are very excited about this new initiative and are hoping that this will encourage more sailors along the path to international competition.


Irish Sailor Finn Lynch has won the U19 Laser Standard World Championships in France

*Photos to be credited to Trevor Millar / Sail Coach*


Aspiring Olympian Finn Lynch is the new U19 Laser Standard World Sailing Champion. The Carlow native and member of the ISA’s Development Squad made a comeback on Saturday at the U21 Laser Standard & Radial World Championship in Douarnenez, France to win Gold in the U19 category.


The regatta began on Monday (18 August) and after 10 races in varying, shifty conditions Lynch lay 8th overall in the 101 boat fleet and 3rd U19. The final race began and Lynch, with his eyes on the prize, got off to a great start and battled it out at the top of the fleet throughout the 40 minute race. He crossed the line to finish 3rd, comfortably ahead of overnight U19 leaders Joel Rodriguez from Spain and Maxim Nikolaev from Russia, to claim the U19 World title and Gold medal. He narrowly missed out on the U21 Bronze, finishing 4th overall.


This is a significant achievement for Lynch, having only graduated to the senior Laser Standard class earlier this year. In less than three weeks’ time he will compete alongside fellow Laser Standard sailor James Espey from the Irish Olympic Sailing Team - Providence Team IRL in Santander, Spain at the first 2016 Olympic qualifier event. During this championship, Lynch will be aspiring to finish within the top 23 nations in order to qualify Ireland for the Rio Games.  


ISA Performance Director James O’Callaghan comments "Another podium finish at the Worlds makes it one of sailing's most successful seasons. For Finn the achievement is even more remarkable given that it's his second World title in as many years”.


His fellow teammate Fionn Lyden from Cork finished an impressive 11th overall. Meanwhile in the female Laser Radial class, Tipperary local Aisling Keller also narrowly missed out on a medal finishing 4th in the U19 category and 22nd overall.


Thursday sees the start of the 2014 Zhik Irish Laser National Championships at Ballyholme Yacht Club (BYC).


They are expecting 130 boats with great competition across all 3 fleets, especially at the top of the Laser Standard and Laser Radial fleets. 


In the Standards Olympian and multiple Irish National Laser Champion James Espey will fend off Finn Lynch who was crowned Under 19 World Champion last week with fellow ISA Performance squad sailors Fionn Lyden and Darragh O'Sullivan hot on their heels. 


In the Radials, Olympian Annalise Murphy will have ISAF World Youth Silver medallist Seafra Guilfoyle to contend with as well as a host of Ballyholme YC's best Radials including Ryan Glynn (4th in UK Nationals), his brother Liam who was last year's Topper World Champion and Tim Brow, son of Event Organiser Paddy Brow and 7th in the UK Nationals. Also look out for Ballyholme's Sarah Eames who has spent the summer competing across Europe at the ISAF Worlds, European Youth and World Under 19 Championships.


A mixture of conditions is forecast over the next 4 days with plenty of wind tomorrow afternoon and Friday. Expect to see Annalise Murphy excel in the breeze as always against the best of the boys, and catch most of those in the Standard fleet who start 5 minutes before her.


The Laser dinghy is the main single handed dinghy for men and ladies in the Olympics and the National Championships counts towards who is selected for Brazil 2016. At present James Espey (BYC and RUYC) alongside Annalise Murphy and Finn Lynch (both National YC) will be competing in September in the ISAF World Championships which are the first qualifying events for the 2016 Olympics. All 3 will be competing at Ballyholme alongside some very talented other sailors across 3 fleets - Standards, Radials and 4.7's


Names to look out for 


Standards - James Espey, Finn Lynch, Fionn Lyden, 

Radials - Séafra Guilfoyle, Ryan Glynn, Liam Glynn (2013 Topper World Champion), Annalise Murphy, Laura Gilmore (1st lady at UK Nationals, SLYC)


James Espey and Annalise Murphy (and other competitors) will be available for interviews as will be ISA Performance Youth and Performance Manager Rory Fitzpatrick 

Ballyholme Yacht Club is the host for this years Laser Irish National Championships spoonsored by Zhik (sailing clothing and equipment) and supported by McCready Sailboats, Holywood. The Championships which will be sailed on Belfast Lough, one of the best sailing areas in Europe and we expect over 100 dinghies. 


The Laser is a 12 foot dinghy sailed single handed by ladies and men from 12 years old to over 70, and is the largest fully International Sailing Federation (ISAF) recognised class across the world. There are 3 fleets - Standard, Radial and 4.7 in order of decreasing size of sail. Apart from the sail and the mast bottom section, all boats are identical. The Laser Standard is one of two “Olympic” single handed dinghies for men (the Finn is the heavyweight dinghy) while the Laser Radial is the sole Olympic single handed dinghy for ladies. 


At London 2012, James Espey from Ballyholme YC represented Ireland gaining the highest ever result by an Irish male sailor in the Laser while Annalise Murphy from National YC (Dun Laoghaire) represented Ireland in the Radial class coming 4th. Annalise also won the 2013 European Laser Radial title. Both will be competiting inthe ISAF World Championships from 8th September in Santander, Spain which is the first qualifying event for the Rio Olympics, 2016. Finn Lynch (also NYC and 3rd in 2013 World Radial Championships) will also be competing.


This summer has seen a large number of Ballyholme and fellow RYANI and ISA (Irish Sailing Association) squad members competing at events across Europe. In the Standard fleet, Finn Lynch and Fionn Lyden are in the Gold fleet in the Under 21 World Championships currently taking place in France. In the Radial Class, Séafra Guilfoyle won the Silver medal in the ISAF Youth World Sailing Championships in Portugal. Five members of Ballyholme YC travelled to Poland to race in the European Youth Radial Championships and also the UK National Championships where Ryan Glynn came 4th, brother Liam Glynn 5th and Tim Brow 7th. 


Ballyholme Yacht Club is highly experienced in running Laser events having ran the 2010 Laser Irish Nationals and the 2004 European Radial Championships. Robin Gray is the Race Officer having recently assisted in the 2014 F18 World Championships at BYC and the 2014 GP14 World Championships in Strangford Lough. Robin is also the RYANI Race Management Coordinator.

About The Show

Seascapes, the RTÉ maritime programme with Fergal Keane. Seascapes brings you around our coasts and onto traditional and modern boats and yachts for a taste of the great outdoors. Whether you are a trawlerman or a yachtie, Seascapes will be of interest to you.

Music Played on the Show

The Reel Thing

The Reel Thing

Hilary James/Simon Mayor


The Reel Thing

The Reel Thing

Hilary James/Simon Mayor


Sailing By

Sailing By

Bbc Concert Orchestra




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By post: RTÉ Radio 1,
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Presenter/Producer: Fergal Keane


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