The Tory Currach, associated with Tory Island, in Donegal, is closest to the Boyne Currach although it is longer, deeper and more slender, but it is sculled in the same fashion. It was the mule of the sea for many centuries as it sustained coastal communities, gathering seaweed for planting potatoes and ferried animals to fresh pastures on smaller islands.
We facilitated workshops that enabled people to learn about the ancient craft of boat building coupled with the historical importance of our local and national waterways, while building a traditional sea currach, decorated with Celtic carvings, all through the medium of Irish.
The tradition of currach building forms an essential aspect of our maritime heritage and teaching their making ‘as Gaeilge’, helped in the preserving of the terminology and related folklore from the cultural tradition. Our project was a creative and engaging project that provided a way for the public to learn about and manage our natural and cultural heritage of currach building.
Members of the general public benefited through an awakened energy of work groups concentrating their efforts on the traditional skills of boat making ‘as Gaeilge’. Those who participate in this project got an opportunity to learn about an almost forgotten tradition, who will hopefully pass on this aspect of our heritage to others. They also got a chance to improve their own level of spoken Irish, in a comfortable, non-judgmental environment.