Two hand-crafted currachs were launched into the Irish Sea on Saturday the 7th January 2012 as part of a special project highlighting the ancient Irish craft of boat building.

The launch at East Wall Sports Club on January 7th follows a month-long currach workshop where a team have been hand-building the boats under the careful guidance of artist and boat-builder, Mark Redden, who learnt the craft from Jackie Mons and Cork currach builder Padraig O Duinnin.

It is hoped these new additions in Dublin’s currach fleet will produce crews that will compete in the regattas of the west coast.

Rosie from Re-dress took part in the workshop so we asked her a few questions about it.

How did you hear about the workshop?
A friend mentioned it one night over a few drinks and I said yes before he finished the sentence

How many of you did the workshop and how long did it take?
10 of us built them over 4 weeks; we ended up starting and finishing on a full moon which was pretty symbolic

How would you describe the experience?
One of the richest experiences I’ve ever hand on so many levels. Rich in learning – from the culture and skills of boat making to an increased awareness of the importance of our language and heritage. Rich in building strong relationships and friendships  with inspirational individuals who fully believe in the power of doing.

Would you recommend it?

Did you get to row the Currach yourself?
Yep; took it for a spin on the day and then again on Sunday. The Tolka estuary is tidal so we have to plan depending on tides. I’d love to take it up the Tolka to the Botanic Gardens but that will take a bit of planning to check we can make it as the tides heading out.

Have you any boat making plans for the future?
The project will definitely happen again; it’s just a question of timing but when it does I’m in!

Has the experience inspired you?
Hugely; it’s an amazing thing to be part of a project that inspired so much in people who heard about it; including Michael D himself! The boats themselves are beautiful; crafted with skill and patience and this in itself is an inspiration. The project showed us all that in four weeks you can change attitudes and achieve an unbelievable amount.