Update: Galway Port has offered a berth for Naom Eanna and after intervention by Seanad Eireann there is a month's stay.
ICONIC SHIP gets lousy 4 week reprieve (click to expand)
NAOM EANNA - Ireland's oldest surviving merchant ship gets 4 week reprieve
Ship must return to Galway.
Designers propose Cafe/Bakery, Microbrewery, Restaurant, Boutique Hostel and museum as her future use
Iconic Galway - Aran ferry, built in Dublin in 1956 and Ireland's oldest surviving merchant ship evaded the junk yard as Minister Deenihan granted a stay of execution of just 4 weeks for 'interested parties' to put a comprehensive business plan (with finance) together by the end of this month.
The nations leading specialists in vintage ship & yacht restoration; Irish Ship & Barge Fabrication Company had been clear in requesting 16 weeks to prepare a business plan involving NO state funding however they were disappointed in the Minister's apparent lack of appreciation of the complexities involved in preparing such a plan.
The Minister quoted an urban myth that the vessel is in danger of sinking without having any comprehensive survey carried out. He also claims the ship is owned by Irish Nautical Trust which is incorrect.
The plan must contain her future location, the design concept, her restoration & expense and present the finance / investors within 4 weeks. Primary schools usually allow longer than this for school projects however IS&BF are going to attempt to deliver.
Due to the exhaustive bureaucracy involved in securing a berth for the ship in Dublin (which can generally take 2 years), and in light of the 4 week window; sadly the group have ruled out the possibility of her being retained in the Capital. However, on Friday, Galway Port Company confirmed a berth for her in her home Port. Engineers are confident that, after restoration of her hull and machinery she will sail to Galway under her own steam.
Today, after an internal survey of the ship, designers for IS&BF proposed the vessel would accommodate a Cafe / Bakery on her boat deck, A microbrewery and Restaurant on her main decks, A boutique hostel below decks and public access to her antique machinery spaces as part of an on board museum.
Designers hope to have plans drawn up by Wednesday March 4 while a business plan is prepared. Meanwhile surveyors will continue to quantify the cost of restoration (to be confirmed when the ship is dry docked). With this information IS&BF will approach leading local and National operators to occupy the proposed spaces on board.
Meanwhile the campaign continues to put pressure on the Minister to extend this inadequate time scale as this Iconic ship remains in grave danger of being destroyed by months end.
Sam Field Corbett
Heritage Boats have tended to end up on Hannover Quay, in Grand Canal Dock. Now, March 2014, in an act of state vandalism, they might all be destroyed. There is a view that the Irish Nautical Trust are to blame for this destruction, as they had not collected these boats, promising to preserve and restore, without the resources to meet that obligation. Perhaps we all share responsibility for not acting sooner, for not protecting history.
The RAF Boat is a 63foot General Service Pinnace; RAF Boat 1380. She was built by Groves and Gutteridge in the Isle of Wight. She has a double diagonal African mahogany hull with an aluminium wheel house. The twin 180shp Rolls Royce C6 FLM Supercharged engines, deliver a cruising speed of 14 knots at 1800 rpm, with a rang of 660 miles. Her dimensions are: LOA 63feet, Beam 15ft 6in, Draught 3ft 6in, Loaded displacement of 28.3 tons. She is equipped with a hydraulic Hyland winch with a lifting capacity of 33cwt. There was a crew of 7. There is a description of this type of boat on the Air Sea Rescue & Marine Craft Club
web site; and on "the workhorse of the Maine Craft Section"
. An identical boat, RAF Boat 1374, is in the RAF Museum
; and RAF Boat 1380 is in Newhaven Museum.
click on a photo to enlarge it
George Prescott owned the Iris. She was used by the Graphic Cruisers Club, the Dublin Sketching Club,
the Dublin Naturalists Field Club
and others. Many important paintings were composed on board. Artists included Richard Bridges Beechy, Alexander Williams, and others. Sadly, the Iris ended up in Grand Canal Dock. In time, she sank, was hauled out and left on the concrete embankment. The whole area is being redeveloped and 'gentrified'. Some old timbers were burnt. Other 'heritage vessels' remain and Waterways Ireland
wants them moved on. The lifeboat Mary Stanford is in very poor condition. A group has been formed to return her to Ballycotton and preserve her. They must move her by April. To contribute to this deserving cause, visit http://themarystanford.com/
The second lifeboat has no group to rescue her. There is an RAF launch, with two Rolls-Royce diesel engines, an interesting yacht built from concrete, as well as barges and other craft. The MV CillAirne has been restored by the Irish Ship & Barge Fabrication Company.
She is now moored at the Conference Centre near Samuel Beckett Bridge, on the Liffey where she is a fashionable floating restaurant.
Then there is the Naom Eanna. She served as the ferry to the Aran Islands.