Thursday, August 11, 2022

'Cruinniú na mBád' and the Galway Hooker - From the Archives

This week sees the return of the Cruinniú na mBád Festival in Kinvara. Now in its 42nd year since its revival in the late 1970s, the Festival attracts up to one hundred of the famous Galway Hooker boats, among many others, as part of a celebration marking the tradition and rich history of the Galway Hooker and of sea faring along the West coast.

The boats, with their distinctive sails, are synonymous with Galway and the West of Ireland. Within the Archives of the Library are numerous collections which make reference to and document various histories and information about the history of the boat and its connection to the sea and the people. Material is present in the digitised journal, Rural Ireland, published by Muintir na Tíre, The Tim Robinson Archive includes a photograph of a Galway Hooker from 1953 and the Heinrich Becker Collection has numerous photographs of the boats across the Claddagh and Galway Bay in the 1940s.

G22_59_1_002 From Heinrich Becker Archive

Within the Bob Quinn archive are a number of archive images from previous Cruinniú na mBád at Kinvara. A contact sheet of images is present from the Kinvara festival in 2002. Quinn is a famous Irish film-maker and photographer who has a well renowned list of award-winning films and documentaries. Poitín (1978) was the first feature film made entirely in Irish. The film starred Cyril Cusack, Donal McCann, and Niall Tóibín.

From the Quinn archive of photographs are these images from the 2002 Cruinniú na mBád which show the Galway Hooker in full sail and with the locals enjoying the festivities.

Bob Quinn was also awarded an honorary Doctorate of Arts by NUI Galway in a ceremony in April 2022. The full catalogue of the Bob Quinn Photographic Archive is online here.

P99_4_13 - Galway Hooker at Kinvara, 2002. Bob Quinn Archive

P99_4_13 - Galway Hooker at Kinvara, 2002. Bob Quinn Archive

P99_4_13 - Galway Hooker at Kinvara, 2002. Bob Quinn Archive