Traditional Boats of Ireland Book
History, Folklore and Construction
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Form follows function, so we can say that it is most probably an inshore drift net fishing craft, probably from the south coast and dating to the late 18th or early 19th century. Thus the masts are intended to be lowered, using the forged iron gates on the thwarts, a necessary feature of vessels needing to lie to drift nets all night, when herring or other pelagic species rise to the surface. The carvel build, as against clinker, is more typical of the south and west coasts. The sails have been preserved showing wonderful detail of eye splicing and reefing grommets. The large sail area, and the presence of only two rowing positions, makes it clear that this was a vessel which needed to bring the catch back quickly to harbour. The rounded stem profile also suggests an 18th century origin, not unlike ship’s boats of the period; straighter stems are more representative of the 19th century.
It is known that fickle herring shoals only occasionally came south to the Irish and Celtic seas, but Cork and Waterford exported huge quantities of salted herring in the late 18th century, along with salted beef, butter, so this may well have been one of the vessels on which these cities prospered greatly at that time as evidenced in their Georgian architecture and cathedrals. But in the absence of more information, the model is quaintly named after the location of the National Museum’s store in Daingean, Co. Offaly, about as far from the sea as one can get!
Does anybody recogonise this boat type or have any further suggestions or information ?