From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Mayo Historical and Archaeological Society
Nostalgia Trip.
By Noel O'Neill
10, Feb 2007 - 19:36

A Nostalgia Trip.

During the week, two men from Co. Sligo visited Belleek Wood on the west bank of the River Moy, where thirty-three years previously they had succeed in re-floating the old concrete hulk of the Creteboom, a W.W.1 tugboat. They are Martin Golden of Enniscrone and formerly of Templeboy, and John Francis Mahon of Skreen.

The two men, now retired, told of how, on a bitterly cold March morning in 1974, they moved the hulk from the centre of the river where it sank in 1937, and beached it where it remains to this day. The vessel, built of ferro-concrete, was launched in November 1919, too late for war service, but served instead in the Baltic Sea, where it was used to tow coal-barges from the river Wear to Petrograd and other Baltic ports.

In 1937, the hulk, together with three other old vessels, was purchased by the Ballina Harbour Commissioners to act as a sand-stop at the mouth of the river, but a series of events, including the outbreak of W.W.2 prevented the plan from ever being put into operation.

A similar vessel, the Cretegaff, is at Carlingford Marina, Co. Louth, where it has been refurbished and is being used as a lounge and changing-rooms for the members there.

Perhaps some Co. Mayo entrepreneur might convert the Creteboom into something functional sometime in the future.

The Creteboom beached at Belleek Wood.













John Francis Mahon and Martin Golden with the Creteboom in the background.

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