A second source of employment opportunities will be our flagship projects which are aimed at improving the physical fabric of the City and in particular the areas around the Abbey and Shannon rivers. These river themed projects are grouped together as the “Voice of the River” initiative and are intended to re-establish river-based skills and culture in Limerick City. The River had always been a source of social cohesion and wealth creation and could become so again.
Ireland has been a maritime Nation with a legacy of various steel and wooden boats, many of which are still in existence and date back to the 1880’s. If the historical and cultural significance of these boats is not recognised they may be lost forever. In many ways these vessels are living history. By studying their construction we can learn much about what materials and methods were used at specific periods in time. This initiative has realised the opportunity to study the design and delivery of traditional boatbuilding and restoration training by restoring one of Irelands most treasured vessels, the 32E. The knowledge gained will allow the participants to address skills shortages in local areas and to transfer the knowledge gained through this fellowship. It is apparent that we may lose the skills identified if we do not develop a greater awareness of our culture, heritage and the specialised skills needed to build, restore and present traditional heritage boats, We are in danger of losing skills developed over hundreds if not thousands of years and whilst skills and the training of them must evolve, if we lose traditional skills in any trade we are losing not only history and culture but the ability to preserve our history.