The Vikings are coming to the Claddagh Traditional Boat Festival

Just spreading the word about the Claddagh Traditional Boat Festival to be held May 24th to 28th, 2017. Poster and Press Release for event below!

Vikings v Hookers

The Vikings are coming to the Claddagh Traditional Boat Festival

The Vikings are coming to the Claddagh Traditional Boat Festival

Read All About Vikings v Hookers

Claddagh Traditional Boat Festival – Download Press Release (PDF)

Galway Hooker Restoration with The Claddagh Boatmen

This week we spent a lovely evening learning about the restoration of Galway Hookers by the The Claddagh Boatmen (Bádóirí an Cladaig).

We took a boat trip from the Claddagh across the Corrib via the Mud Dock to the lay-by near the Galway Lifeboat Station. From there we went to Galway Ocean Sports Club to meet the Claddagh Boatmen and view the restoration project and learn about the Galway Hooker fleet.

Mud Dock Galway

During the session a question arose regarding the history of what is known as the Mud Dock. Rob Murphy kindly researched its origin..

On the 1651 map there is just a sea wall where the long walk is now, with no buildings after the Spanish Arch. On a 1747 map the mud dock is there, at the end of the sea wall, but the docks as we know it had not been built, so just a bay/swamp in that area. So there you have it, the mud dock was built between 1691 and 1747. The commercial docks was built in 1842, so the mud dock pre-dates it by between circa 100 to 150 years.

Pictures Speak Louder Than Words

You can visit The Claddagh Boatmen site here:

Galway Hookers, History & Sailing

I am attending a course at GTI to learn about Galway Hookers, their history, crew skills and of course how to sail them. Last Wednesday we were taken on a field trip to the Claddagh Cottage on Fairhill Road and given a talk by Brian Nolan of Galway Walks, a self confessed Folklore, Myth & History talker. The talk was very engaging, upbeat, a lot of fun and enjoyed by all who attended.

I’d say Brian’s walking tours are great – they start at bars in Eyre square and Salthill! I will be recommending both Brian and a trip to Katies Cottage to all my visitors in the future.

You can visit Brian’s Website here.

Next week we get to meet the Claddagh Boatmen who are restoring and repairing Hookers at the mouth of the Corrib.

Boom Town, a novel set in 1917 Arklow, by Anthony Cannon

Arklow 1917, a small fishing port transformed into a thriving town by the Kynoch Munitions Works. But for Michael and his sister Mary working in the factory is a curse. The deadly chemicals are killing Michael by degrees but he lacks the strength of character to escape and move on. Mary on the other hand does find the courage to leave the oppressive factory. She finds employment as a housekeeper and waits for an opportunity to run away to England. – On the other side of the social divide are Mary’s employer, Mrs Dreiser and her reluctant lover, Oscar. Abandoned by her husband for the front, Mrs Dreiser, a lonely and unstable artist, is haunted by the immense works outside her front window, and Oscar, once a man of leisure, is now obliged to take up a position at the factory.

BOOM TOWN is a novel based on the remarkable true story of the Kynoch factory, an enormous industrial enterprise which brought great prosperity to the town of Arklow, County Wicklow. By 1917, the factory employed five thousand men, women and children in the production of explosives for the British Army and the war in France. But this prosperity came at a cost, it damaged the health of many of its workers, and on the night of 21st of September disaster struck…


Anthony Cannon was born in Arklow, County Wicklow in 1967 and has lived in London since 1990. He has a degree in History and English. Boom Town is his first published novel. He spent several years researching the Kynoch factory and has written about it in the magazine History Ireland.


I’d just like to wish Anthony every success with his first published novel. No doubt Anthony will be visiting Arklow this Christmas if an authors signature is required for this years must-have Arklow Christmas gift.

Boom Town is available on Amazon

Boom Town by Anthony Cannon can be purchased from Amazon.