The Asgard boat, made famous when it was used for running guns for the Irish Volunteers in 1914, is to be returned to the sea following a decision by heritage minister, Síle de Valera.
The Asgard Restoration Project (ARP) has been told that de Valera has approved a licence for the vessel's restoration to sea-going condition. The boat is currently languishing in a state of neglect at the back of a wall in Kilmainham Jail. The plight of the historic Asgard has been highlighted by The Sunday Tribune over the last few weeks.
Well-known Dublin businessman Harry Crosbie has offered accommodation facilities for the vessel while it is being restored. It is also understood that Crosbie -- who is a classic boats enthusiast -- will fund the wages of the two apprentices to work on the boat through the restoration process. The ARP hopes to appoint a noted shipwright to supervise the restoration.
A spokesman for the ARP, Tim Magennis, said the project would take up to two and a half years to complete. For example, he said, the cut oak to be used in the restoration needs to be dried out for a year before it is suitable.
Commenting on the decision, Magennis said: "We are delighted. We believe that given the importance of the vessel, it should be right that she should be allowed to be a floating living thing, rather than in a museum."
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