Last Friday we had the pleasure of meeting Shay Hurley from the Workman’s Boat Club in Clonmel. The boat club is a world of discovery behind a tiny wooden door just off main street Clonmel. We had a fascinating morning hearing about the background to the club since its founding in 1869 and it’s history as a sporting, leisure and centre of learning and craft as the traditional skills of boat building are passed from one generation to the other, some specific and uniquely traditional to the boats of the River Suir.
It was so interesting to hear about the Boat Club’s its social history as having bands dances and all night smoking dances and how the sounds of the music and dances would be carried upstream by the Suir. (Something similar to what the older people who we met in Cahir had spoken about). Shay spoke about current developments with the Flood Defence Scheme redevelopment works and some of the problems that have occurred with the river disappearing from view of the people of Clonmel and maybe losing some of its attachment and awareness of the River Suir.
Thanks to Shay Hurley for his generosity of time and knowledge. We will be meeting with some of the members of the Boat Club in a couple of weeks.
Further information about the Workman’s Boat Club can be seen here:
Here Shay talks about the history of the club and its social importance.