Lough Derg RNLI join local learners in boat launch for the Ilen Project

Lifeboats News Release

On Thursday (27 June), volunteers from Lough Derg RNLI met with young learners from the Nenagh Community Training Centre as they launched a modifed version of a wooden, flat bottomed boat, in Dromineer.

RNLI/Lough Derg

Eleven learners studying L4 QQI Introduction to Woodcraft and Home Improvements at Nenagh Community Training Centre (NCTC) have taken part in an international community and educational boat building programme, the Ilen Project with the Ilen boat-building school in Limerick.

The learner’s contribution to the project involved modifying an old rescue boat, restoring the angling cot, making the poles, oars and paddles with the support and guidance from Ilen School Instructors and boat builders, James Madigan, Tony Daly and Liam O’Donoghue.

They were joined by their Manager, Rose Shanahan, Art Instructor, Annie Holland and Woodcraft Instructor John McKeogh from the NCTC which provides an alternative option for education, integrating training and work experience to young people aged between 16 and 21 years.

Today (Sunday 30 June), the wooden craft will begin a 9 week voyage aboard the specially restored 56ft ketch Ilen, the ship at the heart of this project. The voyage entitled Salmon’s Wake will cross the Atlantic to southwest Greenland following the famous migratory path of the Atlantic Salmon; where it will be gifted as part of an international cultural exchange with other community groups and schools in southwest Greenland.

Following the launch of their wooden craft, Peter Kennedy, Lough Derg RNLI Deputy Launching Authority and Eleanor Hooker, Helm, invited the learners to see the station’s new B-class lifeboat, Jean Spier and discussed the importance of the voluntary service on Lough Derg. The learners were also shown examples of other handmade wooden lake boats, including a Shannon one design which was specifically modified as a sailing boat for Lough Derg.

Speaking after the launch, Eleanor Hooker, Lough Derg RNLI Helm said, 'It was an absolute joy to meet the students and their teachers involved in this project. They were so appreciative of the time Peter Kennedy and I gave to show them our new lifeboat and the wooden classic boats at Lough Derg Yacht Club. I wish them every success in their project.'

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RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Elizabeth Cavanagh, Lough Derg RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 0879966855 or lizzie_cavanagh@rnli.org.uk or Nuala McAloon, Regional Media Officer on 0876483547 or Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk or Niamh Stephenson, Regional Media Manager on 0871254124 or Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org.uk

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