, 2022-10-28 18:51:31,
When the multi-talented John B Kearney (1879-1967) retired from a distinguished career in Dublin Port in 1944, he re-focused most of his attention on his parallel interest as a yacht designer and builder. It was an enduring passion that went right back to his first own-designed sailing boat, which he’d built in his father’s boatyard in Ringsend in 1897. Yet by the time of his retirement, he was living in Monkstown on the south shore of Dublin Bay, where one of the rooms in his house was re-purposed to be his design office. And above its door, he affixed a small but conspicuous brass plate, inscribed on which it clearly said: “God Chooses Our Relatives. Thank God We Can Choose Our Friends”.
For as Cormac Lowth so clearly reveals in his recent very comprehensive and copiously-illustrated book Ringsend Sailing Trawlers – published by Hal Sisk’s Peggy Bawn Press, with the support of Dublin Port Company – not only was Ringsend for a hundred years and more a hotbed of trawler development and technological innovations in fishing, but its increasingly vigorous maritime community – enlivened by positive interaction between the established Dublin fishermen and the incoming Brixham fleet from Devon – was producing remarkable sea-minded families such as the Murphys, the Bissetts, the Scallans and the Kearneys.
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