Oarsmen to row to Spain in a naomhóg
DANNY Sheehy, Breandán Ó Beaglaoich, Liam Holden and Brendan Moriarty will take to the open sea in a naomhóg this Friday as they embark on the first leg of an epic voygage from Ireland to Spain.
Aside from their experience as oarsmen, the crew have a mixed bag of talents: Danny is a writer and farmer, Bréandán a traditional musician, Liam is an artist and boat builder while Brendan is a stonemason and fisherman.
They will leave St James Gate in Dublin this Friday in the Naomh Gobnait, a naomhóg built in the traditional West Kerry style.
The Naomh Gobnait will follow a route down the east coast of Ireland, past Wales and the south-western coast of England, on towards the north of France and down towards Spain.
The journey will be completed in three stages over a period of three years and the first stage of the passage will involve crossing both the Irish Sea and the English Channel with the first destination being Brittany in France.
After making land in Spain the ultimate destination is the pilgrimate site of Santiago De Compostela.
Danny, Bréandán, Liam and Brendan are dedicating the 44-mile Irish Sea crossing to four oarsmen from West Kerry who made the journey in a similar vessel in 1958. During the sea crossings they will be shadowed by a larger vessel, Ar Seachrain, captained by Paddy Barry.
The four oarsmen have all completed exceptional naomhóg journeys before but none as challenging as this one.