Sir, – The Naomh Éanna has indeed had a long and winding journey (Glen Murphy, “Dublin’s ghost ship: Future of capsized ferry remains in watery limbo”, News, January 28th).
It may not be too late to send it back to Galway, or at least some of it.
In 1999, I opened Flagship Scubadiving Ltd on the ship in Grand Canal Dock and shared the vessel space with Surfdock, the surf shop referred to in the article.
We enjoyed the unique ambience of working onboard and had 15 happy years until 2014, when we had to abandon ship and relocate to terra firma. Over those 15 years, many people came and shared their own personal stories and connections with the ship.
It is indeed a sad and ignominious end to a vessel that brought such happiness to those who sailed in it first, plying its way from Galway City to the Aran Islands. I even enjoyed a day trip on board to the Aran Islands in 1969.
At the end of August 1916, Sir Ernest Shackleton rescued his crew from Elephant Island in the Antarctic. The ship that carried them back to safety in Chile was the Yelcho.
The prow, or forward section, is now preserved as a monument in the Chilean naval town of Puerto Williams as a tribute to the ship and its crew.
The Naomh Éanna may never sail again, but perhaps the prow could also be removed, relocated to Galway and placed in the dock area with the forecastle deck, anchor chains, anchors and winches displayed as a tribute to its historic connection with the city and the Aran Islands.
Galway and back again? – Yours, etc,
Flagship Scubadiving Ltd,