The historic tall ship Astrid is finally set to be cut up and scrapped next week.
Specialist contractors, who have been appointed to scrap the 95-year-old sail training vessel, are due to begin the work in Kinsale, Co Cork next Monday.
The work, which is expected to take at least three weeks, will be done on Lobster Quay where the wreck has been stored on a large recovery barge lashed to the quayside since it was salvaged from rocks below Ballymacus Point near Oysterhaven in September.
The ship will be cut up on site by Wexford-based Molloy Metal and Recycling Ltd and the material will be loaded on to trucks for transport by road for recycling or disposal.
Arrangements will then be made to transport the barge back the UK.
The Astrid on the seas in 2011
The news, which brings a sad end to the ship’s rich century-old maritime history, was confirmed last night by Kinsale harbour master, Capt Phil Devitt. “I am glad that there is an end in sight,” he said.
“I have been down a few berths since the Astrid arrived on Lobster Quay and have been anxious to get the quay back for some time.”
the tall ship Astrid, which sank off the coast of Kinsale in Cork in July http://t.co/908ranpkay— Wild Atlantic Way (@wildatlanticway) November 17, 2013
Lobster Quay was rebuilt and reinforced months before the Astrid incident and Astrid was the first vessel to use it.
The location of the barge upon which Astrid rests has meant that Lobster Quay has been unavailable to fishing boats since September.
And with refurbishment work underway on the €100m fishing boat pontoon nearby, several fishing berths in this area have also been out of commission.
The ship in trouble before sinking in July of this year
Mr Devitt said he is looking forwards to being able to provide fishing vessel berths at both Lobster Quay and at the revamped pontoon within weeks.
The start of the scrappage contract will be a sad end for a once magnificent vessel which ran aground near Oysterhaven during the Irish Sailing Association’s Gathering Cruise on Jul 24 after its engines failed.
A salvage operation was carried out in September to lift the Astrid and bring it ashore in Kinsale
All 30 people on board — seven crew and 23 trainees — were saved during a dramatic rescue operation.
The 42m steel square-rigger held fast on the rocks at Ballymacus Point for six weeks before being salvaged in a complex operation.
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