Grace O'Malley tall ship to make Irish debut at Foyle Maritime Festival
12 July 2022
Ireland's most recently acquired tall ship will make its first appearance on the island at this year's Foyle Maritime Festival following its purchase by the Atlantic Youth Trust charity.
The Grace O'Malley is a 164ft long schooner purchased in Sweden last month to introduce young people across the island of Ireland to a possible maritime career.
The elegant structure is a replica of The Lady Ellen - a timber merchant schooner originally built in Denmark in 1909 and was first launched in 1980 to host 100 day guests and 37 overnight passengers.
The boat left Sweden on the weekend of July 9th for its maiden voyage with its new owners and is expected to come down the Foyle two weeks later ahead of the Festival from July 20th – 24th.
"It's a stunning ship and even people who aren't sailing enthusiasts will be very interested to see it," explained Catherine Noone from the Atlantic Youth Trust.
"We're delighted that the first appearance in Ireland will be at an event as large and high profile as the Foyle Maritime Festival.
"We hope as many people as possible can come on board over the five days and see what a tall ship looks like for themselves."
The Atlantic Youth Trust Charity was formed to connect Irish young people with the ocean and adventure while developing sustainability and supporting and protecting the environment.
It was formed by private individuals and organisations throughout the island of Ireland to offer youths an introduction to life at sea.
"The Grace O'Malley has been bought for the young people of Ireland by the Trust to give them an experience of sailing and create a pathway to a wide range of maritime careers," Catherine continued.
"We want the ship to be as accessible as possible and that is why events such as the Foyle Maritime Festival are so important in reaching out to young people and giving them their first introduction to life on board a ship.
"It opens up such a wide range of careers to young people and ten days on board a boat with us can also help develop key life skills and provide a much needed change of perspective."
The award winning Foyle Maritime Festival will feature the arrival and stopover of the Clipper Around the World Yacht Race fleet.
The festival has enlisted the help of some exceptional creatures, installations and animation to celebrate What Lies Beneath reminding us of the exceptional beauty of our seas, oceans and marine life.
Additional programme information is available at foylemaritime.com.