THE LATE MIKE O’BRIEN, SAILOR AND FISHERMAN, OF GRATTAN STREET, made a special request last November that a model of the famous schooner ‘Kathleen and May’, which he had in his living room, be entrusted to the local Youghal Credit Union after his passing.
Mike was then ninety years of age and not in the best of health. Sadly he passed away two months later – the following January 2012. His family and a few good friends then set about granting his wish. It was agreed with the Credit Union that they would accept the entrustment and display the model in a public place on their premises.
So on Monday evening May 28th, in the presence of a large gathering of friends, sailors and fisherman, the large model in a glass case was handed over by Mike’s brothers, Justin and Jacky at the Credit Union premises.
The Chairperson, Mary O’Brien told of how the committee were delighted to house the iconic model and the awareness of our maritime history that it would bring to all viewing it. Then Mary Cotter, a niece of Mike, mentioned the happiness that the event brought to the O’Brien family as they saw Mike’s wish reach fruition. Frank Mills paid tribute to the late Mike and told of how he had come into possession of the model.
About thirty years ago, it was made in Gloucester by Tommy Jewel, owner and captain of the vessel, before being sent over the Irish Sea in a yacht to Youghal where it was presented to Mike. Mike and Captain Jewel had sailed in it together in the 1950s and 60s.
Mike Hackett then spoke on behalf of all Mike’s other friends present in paying tribute by mentioning how helpful Mike had been where the research of maritime history was concerned. He was most knowledgeable and experienced, and a lot of the recorded history of the port of Youghal is thanks to him.
In selecting the Credit Union building, he was very wise: it is located on the quayside; within a hundred-yards of the tourist office; just across the road from Mike’s house; and has tremendous business and footfall so that many many people will see it every day.
And lastly: as Queen Elizabeth of England celebrated the 60th anniversary of her corination, she is to sail down the Thames in the royal yacht escorted by forty-seven tall-ships – and the ‘Kathleen and May’ will be one of them. Then the schooner will be bound for Liverpool where she will join the other famous schooner ‘De Wadden’ at the Maritime Museum on Merseyside.
Click on the short video below to see the ‘Kathleen & May’ on her centenary visit To Youghal back in July 2008 – Film: Kieran McCarthy and Michael Hussey
Pictured below are family and friends of the late Mike O’Brien at the presentation on Monday evening May 28th 2012 at Youghal Credit Union
By Christy Parker | Photo: Michael Hussey (YoughalOnline.com)
The Kathleen & May leaving Youghal Harbour 100 Years after she first sailed into the old town
The historic wooden schooner Kathleen and May left Youghal for her home in Bideford, on Friday last (Aug 1st) at 6pm. Having been away from home for almost a month, Capt. Douglas Lindsay and his 12-strong crew were looking forward to a brass band and party-type reception on their return.
The ship’s visit, had been brief, having arrived the previous Thursday morning at 5am. Originally scheduled to arrive on Wednesday, the inclement weather had forced her to shelter overnight in Rosslare, en route from Dublin.
Despite torrential rain on its first day in dock, considerable crowds were to be seen admiring and boarding the boat during its short stay. She may be 108 years old, but this lady never fails to catch the eye. On Thursday night, many of the crew were afforded an informal reception at the Youghal Arts Centre (Town Hall to you and I), where Mayor Olly Casey and local councillors thanked them for their visit and expressed the hope that many more would ensue.
Mayor of Youghal Olly Casey and town councillors pictured with the crew and friends of The Kathleen and May at the reception with the magnificent three masted schooner berthed in the background
Mayor Casey, in his address recalled his days of youthful employment (1958) at Youghal gasworks when the Kathleen and May “would dock with 300 tons of coal, each knob of which would be shovelled into buckets and brought by Mossie Keohane’s or the Daly’s, horse and cart to the gasworks”. She’d then proceed under the old bridge and collect pit props for the return journey to Wales”, he said. The Mayor revealed he had written an, as yet unpublished, book on the gasworks, which carries a picture of the Kathleen and May and a poem of Read more