eiscir riada skipper.psd

Eiscir Riada at lighthouse latw 1957

Girl Nancy

Andy Reids Girl Nancy 1960s


SS. Moyallen unloading coal 1940s


Blessing of the boats 1952 J Donnelly, Oliver Heeney, Jack Campbell

ovoca crew2

Ovoca crew working on the nets early 1960s with harry Tuite and the Cofee Cocoran nearest


Probably the oldest picture of the harbour taken as a photo.Around the turn of the century

colured har. goodclean12

Good coloured photo of the harbour in the 1980s

Dick tuite +2

Good photo of Dick Tuite and John O’Brien taken in the 1970s. Dick Was the local pilot for years

Happy Harry in Saltberth 1950s

The Happy Harry in the Salt berth in the 1950s

Gallagher 004

A Young Tommy Galaghar secondfrom right aboard his trawler in Howth  in the 1960s

ovoca way out

The Ovoca on the way out in the 1960s


The Aigh Vie, once owned by the Mcagilvarys in Balbriggan harbour. Here seen on her way home to the Isle of Mann

Balbriggan Blessing 1940s

Preparations for the blessing of the boats in the 1940s

The Ovoca and the Flying Sprey

The Ovoca was an unusual boat

In 1905 Mr. Michael Tyrrell, son of John Tyrrell and Sons, Arklow, designed and built a model for a motor fishing boat which, he claimed, could be worked profitably in face of steam drifter  competition. This vessel  (fig. 293) was 50 ft. (15.2 m.) overall length, 14 ft. (4.3 m.) beam and 6 ft. (1.8 m.) draft. She was to be propelled by a 25 h.p. Danish ‘Dan’ engine of the hot-bulb type, having two cylinders and a controllable pitch propeller. The winch was belt-driven by the main engine. A version of the cruiser stern was adopted and was a considerable departure from the sailing type, being much more suitable for power propulsion. In 1907 the Department of Agriculture had an experimental boat built to this design and she was named Ovoca. The vessel was an immediate success, and is believed to be the first specially designed fishing vessel in the British Isles. She was intended mainly for drift-net fishing and to do some seine and long line fishing.  After her first year it was found that the large sail area was not required so both masts were shortened and the bowsprit and mizzen boom removed.

Fishing suffered a serious decline after 1918 from which it began to recover with the establishment of the Sea Fisheries Association in 1932. Many of the older motor boats became obsolete. It is interesting to record, however, that the Ovoca, with a modern engine,  winch, wheelhouse, etc., is still operating successfully, and shows little sign of her age in Balbriggan Harbour.

This was taken from Fishing Boats of the World published in 1955 and republished in 1958 and 1966.

The last time she paid her Port Dues for Balbriggan was in 1970. From then on this official 1st. MFV in the British Isles was allowed rot away at the top of the harbour until she was broken up and removed by crane. What a shame.

She was originally brought to Balbriggan by Mr. John Carton just before WW1 and we also know from a later Article in the Drogheda Independent by Mrs. Carton that two  of her crew were lost after been called up as RNRs during the war. They were Andrew McKenna and Joe Boyce. This she says was one of the reasons he sold the boat to Richardsons. The article was written around the time the boat was removed from the harbour.