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Large Sailing / Rowing Vessel Wreck

Probably the Caislean Nua

Anach Cuan
Ní díobháil eolais
a chuir dá treoir iad,
ach mí-adh mór a bhi
sa gCaisleán Nua.
Is é críochnú an amhráin
gur báthadh mórán
is d'fhág ábhar dóláis
ag Anach Cuan.
The cause of their fate
was no fault of sailing,
It was the boat that failed them
the 'Caisleán Nua,
'And left me to make with a heart
that's breaking,
This sad lamentation for
Anach Cuan.
Caislean Nua, Stern
Caislean Nua
Looking from the stern. The wreck is in very poor condition now, but the transom seems intact.
Cailslean Nua - looking towards the Bow
The wreck is just over 10m long,  large enough to accomodate 30 people and a few sheep at a squeeze. It lies in the Corrib River, not far from Bushy Park.
Caislean Nua, from the side
She is now disintegrating , but the poor quality of the timber from which she was made is still very evident.
Caislean Nua
Caislean Nua.
On September 4th 1828 to be exact,
a boat left Annaghdown Pier on Lough Corrib bound for a fair at Galway City.

On board were some sheep which were for auction at the fair,
and some thirty men and women from Annaghdown who had
intended to make a holiday out of the visit to Galway.
Caislan Nua
Caislean Nua
A fair, in those days, afforded an opportunity of meeting old friends and relations. The atmosphere aboard the boat was a light-hearted one, since people then had very few opportunities to mix socially and they were, no doubt, looking forward to their outing.
Caislean Nua
Caislean Nua
Tragically, however, this happy trip was to end in a tragedy
in what was to become one of the most lamented drowning
accidents in the history of the West of Ireland.

It is not quite certain what caused the boat to sink,
but the story is told that one of the sheep on board got restless
and poked his hoof through the floor of the boat.
Caislean Nua
Caislean Nua
One of the men tried to stuff the hole with his overcoat but
only succeeded in knocking a plank completely out of the boat
which caused water to pour in.

The rest of the story is history - 19 men and women on board
were to drown in the ensuing panic and scarcely a family in the
village of Annaghdown was to remain unaffected by the tragedy.
This  is the wreck of a large, and old sailing / rowing vessel,  around 35ft long, that has been on the bottom for possibly a couple of hundred years. She has started to collapse into the lakebed, and the flow of water along the shoreline has started to move silt over her. In another 100 years she'll be buried and gone.

She was originally a strongly built vessel, and in places the softer outer wood has rotted away leaving only the tough heartwood.

The large transverse members are clearly visible though, as is the remains of the keel.


Her construction, size and location make it highly probable that this is the Caislean Nua, the vessel involved in the Annaghdown Tragedy where 19 people lost their lives.