Clark was 'finest maritime writer'


YACHTSMAN, WRITER and classical expert Wallace Clark is due to be buried in Co Derry tomorrow, following his death at home earlier this week.

Mr Clark, who was in his 80s, was once described by the late taoiseach Charles J Haughey as the finest maritime writer of his generation.

He was author of a number of works, including Sailing Round Ireland, an account of his circumnavigation of the island in his 9m (30ft) wooden yawl, Wild Goose.

Mr Clark, a classical scholar, served in the British naval reserve during the second World War, and subsequently joined the Ulster Defence Regiment for a period during the early years of the Troubles.

He worked in his family business, linen manufacturer William Clark Sons. In 1963, he led an expedition to re-enact St Colmcille’s voyage to Iona off Scotland by currach some 1,400 years earlier. He was involved in Tim Severin’s Brendan voyage across the Atlantic in 1977, and was a participant in the Lord of the Isles project to construct the first Scottish highland galley in 300 years.

He was author of Rathlin: Its Island Story, and of Linen on the Green, the story of an Irish mill village during 250 years of weaving and bleaching linen. He wrote of the Lord of the Isles voyage from Mayo via Rathlin to Stornoway in a book of the same name, and the vessel also undertook a passage to the Faroe islands in 1992.

He was injured several months ago when he was struck by a truck while out walking. He is survived by his wife, June, son Bruce and was predeceased by son Miles.