Boats

Find out about the Museum's boats


This collection is one of the most comprehensive anywhere of Irish vernacular boats. It consists of 32 boats, all of which are rowing boats with the exception of one sailing gleoiteog. Nineteen of the boats are skin-boats – ‘currachs’, including two River Boyne coracles. The remaining boats include five flat bottomed freshwater ‘cots’ and eight other freshwater/estuarine wooden vernacular boats, as well as a rush raft from the River Suck.

The collection also includes 31 miniature model boats. They are mainly models of Irish vernacular craft but there are a number of other types such as sailing vessels.

Further Reading

  • Cian de Buitléar, Na Saora Bád. Iml 1 Húicéir na Gaillimhe, 2 An Churach Adhmaid, 3 An Churach Canbháis, An Cheathrú Rua 2005.
  • Richard Scott, The Galway Hookers, Limerick 2004
  • C Mac Carthaigh,  ‘Wooden Boats’ in David Shaw Smith, Traditional Crafts of Ireland 2003, 85-91.
  • Dónal Mac Sithigh, Fan Inti. BAC 2003.
  • Michael McCaughan, Irish Vernacular Boats and their European Connections, Ulster Folklife 24 (1978), 1-23
  • Michael Mc Caughen, Ireland, in Inshore Craft. Traditional Working Vessels of the British Isles, Chatham, London 1997.
  • Seán McGrail, Boats of the World. From the Stone Age to Medieval Times, OUP 2001.
  • Séamas Mac Philib, ‘Traditional Fishing Boats of the River Boyne Estuary’, Ulster Folklife 48 (2002), 87-93.
  • Séamas Mac Philib,  ‘Rush Rafts in Ireland’, Ulster Folklife 46 (2000), 1-8.
  • Séamas Mac Philib, ‘Relics of Water World: boat and fishery collections in the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life’ in Flegg, Eleanor (ed), The Future of Maritime and Inland Waterways Collections, Heritage Council, Kilkenny (2007), 25-28.
  • Dónal Mac Polin, The Donegal Currachs, Donaghadee 2007.