West Clare Currachs < Back

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Currachs, the traditional canoes of the Loop Head peninsula, were used in times past for both fishing and transport. These sturdy and versatile vessels were constructed from a frame of wooden ribs, or hoops, traditionally with animal hides stretched over it, and more recently canvas.

The skills required to build and pilot these boats had been all but lost until the West Clare Currach Club was established some years ago. The club has now built almost 20 currachs of the West Clare design from scratch. It also runs building workshops and training programmes throughout the county, so that a new generation of young people can learn the traditional skills of crafting and handling these unique boats. Thanks to the revival, currach racing is becoming increasingly popular in Clare, especially in Loop Head. There are local regatta groups in Carrigaholt, Kilbaha and Kilkee, and currach regattas are held every year (See What’s On).

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