Keeping Cork Active
Keeping Cork Active

TY Currach Rowing

Facilitated by Meitheal Mara under the Urban Outdoor Initiative

TY Currach Rowing Programme

Enjoy a six week TY rowing and heritage programme with Meitheal Mara. This year Meitheal Mara, together with Cork Sport Partnership, is offering TY students the opportunity to experience rowing a traditional Irish currach through the heart of Cork City. This programme will provide students with adventure and challenge while also building teamwork, personal development and a connection to Ireland’s maritime heritage.

Sessions on the water will allow students to get active while learning how to steer and manoeuvre a traditional Irish currach. Sessions in Meitheal Mara’s city-centre boatyard will give the participants a sense of the rich history and heritage that the currach represents while also affording them the opportunity to meet boat-builders and to see the process of boat-building in operation.


6 week currach rowing & heritage programme with Meitheal Mara


About us: Meitheal Mara (community of the sea) is a traditional boatyard and maritime activity centre in the heart of Cork City. Since 1993 we have been working to introduce people to the beauty and the heritage of the traditional Irish currach.

We operate with an ethos of making the water, in particular the River Lee & Cork Harbour, accessible to as many people as possible. Over the years, our currachs have become an iconic part of the city’s riverscape as crews of young people navigate their way under the bridges and along the channels of the city centre.

In addition to building boats and providing on-the-water activities, Meitheal Mara also organises numerous maritime events. Our flagship event is the Ocean to City race. Each June up to 500 rowers and paddlers compete in this race through Cork Harbour. While adult crews begin their race at Crosshaven, a very important element of the race is the approx. 50 young people that participate in the 4km Ocean to City youth race from Blackrock to the city centre each year.


Meitheal Mara’s TY Programme: Students will participate in a 6 week programme with Meitheal Mara’s Bádóireacht team. The young people will have the opportunity to row a traditional 2-person Dunfanaghy currach. They will begin by rowing with a trained Meitheal Mara instructor. As the students grow in competence and confidence in the currachs they will be given more responsibility; gaining skills in terms of stroke, rhythm, steering, manoeuvering, reversing and berthing the currachs. As our participants gain these skills they will be able to progress to rowing with their classmates.

By setting a series of goals and challenges, in terms of the skills to be learned, we give the young people the opportunity to build their confidence. Rowing in pairs encourages teamwork within the group. Students will gain an understanding that tides and weather can impact their boat. They will grow in resilience and self-efficacy as they learn that boats do not always stay on course and to persevere when things go awry.

All rowing takes place in Cork city centre giving the young people the chance to explore and view their city from a completely different perspective – travelling under the bridges of the north and south channels.

On days where strong winds prevent rowing, students will have the opportunity to visit Meitheal Mara’s traditional boatyard. They will learn about the earliest currachs and how the boat style has been developed and adapted over the centuries. They will hear about how important currachs were vital to the island communities of Ireland, how prominently they feature in the literature from the west coast of Ireland and how a currach is said to have beaten Christopher Columbus to America. They will have the chance to meet our boat-builders and to see numerous currachs in various stages of construction.

  • Where: Meitheal Mara’s rowing activities take place at Lapps Quay. Our boatyard is based at Crosses Green House. Both locations are in the city centre.
  • When: Meitheal Mara’s Bádóireacht staff can work with schools to find a time slot that works within the school’s own TY programme.
  • Session time: Students will attend a session that is 1.5 hours in duration each week.
  • Capacity: 15 students per group
  • What we provide: Meitheal Mara has a full stock of life jackets. We can also provide students with rowing gloves as well as rain jackets & trousers when the need arises. What the students need to bring with them: Comfortable clothes, non-canvas shoes (the floor of the boats can get wet from splashes), a sense of fun!
Expression of Interest (EOI)

Please complete this form if you want your school/class considered for the programme.

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