Meitheal Mara has a proven track record of delivering programmes and projects in the social and maritime sectors. It has increased its capability year-on-year, delivering numerous Projectsand a range of ongoing Training & Boat Building programmes.
With great depth of knowledge of the traditional Irish boat sector, through its work on various initiatives including the currach survey, the assembly of the large-scale traditional boat map of Ireland, we have exhibited at the Cork Traditional Boat exhibition, national boat shows and other venues. Members have been responsible for sections of the Traditional Boats of Ireland book and are familiar with the main stakeholders in the traditional maritime field in Ireland, north and south.
Meitheal Mara has a perspective beyond the local through attendance at international (principally European) meetings and conferences and membership of inter-regional committees. Representation on the European Maritime Heritage committee in the period 1996 – 99 and ongoing informal contacts have provided insights on alternative approaches to such issues as safety regulation for traditional craft which focus on operational safety procedures rather than constructional requirements, which can often be impractical for traditional craft.
Since it’s inception, Meitheal Mara, not only has built boats but has also fostered the development of skill-bases and community-based initiatives, which have had the effect of achieving sustainable use for the boats. Naomhóga Chorcaí, the River Lee based rowing club, which operates under the umbrella of Meitheal Mara is one such example. Many others, both community groups and individuals also are encouraged to own and use traditional boats because of support services provided by Meitheal Mara.
Education is central to the mission of Meitheal Mara. The teaching of boat-buildingskills and rowing is incorporated into many programmes and a wider range of traditional seamanship skills (sailing, weaving, rope-work, navigation etc.) are being taught in the use of the "Fionbarra" Bantry Long-boat. A maritime archive is maintained in Crosses Green and disseminating knowledge and appreciation of Ireland’s maritime traditions and heritage is an enduring theme in the work of the organisation.