Saturday 1 October 2016

The boat that brought the guns ashore...

in memoriam

Published 26/11/2015 | 02:30

The most famous of the boats that ran guns into Ireland ahead of the Rising was the Asgard. It was named after one of the worlds of Norse mythology, ruled over by Odin and Frigg.

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The 16-metre yacht was owned by Erskine Childers, an English-born writer who was executed during the Civil War in 1922. He and his wife Molly, along with Roger Casement, Alice Green and Mary Spring Rice sailed the ship laden with 900 rifles and 29,000 rounds from Germany to Howth in July 1914.

After the Rising the Asgard was put in dry dock in Wales, and sold in 1928. Thirty years later the Irish government bought the ship and brought it back to Howth on 30 July 1961, re-enacting the landing with some of the original personnel - and rifles.

It was used as a training vessel until 1974 when it was moved to Kilmainham Jail where it was displayed until 2001. By then in a poor state of repair, a restoration project brought it back to life and since 2012 it has been on display in the National Museum in Collins Barracks.

A plaque in the harbour in Howth commemorates the landings. LS

Irish Independent

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