Meitheal Mara, a community boatyard, yesterday unveiled plans for expansion as part of an integrated maritime hub for Cork City.
Founded in 1993, Meitheal Mara has helped participants build traditional boats, learn how to sail and row these boats, and take part in maritime races and events in Ireland and overseas.
Workers at Meitheal Mara specialise in building traditional Irish currachs, particularly the Kerry-style naomhóg and a variation on the two-person hazel-rod currach used on the north coast of Donegal.
Chairman of Meitheal Mara, Martin Ryan, said that there has been a huge rise in interest in the marine environment and watersports activities throughout the city and county.
“In response to these opportunities, our vision is to expand the organisation and provide additional supporting facilities for other maritime groups through the development of a maritime innovation hub on the banks of the River Lee,” he said.
“This hub will feature development, commercial as well as activity infrastructure, including training and education workshops, meeting rooms, exhibition spaces, boat building and repair, craft training, a clubhouse, changing rooms, and storage for boats as well as equipment.”
The plan was launched by Housing, Planning, and Local Government Minister, Simon Coveney, a Fine Gael TD for Cork South-Central.
“This is an ambitious plan with many potential benefits, not just for Meitheal Mara, but also for Cork City and Cork Harbour,” Mr Coveney said.
“The proposed development will provide opportunities to grow and integrate the maritime recreation and tourism sector within Cork City, and extend and integrate maritime activities from the city throughout Cork Harbour,” he said.
More information on meithealmara.ie or from Meitheal Mara’s offices at Crosses Green: 021 431 6813.