From Baltimore to Kinsale

This year Churchfield Community Trust in collaboration with the Ilen Project and Sailing into Wellness took part in the Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival.

As part of the Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival we here at Churchfield were lucky enough to get the chance to sale from Baltimore to Kinsale in one of Irelands last traditional wooden sailing ships.

As mentioned, The Auxiliary Ketch Ilen is one of the last of Ireland’s traditional wooden sailing ships, it was built by Limerick man Conor O’Brien in Baltimore in 1922. Ilen was delivered to the Falksland Islands in 1926 where she served for 70 years until her return to Ireland. Now back in Ireland, the Ilen was given the new breath of life it needed thanks to the Ilen Project and Liam Hegarty’s Oldcourt Boatyard who have managed to restore and rebuild the Ilen to its original classic beauty. It was agreed that the Ilen should be restored to full seagoing conditions in order to undertake voyages with people who would benefit from such experiences.

The newly build ilen entering Baltimore in 1926

The Ilen had just spent the previous weekend in Dublin visiting spots such as The Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, the Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club in the Liffey, and Howth Habour during the annual prawn festival. The Ilen then made its way home to Baltimore for the Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival for its official launch.  The Ilen is currently undertaking its nine week educational vogage from Limerick to Greenland called ‘Salmon Wake‘.

Sailing into Wellness is a non-profit social enterprise whose aim is to use the unique setting of the sea to help our communities. Their sailing programmes are an educational and therapeutic activity designed to support participants to overcome both physical and mental challenges, working closely with those affected by substance abuse and poor mental health. Click here for more on the work Sailing into Wellness do.

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