The Boyne Currach -
from beneath the shadows of Newgrange by Claidhbh Ó Gibne tells the fascinating story of a remarkable vessel with prehistoric origins: the Boyne currach.
Imbued with stories from around the globe, it is written in an energetic and accessible style, reflecting the author’s love for these boats. It is a pioneering piece of work that throws new light on an ancient Irish craft.
An overview of the history of the Boyne currach and related skin boats is followed by a how-to guide with instructions on how to build your own currach, including the materials needed, where to source them and how to master the age-old techniques of weaving and binding. With so few currach-makers left, the author hopes to preserve this craft for generations to come.
The final section of the book details the Newgrange Currach Project, a unique endeavour to recreate the currach used by the builders of the Newgrange passage tombs to transport stones from far away. At 34ft in length, this wicker currach represents an incredible feat of boat engineering and a piece of living history. On completion, it will embark on a journey mirroring that believed to have been taken by the Neolithic tomb-builders, travelling as far south as Spain.
Written by a master craftsman, who brings his unique experiences and
skills to bear as he explains the traditional craft of wicker currach-making.
Copious colour and black & white images throughout – which, taken
together, comprise a visual history of the River Boyne currachs and the
people who made their living from and in them.
Includes a ‘How-to’ section, providing an important record for future
craftsmen and women.
Contains an overview of the history of the currach, including the currach
folk, the Boyne and the role of the currach in international trade.
Features fascinating details of the Newgrange Currach, the only vessel
of its kind currently in existence.
Claidhbh Ó Gibne is an artist and currach-maker whose studio and home are located
among the remnants of countless monuments in the Brú na Bóinne World Heritage Park.
The Boyne Currach Centre
opened in 1997, is the culmination of his life’s work, and it is here that Claidhbh
has produced different prototypes of sea currachs, made from tanned cowhides and
hazel baskets. He is currently working on a 34ft craft of a style and sturdiness
that could have brought some of the earliest settlers to Ireland and transported
the giant stones to build the great passage tomb at
which overlooks Claidhbh’s home and workshop at Donore, Co. Meath.
"Anyone who comes into contact with Claidhbh Ó Gibne at his cottage
on the River Boyne
is unlikely to ever forget the experience. The force of his tidal wave of passion
is enough to up-end you ... I know that those who read this book will not fail
to become instant advocates of the Boyne currach."
Dr Geraldine Stout
Claidhbh Ó Gibne working on a Boyne Curragh
Boyne Valley Private Day Tours
Pick up and return to your accommodation or cruise ship. Suggested day tour:
Newgrange World Heritage site, 10th century High Crosses at Monasterboice,
Hill of Tara the seat of the High Kings of Ireland and the Hill of Slane where St. Patrick let a Paschal fire in 433