The Boyne Currach Heritage Group
The Boyne Currach Heritage Group, a not-for-profit community group, has been in existence since 1997 and draws from a wide array of skilled people. Many are drawn toward the currach for its physical link with Ireland’s past and to revisit the Boyne Valley’s 5,000-year-old history, by way of the river itself. Others simply see it as a way meet with like-minded Irish speakers with whom they can converse, while communally weaving the large baskets, or pruning hazels from trees planted by them and others 20 years previous in the valley. The group have actively promoted the ancient tradition of weaving boats at events, over the years and has taken part in various parades with the boats.
With more and more of an emphasis on Europe, this is the perfect opportunity to rediscover our relationship with Europe, while maintaining and encouraging pride and confidence in our own identity which is held within our intangible culture.
Wicker boats, in the past, have long been acknowledged as the backbone for human expansion along North-western Europe’s Atlantic coast.
Here at the Boyne Currach Centre our aims are to conserve and develop the tradition of wicker boat building in the Boyne Valley and to revive the traditional crafts and skills associated with it, such as oak bark tanning, weaving hazel rods and flint knapping.
And although our own traditional wicker currach was made redundant from netting wild salmon earlier last century, it continues to be an integral piece of the jigsaw representing both our tangible and intangible cultural heritage, worth preserving for future generations.
By recreating our Neolithic past, using only tools and methods that were available to them 5,000 years ago, we aim to heighten our senses that illustrate for us, our own unique culture and heritage.