Monday, March 1, 2010

PRESS RELEASE - from Tirconaill Tribune

A group of 1o young men from the in YMCA in Milford have been hard at work over the last number of months building two traditional Irish currach boats.

The Milford group have been working on the Leargas funded project for the last number of months, meeting once a week to work on the boat in the Fruit of the Loom in the town. The boats will be completed by the end of May, with the launch taking place in June. One boat will be put on display in the town, with the other being made available for the enjoyment of all concerned.

The YMCA in Milford, who are co-ordinating the project, is one of 22 local YMCA’s across Ireland who together serve about 30,000 young people each year. The YMCA specialises in providing informal youth work which is delivered through a wide range of programmes including health promotion, family youth work, vocational training and much more.

This currach project in Milford is being run in conjunction with the Parents And Kids Together programme, which aims to build positive relationships within families, in order to support the development of young people.

The currach itself is a skin boat and is one of the oldest, if not the oldest types of boat in the world, possibly going back into Neolithic times. The boat has been going through a revival in recent times, with groups from different parts of Ireland currently working to build new currachs, to ensure they are not a forgotten part of Irish heritage.

YMCA Milford Co-ordinator, Mary Grace Cullen , says it has been a great opportunity for young people to develop new skills and to work together. "The young people have been able to develop new skills and have a lot of fun at the same time. Its important young people are given opportunities to try new things and develop their confidence, while also being able to learn a little about Irish history at the same time."

Lee Burke, who has been a participant in the project, has enjoyed being part of something that will be there for a long time to come. “It has been a great project. We are learning how to carve and shape the wood, and also we are learning new documenting skills. It is a good feeling to know we are part of something that will hopefully be there for years to come."

If you would like to keep up to date with the project you can visit our blog at to see photos and receive weekly updates from the young people involved. For more information contact Mary Grace Cullen at the YMCA Milford on 0749153043

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