Newly restored Galway Hooker takes to the water

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Galway Daily life & style Newly restored Galway Hooker takes to the water
Credit: Declan Colohan Photography

The newly restored Galway Hooker Realt na Gaillimhe joined the much loved fleet of hookers in the waters around Galway City last week.

Realt na Gaillimhe (Star of Galway), made it maiden voyage last Friday after being restored, and made seaworthy once again, by Bádóirí an Chladaigh.

The beloved hookers, gleóiteogs and púcan that grace the west coast are a combination of design, craft, art, and seamanship.

These boats and those who sail them are an integral part of Galway life and culture. Their story is Galway’s story, it’s in the county’s DNA.

Realt na Gaillimhe, which has been bought by Taylor’s Bar on Dominick Street, will be used as an educational and instructive tool, teaching people how to sail this iconic craft.

The community of traders in Galway’s Westend will be responsible for the yearly upkeep of the Galway Hooker and it has allowed the area to reconnect to our cultural heritage and link to the sea,” said Johnny Duggan Owner of Taylors Bar and Realt na Gaillimhe.

“There is a massive natural respect here in Galway’s for the sea and this age-old tradition, but this will help to reaffirm and re-establish these links again.”

Bádóirí an Chladaigh have been given the full use of the boat to add it to their existing fleet to train people in the craft of boat building and sailing.

Since 2008, they have been given the responsibility for seven traditional Galway sailing boats, five of which have been either made seaworthy, or are in the process of being made fit for the water.

Peter Connolly of Bádóirí an Chladaigh said “These seven traditional boats will be joined by seven private boats to create a fleet of 14 boats.

“Each will represent one of the ‘Tribe Families’ and will be used to train and teach a new generation of Hooker Sailors”.