A 12 foot replica of a currach similar to the one used by Saint Columba to sail to Iona 1450 years ago has been presented to the Aras Colmcille (Wee Nuns) heritage centre.
The replica was presented to the group by the Fanad Currach Building Group in north west Donegal.
The group was formed a few years ago to revive the traditional craft of currach building. They met on a regular basis throughout the winter of 2013 in the ballroom of the Atlantic Hotel and before long, what started out as an evening class, became one of the social highlights of the week.
Welcoming them to Áras Cholmcille, Grainne McCafferty, chairperson of The Áras Cholmcille Trust, said the currach will be put permanent display in The St Columba Heritage Centre.
“The Centre tells the story of St Columba, our city’s founding father and gives a unique insight into his life and legacy and our shared Christian heritage.
“This replica currach is similar to the one St Columba and his companions would have sailed from Derry to Iona in over 1450 years ago so it will give an extra dimension to the story. Another lovely twist is that St Columba’s mother Eithne hailed from the Fanad peninsula so we are absolutely thrilled to get our hands on a Fanad Curragh.
“I’m delighted to accept it on behalf of The Áras Cholmcille Trust and I’d like to thank everyone involved in the Fanad Currach Building Group for handing it over.”
John Fealty, chairman of the Fanad group said the currach building project was a remarkable success. John’s sister, Mary, who along with Tommy Shorthall built the replica curragh presented to Áras Cholmcille said they look forward to returning and seeing their handiwork on display.
“Áras Cholmcille is a lovely centre and well worth a visit. Everyone made us very welcome. Thank you on behalf of the Fanad Currach Group, go raibh maith agat.”