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Olivia Cosgrove, Chairperson of the Row the Erne with Frank McManus Chairperson of the Fermanagh Trust
The Fermanagh Trust is delighted to award a grant to the ‘Row the Erne’ project.
Row the Erne is a community based organisation empowering people of all abilities and ages to build and row traditional craft on the Erne Waterway System.
The financial support from the Fermanagh Trust will go towards building a 33ft curach and towards rowing activities on the Erne this summer. The planned 10 man curach – a wooden framed Irish boat, with two sails is based on what would have been used on Lough Erne in the 5th century. The project is open to all members of the community, with a particular focus on people with disabilities, low income families and women and girls.
Row the Erne grew out of a very successful trip that was made by the famous Colmcille curach to the Erne Waterways in the summer of 2013. The boat sparked local interest in traditional boat rowing as a new activity that helps promote equality, where young and old can experience Lough Erne rowing side by side.
Olivia Cosgrove, Chairperson of Row the Erne said “We’re really excited about our project and grateful to the Fermanagh Trust for their support. Our aim is to build a 33ft curach, promote interest and understanding of our marine heritage and develop boat building skills, so that the knowledge and activities will continue to grow and be passed on. We want to involve people from all ages and walks of life in a physical experience that will contribute to health and wellbeing and also foster new types of activity on the Erne, increasing enjoyment and use of the waterway in a safe team based environment.”
Frank McManus Chairman of the Fermanagh Trust added “The trustees are keen to row in behind the Row the Erne project particularly as it’s all about encouraging people to get involved. It is a fantastic idea not only in terms of educating people about the history of the waterway but in the way it involves the entire Fermanagh community, allowing those with no boat building experience to participate, giving them a sense of achievement, pride and ownership of the curach.”
Row the Erne are involved with a number of local organisations and have a series of events planned over the summer. Once the curach is launched there will be regular weekly rowing expeditions throughout the waterway with specific days for juniors, women and families. To get involved with the project visit www.rowtheerne.com
Row the Erne plans to carry its new Curach through the streets of Enniskillen before launching it at the Round O on Saturday 30th August. They hope to gather as many participants as possible in this unique community experience.
The ceremony at the Round O will commence with some short speeches and entertainment before the Curach is launched into the water where it will be joined by a flotilla of boats, canoes and kayaks to undertake the maiden voyage to the Castle Island where Row the Erne have been working to reinvigorate this location as a place to enjoy and engage in outdoor activity.