Brendan Voyage’s Tim Severin to visit Clare

Brendan Voyage’s Tim Severin to visit Clare


Explorer, historian and writer Tim Severin is pictured on the famous Brendan Boat
Explorer, historian and writer Tim Severin is pictured on the famous Brendan Boat at Craggaunowen.

History will be made on board The Brendan boat on Saturday 9th July when explorer, adventurer, historian and writer Tim Severin makes a rare visit back to the boat’s home in Craggaunowen, Co. Clare to mark the 40th anniversary of the legendary Brendan Voyage.

In 1976 Tim and four crew undertook an epic journey from Bandon, Co. Kerry, to re-enact the voyage of St. Brendan and prove that the saint and his monks could have discovered America 500 years before Columbus.

Tim and his crew sailed across the Atlantic in a leather boat which was constructed using only the material available to the sixth century saint and successfully completed his amazing voyage in just over a year.

After an eventful and difficult 4,500 miles (7,200 km) crossing via the Aran Islands, six miles off the west coast of Ireland , Iona, Hebrides, Faroes, Iceland and Greenland , they finally landed in Peckford Island, Newfoundland on June 26h 1977.

The success of his voyage later led to composer Shaun Davey’s Brendan Voyage suite, for uilleann pipes and symphony orchestra.

To commemorate the 40th year since the treacherous voyage, Shannon Heritage who manage the Craggaunowen visitor centre where the Brendan Boat is a prized exhibit, have secured a visit from Tim Severin from 1pm to 5pm on Saturday 9th July.

Visitors to the site on the day will have a unique opportunity to hear Tim talk his experiences on the Brendan Voyage. For example during the voyage their tiny boat faced tempestuous seas and at one stage was holed below the waterline by an iceberg, forcing the Tim to brave the icy waters to sew on a patch.

Afterwards Tim will unveil a special commemorative plaque at the Brendan Boat.

Commenting on this special day in the life of The Brendan Boat and The Brendan Voyage, John Ruddle, Chief Executive, Shannon Heritage said: “We are delighted to reunite Tim with his Brendan Boat. It will be a very special event which I know will live long in the hearts of all who attend. The famous sea voyage conjures up images of tremendous courage and never fails to ignite the imagination.

Thanks to Tim’s kindness we are fortunate to have the honour of housing the Brendan boat at our visitor attraction at Craggaunowen and over the years countless visitors have been enthralled by his crew’s story of courage, determination and fortitude.”

Tickets for the event can be booked online or purchased on the day at Craggaunowen Visitor Centre. For online bookings and further information on Craggaunowen and other Shannon Heritage visitor attractions and evening entertainment venues visit

Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.