Ship boat

Irish tall ship Grace O’Malley will land in Derry on Thursday

Ireland’s most recently acquired youth development tall ship will arrive in Ireland for the very first time from Sweden this Thursday where she will take her place at the Foyle Maritime Festival

On arrival in Ireland it passes through Greencastle to skirt the east side of Inishowen and up Lough Foyle towards Derry.

Grace O’Malley, a 164-foot-long schooner, left Sweden on July 15 with 20 crew on board.

The ship is captained by experienced and renowned Irish Captain Gerry Burns for her maiden voyage through the North Sea, northern Scotland and then on to Derry.

Boats from Lough Swilly and Lough Foyle Yacht Clubs, along with other local vessels, will meet Grace O’Malley to accompany her to Lough Foyle on Thursday.

The ship will dock alongside Derry Quayside during the Foyle Maritime Festival, which runs until July 24.

The ship is named after Gráinne Ní Mháille, or Granuaile, the 16th century historical figure who had a power base in Connacht and became known as the Pirate Queen.

“It’s a beautiful ship and even people who aren’t keen on sailing will be very interested in seeing it,” said Fahan-based Catherine Noone of the Atlantic Youth Trust.

“We hope that as many people as possible can get on board over the five days and see what a tall ship looks like for themselves.

“The Grace O’Malley is a development ship for all young people on the island of Ireland.

“Young people will learn about sailing, teamwork, a change of perspective and also create a pathway to a wide range of maritime careers. This is a project that can truly change lives.

“We want the ship to be as accessible as possible and that’s why events like this are so important in reaching young people and giving them their first introduction to life on board a ship.”

For more information on Grace O’Malley’s visit, go to