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  The St. Patrick.

If you travel to the southwestern extreme of Ireland you will, of course, find yourself in West Cork. From there you can take a boat or ferry to Cape Clear which is Ireland’s southernmost Island. When you land you can follow a meandering boreen to Loch Ioral, the southernmost lake in Ireland. From there continue along the lake road, where the flax was soaked in olden days and you will find, at its southwestern point the most southwestern hulk of a proud boat from days gone by.

This is all that remains of the St Patrick, and in this setting, she nevertheless has an air of elegance, the fine lines of her hull still clearly to be seen and they evoke a sense of curiosity, of many interesting trips through Carbery’s Hundred Isles.

The St Patrick is remembered as the last boat on the Island, built originally for sail and was only converted to motor, later in her life. Her last owner was Michael ‘Mack’ O’Donoghue.

A mature lady born and bread on the Island once recalled this boat and her late owner with great fondness. It was, she said the boat that, in her youth, would bring the young people to the mainland for dances and other social occasions. Setting off at twilight, Mack make a comfortable berth for himself in the small cabin after landing them safely in Baltimore to await their return. He was, she said, a very nice man, who never chided them no matter how late they were returning. And so over moonlight seas or the calm of summer dawns, he never failed to bring them safely home again to Cape Clear Island.

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