Cherry Orchard Parish in Dublin will launch a custom-made Year of Faith boat next week, built by the local men’s shed group.
The idea for the boat, based on the Year of Faith logo, was originally floated by parish priest, Fr Sean Duggan. Parish Pastoral Worker, Jane Mellet and parishioner Mary Barrett both jumped on board and Mary approached Pat Talbot, who runs the Matt Talbot Centre in Ballyfermot and John Colgan, who leads the crew of the Men's Shed Group.
The first-time boat builders spent every Tuesday of the last three months working on the project from the hull up and creating great interest in the area.
“It has created a real buzz in community and captured people’s imaginations,” said Mary Barrett. “It was a lovely summer and watching the men work outside the church generated interest and got people thinking.”
The finished boat, which has a rudder, seat, and a sail made by a local lady, passed a floating test on the canal last week.
Following a parish vote, the newly named ‘Spirit of the Orchard’ will be launched at 11am Mass on October 6 and will become a permanent fixture in the church.