It’s time for our annual Cruinniu na mBad here in Kinvara. Cruinniu na mBad is Irish for the Gathering of the Boats (the ‘u’ in Cruinniu and the ‘a’ in mBad should have a ‘fada’ or ‘accent’ over the letter – I have no idea how to do this in a post – can’t find a symbol insert – my apologies).
The Cruinniu is a boat festival founded by Tony Moylan in 1979 to celebrate the link that existed for many years between the village of Kinvara and Connemara. Before gas and electricity came to Kinvara turf was the main fuel used for cooking and heating. Beautiful, red sailed boats called Galway Hookers sailed between Connemara and Kinvara laden with this fuel as the Kinvara area has no bogs. Kinvara in turn filled the hookers with grain and produce for their return journey. A strong trade developed between the two regions using these great old cargo boats.
Every August since 1979 the mighty Galway Hookers visit Kinvara again. Some of the vessels are over 150 years old, others newly built. They’re beautiful. For some reason I can’t even add media this evening – I wanted to share a photo of these craft – if anyone is interested in boats, real boats, dignified, sturdy, matriarchs of the waves – check out http://cruinniunambad.com/.