Amateur rowers set record for Irish Sea crossing in Currach
  Author: John Deane      Posted on: 29/6/05

The nine-man crew of the tiny currach, Aoibhin Marie, was welcomed home in magnificent style to Howth Yacht Club on Sunday 26th June at 5pm, after crossing the Irish Sea from Holyhead in a record time of seventeen hours and forty minutes in the first ever attempt of its kind.

The arduous crossing was undertaken in relatively calm seas in up to Force 4 or 20 knots of breeze in a north easterly wind, and during the crossing the crew took turns in rowing in groups of three for an hour at a time. The support boat, which sailed along side the currach, was crewed by members of the Doolin Coast Guards.
The Crew arriving at Howth

Speaking in Howth Yacht Club, the crew skipper Eugene Garrihy from Doolin said "The currach was made in Inis Oirr on the Aran Islands and I am originally from Doolin in County Clare so crossing the Irish sea in this tiny fishing boat with a big history was somewhat of a lifetime ambition. It was a tough journey but the crew was tremendous and their support and good humour made the difficult times all the more bearable. Like everyone in Ireland, all members of the crew have also been touched by cancer in one way or another and therefore we were delighted to undertake the challenge in aid of the Irish Cancer Societyís Menís Cancer Action campaign and to highlight the message that men need to understand their risk of cancer and take measures to prevent it where possible and detect it early. Early detection of cancer gives the best chance of long-term survival".

The challenge was undertaken with support from Land Rover Ireland as the principal sponsor and Today FM as media partner.

The currach team is also asking the public to make a donation by ....
calling 1850 60 60 60 (reference Currach Challenge in aid of the Menís Cancer Action campaign) or by logging on to

The Irish Cancer Societyís Menís Cancer Action campaign aims to raise awareness of the incidence of the common cancers amongst men, to encourage men in all age groups to attend their GP for regular check-ups, to make information available to men in an accessible and acceptable way, and to ask men to invest in their health in the long term for the prevention of cancer and other illnesses. Every year, approximately 6,100 men in Ireland are diagnosed with the most common male cancers; prostate, colo-rectal (bowel), lung, skin and testicular.

The Team

Sean Cullinane(originally From Doolin Clare)
Adrian Shanahan(originally from Kilkenny)
Declan OíSullivan(originally from Cork)
Jim Ring (originally from Skerries)
Eugene Garrihy(originally from Doolin Clare)
David Blake(originally from Kilmihel Clare)
Thomas McDonald(originally from Meath)
John Wallace(originally from Dublin)
Paddy Prendergast(originally from Tipperary)
Victor Bridges(originally from Wexford)

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