Fibreglass currachs in the Dingle Peninsula

At the time when Fungi the Dingle dolphin was not yet very popular, Declan Malone introduced me to his fibreglass fishing currach and took me for a ride to the mouth of the Dingle harbour. He had not warned me, so when the dolphin jumped out of the water very close to the boat I got a big fright. That was my first encounter with Fungi and a fibreglass currach.

I have forgotten if Declan had told me, who had built his currach. While some of the builders of traditional currachs (like Eddie Hutch from Dingle or Monty O’Leary from the Maharees) are well known, I don’t know anything about fibreglass currach builders.

Gradually the traditional fishing currachs were falling apart and only racing currachs were still built with traditional techniques. Sometimes you find old fishing currachs, where the skin has been reinforced with fibreglass but I have never seen a racing currach built with fibreglass. The advantage of lightness at the canvas covered currach is given away with the fibreglass version. May be their builders tried to save at least the elegance of it’s form.

Declan Malone from Dingle in his fibreglass currach, 1993
Bernd Unstaedt
Fibreglass currach and racing currach in Dingle harbour, 1993
Bernd Unstaedt
Fibreglass currach, Brandon, 1993
Bernd Unstaedt
Fibreglass currach, Dooneen pier, 1993
Bernd Unstaedt
Fibreglass currach (right) at Brandon Creek, 1988
Bernd Unstaedt
Fibreglass curragh at Ballydavid, 2022
Bernd Unstaedt

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