Asgard set to sail again

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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