Galway Hooker

Workhorses of the West – Connecting with Tradition

The Oliver family have been involved in boats and the marine industry in Galway for generations – our great grand uncle Máirtín Oliver owned Truelight, a Galway Hooker, which was the very last boat to be used as a working boat, to fish on Galway Bay.

Máirtín was also King of the Claddagh for over 20 years, till his death in December 1972. The King of the Claddagh was elected by the people of Claddagh, for the people of Claddagh – to watch over and keep them safe whether at sea or on shore.

It is this proud heritage that drives our passion to continue the work and tradition of our forefathers and the Claddagh community.

The Galway Hooker has been the traditional sailing workboat of Galway Bay since the early 1800’s. These distinctive boats, with their tarred black hulls and brown sails, were used for fishing and for transportation of turf, seaweed, cattle and sometimes beer around Galway Bay.

The Galway Hooker is very iconic to Galway and any visitor to the city would notice its image or sails are used in many locations, businesses and schools today.

Join us as we tour Galway Bay, by boat or on a walk, and relive the story of how our ancestors sailed  Galway Hookers from Claddagh to Connemara, to earn a living from fishing.

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