“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
Or, lightning strikes twice in Arklow?
The Irish Times this week wrote about – what could be – local man Peter Dempsey‘s second dug-out canoe find, in just one river. The first boat, found in 1966, had been confirmed, recorded and photographed by the National Museum and then returned to the water. Mr. Dempsey said that he initially suspected his recent discovery, spotted, apparently, while feeding ducks on the riverbank, to be the same craft.
After studying the photographic evidence, however, a representative of the Museum, Nessa O’Connor, considered it to be distinct, with “a strong likelihood that it was indeed a canoe.” Experts are to go and view it this week.
The longest prehistoric canoe of this type to be found – from Co. Galway; about 56 feet long and dug out of the single trunk of a tree – is in the Kildare Street display, in Dublin. Mr. Dempsey, also the mayor of Arklow, has expressed the wish that this craft, if authenticated, might go instead to the local Maritime Museum.
Oddly, Allison Bray, of the Irish Independent, reported the same find, but wrote the following about his first and its fate forty-four years ago; “The canoe was photographed and archived but there was no way to preserve it then so it was left to rot in a spare room at his friend’s house.”