Stunning 164ft Grace O’Malley tall ship on route from Sweden for Derry’s Maritime Festival

Ireland’s most recently acquired tall ship is on route from Sweden and will make Derry its first port of call in time for the Maritime Festival.

By Brendan McDaid
Tuesday, 12th July 2022, 8:15 am

The Grace o’Malley will make its first appearance on the island at this year’s festival following its purchase by the Atlantic Youth Trust charity.

The 164ft long schooner was purchased in Sweden last month to introduce young people across the island of Ireland to a possible maritime career.

The elegant structure is a replica of The Lady Ellen - a timber merchant schooner originally built in Denmark in 1909, and was first launched in 1980 to host 100 day guests and 37 overnight passengers.

The Grace O'Malley is a replica of the Lady Ellen and is travelling from Sweden to Derry.

It is named for he famous Irish pirate queen Gráinne Ní Mháille, born in County Mayo in around 1530, who went on to rule her own lands and the seas around them and once met with Queen Elizabeth I in London.

The boat left Sweden last on Saturday last for its maiden voyage with its new owners and is expected to come down the Foyle two weeks later ahead of the Festival, whilch runs from July 20th – 24.

“It’s a stunning ship and even people who aren’t sailing enthusiasts will be very interested to see it,” said Catherine Noone from the Atlantic Youth Trust.

“We’re delighted that the first appearance in Ireland will be at an event as large and high profile as the Foyle Maritime Festival. We hope as many people as possible can come on board over the five days and see what a tall ship looks like for themselves.”

Tens of thousands of people will take part in the 2022 Foyle Maritime Festival.

Read More

Read More
41 pictures from the last Maritime Festival in Derry

“The Grace O’Malley has been bought for the young people of Ireland by the Trust to give them an experience of sailing and create a pathway to a wide range of maritime careers,” Catherine said. “We want the ship to be as accessible as possible and that is why events such as the Foyle Maritime Festival are so important in reaching out to young people and giving them their first introduction to life on board a ship.

“It opens up such a wide range of careers to young people and ten days on board a boat with us can also help develop key life skills and provide a much needed change of perspective.”

The award winning Foyle Maritime Festival programme information is available at

The Clipper fleet is returning soon ahead of the Foyle Maritime Festival in Derry.