Meitheal Mara planning new Maritime Centre in The Marina

Meitheal Mara planning new Maritime Centre in The Marina

Martin O’Donoghue, Frances Lynch, Cormac O’Carroll, Pádraig Ó Duinnín and Cathy Buchanan of Meitheal Mara. The group is planning a new Maritime Centre at the Marina. Picture: Deirdre McCaffrey

Cork boatyard, ‘Meitheal Mara’, known for their currach-building and charity projects, is planning to build a Maritime Activity Centre in The Marina.

Founded in 1993, Meitheal Mara “Community Workers of the Sea” is a community boatyard in the heart of Cork city.

Known for their charitable work, they teamed up with the Haiti Orphanage Project ESPWA to travel to Haiti to deliver three flat-pack currachs to struggling Haitian fishermen in 2017.

“New premises are a crucial part of our strategic plan which we set out at the beginning of 2017,” said Cathy Buchanan of Meitheal Mara.

Meitheal Mara is currently based in a 19th-century mill owners house with temporary workshops beside the river but with limited access to it.

Part of their fleet of boats is temporarily stored in borrowed space in a warehouse due for development while other boats are on a temporary pontoon in the city centre.

“Where we are now, it’s not ideal for activities,” said Ms Buchanan.

“We’d like to have rowing and boat building available in the same place.

“The new Maritime Centre would be a shared space for ourselves, the Curragh club who have around 150 members and the Cork dragons,” she added.

Meitheal Mara is now seeking a consultant team to conduct a study of a potential site on The Marina for a Maritime Activity Centre as part of their 2017 strategic plan in Cork city on land owned by the city council.

Funding for the study has been sourced from the Healthy Ireland Fund allocation for the Cork City Local Economic and Community Plan with a fixed amount of €15,750 available and a deadline for completion of work of March 31.

The lead consultant will engage a technical or engineering partner to carry out a number of tasks within the overall scope of the study including a technical assessment of the requirements of a slipway for vehicles and boats.

They will also be required to liaise with Government departments, other relevant public bodies and potential funders to establish support for the Maritime Activity Centre.

Interested consultants are asked to submit a proposal by 11am on Tuesday, February 6 to manager@meithealmara.ie.

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