My name is Claidhbh Ó Gibne, an artist living below the tombs of Newgrange, by the river Boyne in Co. Meath. Back in 1997 myself and my wife established the Boyne Currach Centre, with an aim of reviving the tradition of Boyne Currach making, a tradition that had died away back in the 1960s. As I learned about these crafts, I was fascinated not only by the simplicity of these woven skin covered river boats, but also about the people whose lives depended on them. In order to preserve this important aspect of our heritage, I decided to record all my research in book form. This story of our local, traditional Boyne Currach and the history of skin-boat building has its antecedents in prehistory. By learning about the history of the skin currach and its making, by visiting the homes of those whose lives depended on them, I have crafted this voyage into the story of a civilisation.
This is a definitive study of the traditional Boyne Currach, which is an important part of the cultural heritage of the Boyne valley. This book also throws a light on a whole range of areas associated with prehistoric boat-building, i.e. the tools used, the method of tanning, sewing techniques etc.
As mentioned above, all proceeds from this book will be invested into the Newgrange Currach Project, a project revolving around the construction of leather sails and the carving of wooden oars for our 34ft wicker-currach, here in Co. Meath, at the Boyne Currach Centre, and the re-enactment of the Neolithic journeys of 5,000 years ago in skin-wicker-currachs.
After 5 years in the making, I have secured a publisher for the book and I am now looking for €1,500 to ensure that it gets the best professional launch which it deserves. All monies raised here will go towards the costs of the book launch, to cover the venue (TBC), some refreshments for our guests as well as some quality entertainment for the evening...the more professional I can make this event, the more promotion I can give the book, and therefore more investment for the Newgrange Currach Project. If there is any money left over after the launch of the book, it will be spent on extra promotional work for the book; newspapers, radio, internet etc. and other appropriate mediums.
Thanking you for your kind generosity,
Claidhbh Ó Gibne