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1914-1961: Private Ownership and Return to Howth

The Asgard on her return to Dublin in 1961. Courtesy of the Board of Trinity College Dublin.

The Asgard had three private owners during the middle part of the twentieth century before being purchased by the Irish State for use as a naval training vessel.

After successfully landing her cargo of guns and ammunition at Howth harbour on 26th July 1914, Asgard’s dramatic gun-running voyage was over. She sailed out of Howth and across the Irish Sea to Bangor, North Wales, where she was laid up in the boatyard of A. M. Dickie & Sons. She would remain in storage there until 1927, when Molly Childers was finally persuaded to place her beloved yacht on the market. Asgard was sold in 1928, and would have three further owners before being purchased by the Irish Government in 1960 as a training vessel for naval cadets.

Return to Howth

Following a refit to make her seaworthy, Asgard sailed on a historic voyage from Southampton to Howth, arriving on 30th July 1961. At Howth she was met by Naval Service vessels, a salvo of guns and a welcoming group led by then President Eamon de Valera, as well as by surviving Irish Volunteers who had witnessed Asgard’s original arrival at Howth in 1914.

The ceremony was also attended by Erskine Hamilton Childers, son of Erskine and Molly and a future President of Ireland. President de Valera sent greetings to Molly Childers, then living at Glendalough, and ended his speech with the words:

The great event of forty-seven years ago, in which she and her gallant husband took so memorable a part, will never be forgotten by the Irish people."

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