Claidhbh Ó Gibne has devoted himself to building traditional currachs and researching their history. His new volume, The Boyne Currach: From beneath the shadows of Newgrange, puts the currach in the context of the history of hide-covered boats, explains in detail how to build one, and describes the current experimental construction of a very large example. The boat is an icon of Irish folklore. Thanks to Ó Gibne, we can learn in an engaging manner a great deal about what it is we’ve been seeing, and what it means.
I met Claidhbh Ó Gibne once back in 2006 on holiday with a friend. His woodworking skills were amazing, and we had the best conversation for over an hour. He talked then about these boats, which until that time I’d never heard of. I will gladly help as I can on this book.
I wish to express my wholehearted support for the Boyne Currach Heritage Group and the valuable contribution it has made and continues to make in relation to the experimental archaeology of ancient river- and sea-going craft. The building of various river vessels using traditional methods and materials native to the Boyne is an achievement in itself, but the construction of Bovinda, a very substantial leather-clad ocean-going ship, is an extraordinary accomplishment worthy of the highest praise. The Boyne Currach Heritage Group has proved itself with regard to the challenges and practicalities of prehistoric and traditional boat construction. Furthermore, it has demonstrated itself to be both scientifically exacting and scholarly in relation to its research and methodology.
On behalf of Meath County Council, I would like to commend and support the Boyne Currach Heritage Group. The Boyne Currach Centre records, presents and teaches us an important element of the cultural and intangible cultural heritage of the Boyne Valley in an engaging and participative manner. The Brú na Bóinne Research Framework prepared and published by the Heritage Council (2009) pictured the Boyne Coracle (Fig 3.17 p.77) and identified a better understanding of the River Boyne as a key research question. In 2019 the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht inscribed Boyne Currach Making on Ireland’s National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The Heritage Office is happy act as advisor for the Boyne Currach Heritage Group, with their work which utilises the centre to facilitate the continued work of the group.
I would like to confirm that I support the boyne Currach Heritage Group and all their projects undertaken at the Boyne Currach Centre, without reservation. This centre has, since its foundation, been a research leader in the Boyne Valley.
Thank you and all the best,
Boyne Currach Heritage Group have been working tremendously over the years focusing on skin covered boats. They have been pioneers in the research and reconstruction of traditional skin covered boats, the Boyne Currach in particular. They founded the Boyne Currach Heritage Group and organise regular events to highlight the significance of this craft.