MURRISK FLEET - Sail Boats 1880-1924
- Name of Boat - Owner
- ‘JOLLY TAR’ - John Fadien
- ‘CURLEW’ - John Fadien
- ‘STAR’ - Pat Groden
- ‘ERIN’ - William Fair
- ‘MYRA’ - John Burke
- ‘LUSITANIA’ - James Grady
- ‘CAILIN BAN’ - Pat (Sammy) Gavin
- ‘KEELAN’ - Jimmy Jordan
- ‘WATCHBOAT’ - Walter Gavin
- ‘CRONIN’ - Pakie Groden
- ‘GUBEEN’ - Tom Ryan (John Groden Skipper)
- ‘DAISY STEWART’ - Erwin Browne
- ‘REBEL‘ - (Austin Burke Skipper)
Each of the sail-boats had a crew of five men on board and usually remained at sea for a fortnight, weather permitting. The fishing fleet comprised of ten to twelve boats which usually left Murrisk pier in the early hours of Monday morning (3am – 6am) depending on tide.
Five or six boats would go to the fishing grounds off Blacksod Bay, fishing off the coast of Achill en route. The other boats would go to Cleggan Co. Galway, and fish in Killary and around the Inish Boffin area. These would base themselves at Cleggan and make regular landings there with their catches where agents bought their fish. Some were sold locally as well as in Galway city.
The Blacksod section of the fleet made landings in Achill, where the catch was taken by rail from Achill Railway Station to the Dublin Market. Fish markets were held in Achill and in Westport on four or five days a week during this period. Many fish were sold by women at this time by the ‘Clock’ in Westport.
All of the boats used ‘otter trawl’ nets. The main varieties of fish caught were – plaice, brill, turbot, ray, black sole, and dabs. After all the prime fish were sent to the Dublin market, the smaller fish were then bought by a local man, Austin Ruddy, who sold these fish in the neighbouring towns of Westport and Louisburgh from his donkey and cart.
For many years Tommy Carroll lit a special lamp at Murrisk Pier each night. This served as a guide to the home-bound fleet.