Naomh Ciaran II
Vessels and crews throughout the years

1863 = Lady Peel.


1900 = Diadem.(Finín Sheain O Drisceoil agus John Beamish)


1910 = Colleen.(Mike Sheain E. O Drisceoil - Big Mike)


1912 = Maid of the Isles. (Mike Sheain E. O Drisceoil - Big Mike).


1920 = Mary Kate. (Taed Regan.)


1931 -1940 = Dún an Óir (Mickey Thaidhgín O Drisceoil)


1941 - 1945 = Mary Immaculate (Danny Leonard).


1945 - 1958 = Dún an Óir (Danny Leonard).


1958 - 1967 = Naomh Ciarán (Danny Leonard).


1967 - 1976 = Naomh Ciarán (Donal O Drisceoil).


1976 - 1982 = Naomh Ciarán 2 (Concubhar O Drisceoil).


1982 - 2004 = Naomh Ciarán 2 (Concubhar O Drisceoil , Naomh Ciarán 2 Oileán Chléire Teo).


2004 - 2007 = Naomh Ciaran 2.(Michael O Céadagáin, Séamus O Drisceoil, Pat Con O Drisceoil,Tadhg O Drisceoil.


Naomh Ciarán 2 Oileán Chléire Teo.)


2007 - 2009 = Naomh Ciarán 2. (Ciarán O Drisceoil,Tithe Saoire Chléire Teo.)


2009 - 2010 = Cailín Óir and Dún Aengus. (NC2+ Thar TonnTeo) M.J Ceadogan,Ted O Drisceoil, Seamus O Drisceoil, Julian Lucioli, Niall Regan, Mairtín O Mealóid, Richard Fenlon, Brendan Cotterell, Cathal Cottrell.)



2011 - Thar Tonn Teo. Dún an Óir 2 and Dún Aengus. Seamus O Drisceoil, Julian Lucioli, Niall Regan, Mairtín O Mealóid, Richard Fenlon, Brendan Cotterell, Cathal Cottrell, Sean and Bina O Drisceoil: Mary and Ted O Driscoll: Chuck and Nell Kruger: Debbie and Stephen Stone:

Lady Peel

In 1863 Sir Robert Peel made a gift of a six oared boat, called The Lady Peel, as a mail boat between Cape Clear and Baltimore. It was placed under the authority of the telegraph office to carry mail from the Lighthouse and other places and also to act as a ferry service for the islanders. A special boathouse was built at Trá Chiaráin to house the boat.


We are glad to hear that a Post Office has been established on Cape Clear especially through the instrumentality of Sir R Peel who has kindly expressed to the Rev Mr Collins his anxiety to benefit the island in every possible way. He has contributed £10 towards the ferry connected with the post office and a yearly subscription of £5 besides furnishing a boat at a value of £25".


February 6th. 1864. West Carbery Eagle.Information taken from Cape Clear Island: It's People and Landscape.


Éamon Lankford.


"I heard my father* saying that he was one of the crew of the mail-boat at the time.and just as occurs this very present day passengers used to travel out to the mainland and into the island according as their activities and business demanded. It was just at that time that O Donovan Rossa, the Fenian Captain, lived in Skibbereen."


Seanchas Chléire.

Early 1900s. Diadem.

The Diadem was built in Glen by John Beamish.     She was crewed by Finín Sheain O Drisceoil  and John Beamish and ran the Mails during the early 1900s

1910/11. Colleen.

While the Maid of the Isles was under construction Michael O Driscoll  was awarded the mail service contract.He used his fathers fishing boat initally. To facilitate the service he had the Colleen built - she took 1 month to construct!.She will be better remembered when she was owned by Bill O Donnell of Bantry.

1911. Maid of the Isles.




The Maid of the Isles was built in Baltimore Fisheries School in 1910. She was a 40 ft  wooden boat with both sails and a parrafin screw motor - a twin cylinder Marine and Motor Co Engine 20 N.H.P.She was registered on May 27th 1911. Her registered tonnage was 6.69 tons. As well as doing the mail she also was a working fishing boat. Her owner was Michael O Driscoll, Lissamona.


3 /1911 / Skibbereen


Late 1920s. Mary Kate.

Timothy O Regan. The Cross House.                            

The Mary Kate built in Baltimore Fisheries School in 1902. She was an open 28ft  6.44 ton fishing boat powered by an auxilery motor "Berguis L&E Co.Glasgow.

Taed Regan's motto was "Sink she may but go she must".

The Maire Cáit was used in a daring raid on the Fastnet.

Máire Cáit.   142543. 



Excerpt from "The Raid on the Fastnet Lighthouse" by Frank Lanin.

Mizen Journal. No 7. 1999.


"........As part of their strategy in West Cork , the I.R.A. carried out attacks on lorries and armoured cars abd found that the most effective weapon in such attacks were land mines.But explosives were needed and gelignite was not available. That is why the I.R.A.turned their attention to the Fastnet Lighthouse. They knew there were large stores of explosives on the rock. The Fastnet Raid was mooted by Rickie Collins. He was Captain of the Goleen Company and a Lightkeeper on the Fastnet from 1912 to 1918........The June sun was setting as the "Máire Cháit" was steered out of North Harbour. On board were twelve men, Sean Lehane,Sean O Driscoll,John O'Regan,Charlie Cotter, Jim Hayes, Tom Hickey, Michaek Murphy, William Daly and four Cape men - Dan O Driscoll, Dan Leonard, Dan Daly and Sean O'Regan. .....At midnight, in total darkness the "Máire Cháit" approached the Fastnet Rock. .....Positioned on the bow was John O Regan, a rope tied around his a wave was rising he jumped. As the wave coverd him he grasped the iron ring with both hands. In seconds he had made the boat fast and the raiding party were landed on the rock....Seventeen boxes of guncotton and three boxes of detoners and primers were loaded onto the "Máire Cháit" by means of the Lighthouse derrick...The daring mission was accomplished....."

Dáil Éireann - Volume 22 - 02 March, 1928



Mr. T. SHEEHY (Cork, West) asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs [718] if he is aware that the present mail boat, plying between Baltimore and Cape Clear, is entirely inadequate for the purpose, and if he will take steps to provide a more suitable means of communication between the island and mainland.

PARLIAMENTARY - SECRETARY to MINISTER for POSTS and TELEGRAPHS (Mr. Heffernan): The Minister is not aware that the boat provided by the contractor for the Baltimore and Cape Clear Mail Service is inadequate for the purpose, but enquiry will be made in the matter and the result communicated to the Deputy.

Mr. J.T. WOLFE: Arising out of that reply, will the Parliamentary-Secretary say if he is aware that at least on two occasions within the last two months disaster to life and mails was most narrowly averted, there, and will he see that inquiries will be made without any unnecessary delay while this serious risk continues?

Mr. HEFFERNAN: I will. I am not aware of the matters stated by the Deputy, but I will have inquiries made immediately.

Dún an Óir

1931 - 1940. Dún an Óir


Built : Fisheries School.

Irish Free State.

2.1931 Skibbereen.

Michael Timothy Driscoll.


Mickey Thaidghín O Drisceoil.


The Dún an Óir was a 30 ft 8.31 ton vessel built in the Baltimore Fisheries School in 1930. The first mention of the Irish Free State is in the register of Dún an Óir. She was sold to the Irish Sea Fisheries Association in August 1940, 45 Kildare Street, Dublin - Eugene McKenna). In September 1940 she was sold to the Minister for Lands in Eire - Gilbert Edward Mac an Bhaird. In 1941 her registery was closed.


Dún an Óir made her maiden voyage from Baltimore to Cape Clear on May 18th 1931.Between 1931 and 1939 Mickey Thaidghín O Drisceoil was the contractor.By 1941 Danny Leonard was the Mail Boat Contractor.

Dáil Éireann - Volume 38 - 20 May, 1931



Oral Answers. - Baltimore Mail Boat.


Mr. T. Sheehy (Cork) asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will state when will the new mail boat, the construction of which has been completed by the Fishery Schools at Baltimore, Co. Cork, start to function on the Baltimore and Cape Clear service.


Mr. Heffernan: The new motor boat provided by the Department of Lands and Fisheries for general transport purposes between Baltimore and Cape Clear Island has been utilised for conveyance of the mails since the introduction of the service on the 18th instant.


Dún an Óir 146850

1/1941 Skibbereen

Registered anew following alterations.


Sailing and Motor single screw.

30 ft.

8.62 tons.

Owned by The Minister for Lands for Eire.


Dáil Éireann - Volume 76 - 24 May, 1939



Oral Answers. - Baltimore-Cape Clear Mail Boat.


Tadhg O Murchadha asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs whether he is aware that the mail boat conveying mails and passengers from Baltimore to Cape Clear is now somewhat unsafe for such work; and whether he will arrange for the provision of a suitable boat for the purpose immediately.


Minister for Posts and Telegraphs (Mr. Traynor): The arrangements for the conveyance of the mails between Baltimore and Cape Clear Island are being investigated. When the inquiries have been completed, I will communicate further with the Deputy


Mr. Murphy: Could the Minister do anything to hurry these inquiries and arrive at an early decision, because it is a fairly urgent matter?


Mr. Traynor: I will do all that I possibly can.

Daniel Leonard in his 45ft Mary Immaculate ran the postal service between 1941 and 1945 approx. Danny was certainly running the post on July 1st 1942. A local man remembers being sent to the harbour to collect a message from the mail boat and as soon as her passengers and goods were discharged she left North Harbour to join in the search for the two Hennessys from Glen - Tadhg and his nephew Timothy - who were lost off the Fastnet. Sadly they were never found.

Dáil Éireann - Volume 79 - 05 March, 1940


Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Cape Clear Mail Boat Service.


Mr. Davin (for Tadhg O Murchadha) asked the Minister for Lands if he will state whether any arrangements have yet been made for a mail boat service from Baltimore to Cape Clear, and whether, in view of the urgency of this matter, immediate steps will be taken to provide a suitable service.

Dáil Éireann - Volume 83 - 28 May, 1941

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - County Cork Boat Service.

Mr. Everett (for Tadhg O Murchadha) asked the Minister for Lands if he will state the reason for the continued delay in providing suitable mail boat service between Baltimore and Cape Clear, County Cork.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Lands (Mr. O'Grady) 

[1143] Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Lands (Mr. O'Grady): The delay in the provision for the mail service between Baltimore and Cape Clear of a boat which would be suitable for the carrying of passengers has been due to delay in the repair and reequipment of the boat which had previously been employed on the service and which had been held to be unsafe. The contractor carrying out the refitting of the boat has experienced considerable difficulty in procuring certain items of equipment required to satisfy the ship surveyor, but, otherwise, it is understood that the boat is now practically ready for refloating.

Dáil Éireann 83 Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. County Cork Boat Service.


Dáil Éireann - Volume 89 - 03 March, 1943


Follow the above link for the full debate.


Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Cape Clear Mailboat.

Tadhg O Murchadha asked the Minister for Lands if he is aware that the mailboat to Cape Clear, County Cork, is out of service since November, 1942, for minor repairs, and if he will state the reason for the long delay in having this work carried out.

Dáil Éireann - Volume 95 - 18 October, 1944

Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Cape Clear Mail Boat Service.

Mr. O'Neill asked the Minister for Lands if he will now review the position of the mail boat service to Cape Clear by fixing an additional day's service on Fridays so as to enable the islanders to attend the dispensary at Baltimore on that day and to facilitate them in their week-end marketing at Skibbereen.

Mr. Moylan: The position shall be examined as to what can be done so that the boat service between Cape Clear and Baltimore may serve the reasonable requirements of the islanders.

Dáil Éireann 95 Ceisteanna

Dáil Éireann - Volume 96 - 01 March, 1945


Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Cape Clear Mail-Boat Service.

Tadhg O Murchadha asked the Minister for Lands if he is now in a position to indicate the arrangements for an improved mail-boat service to the Island of Cape Clear, County Cork

1943 -1948. Dún an Óir.

Between 1943 and 1945 Daniel Leonard began to use the Dún an Óir to transport the mails and passengers between Baltimore and Cape Clear. On his maiden voyage with the Dún an Óir he had to land at the metal ladder on the Bull's Nose as the tide was extremely low at the time. Danny Leonard worked the Dún an Óir until 1957/58.


The Minister for Lands in Eire sold the Dún an Óir to Kieran Cotter, Cape Clear, in 1959. Kieran Cotter then sold her to Sidney John Badcock of Crosshaven. In 1960 John Wiliam Nolan of Sherkin Island bought her from Sidney Badcock. Kieran Dan William O Driscoll and John Willie Nolan brought her back from Crosshaven. En route they broke and drifted out to sea. After a couple of days they were rescued by a Spanish or French trawler. Dún an Óir was the Sherkin mailboat until the late 1970s.  She is now converted into a yacht and is still on Sherkin owned by Richard Collins. She is the ripe old age of 77 years this May!

Dáil Éireann - Volume 170 - 17 July, 1958


Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Cape Clear Ferry Service.

[923] Mr. Wycherley asked the Minister for the Gaeltacht if he will state the method adopted for the allocation of the new vessel for the Cape Clear ferry service, why elucidation of the conditions applicable was not given to interested persons; why copies of the application form were not made available at the Post Office; what were the full terms of the application form; and why reductions in fares and freight rates were not made.

Mr. M.P. Murphy asked the Minister for the Gaeltacht if he will state in relation to the Cape Clear ferry service (a) on what basis it was decided to allocate the new vessel, (b) why application forms were not made available to intending applicants at the meeting called in connection with the allocation, (c) why the conditions of application were not explained to interested parties, and (d) why fares and freight rates were not reduced.

Micheál Ó Moráin: Le cead an Cheann Comhairle tá beartaithe agam Ceisteanna Uimhir 24 agus Uimhir 25 a thógaint le chéile.


Danny Leonard was awarded the Mail contract and was working the Naomh Ciaran by July 1958 as can be seen from the above Dáil debate. His crew at that time were Jim Walsh,Cummer and Florence Cadogan, Baile Iarthach. It would appear from the above debate that Jim and Florence are the crew in the reference. Other crew members on the Naomh Ciarán while Danny was Skipper were Cornelius O Drisceoil, Upper Lissamona, Donal O Drisceoil, Lower Lissamona, Patrick Leonard, Baile Iarthach and Paddy Leonard, The Post Office. Kieran Cotter Snr was also a relief Skipper. Danny Leonard, Baile Iarthach ran the mail service between Baltimore and Cape Clear from 1941 until 1967. 


"On the 1st of September 1967 Donal took over as skipper from Daniel Leonard ( who was recognised by the department as having run a very successful service ).
Daniel Leonard had been asked by Roinn Na Gaeltachta if he could find somenoe to run the ferry from the time he retired until it was put to tender. He ecommended Donal who was then 20 years old. Donal was intervied by Roinn na Gaeltachta and given the job.
On the 1st of October 1967 the job went to public tender. There were three tenders received, Donal O Driscoll, Connie Donoghue and Michael Carey O Drisceoil. 

The interviews were held in Baltimore House Hotel. Michael Carey did not attend for
interview. Donal was appointed to run the service.
It was to be a yearly contract but Roinn Na Gaeltachta believed that if they
were satisfied with Donal's performance they would not be putting her up for
tender again at the end of the year as they would have been re appointing
Roinn na Gaeltachta were providing the boat but no salary to run a ferry
service as was required and to carry the mail 4 times a week on Monday,
Wednesday, Friday and Saturday for the Department of Posts and Telegraphs.
The annual salary for the mails was 435 pounds.
The only money to be made was from the tourists in summer which then
subsidised the ferry in winter.
The ferry, the Naomh Ciaran had to be overhauled annually and Donal had to
meet twelve and a half percent of the overhaul costs as well as providing a
relief ferry at his own expense.
Donal continued to run the ferry until he left the island in 1975."

His crew at the time were Jim Maidhc O Drisceoil and Florence Cadogan Baile Iarthach.


Idir 1967 agus 1974 bhí Donal O Drisceoil agus a fhoireann i mbun an Naomh Ciarán.

44. D'fhiafraigh Mr. Tunney d'Aire na Gaeltachta cén chaoi a bhfuil an scéal anois maidir leis an ngealltanas a thug sé do mhuintir Oileán Chléire, 

an 3 Samhain, 1974, i dtaobh chóras iompair trasna na farraige.

Minister for the Gaeltacht (Mr. O'Donnell) Thomas G. O'Donnell

Minister for the Gaeltacht (Mr. O'Donnell): Is mian liom go dtuigfí 

go soiléir go bhfuil fonn mór ormsa féachaint chuige go ndéanfar bádseirbhís Chléire 

a reachtáil ar an mbealach is fearr a shásóidh muintir an oileáin.


(Mon May 25 1995. Gaelic Language Bulletin Board. Item Number 12483.

Fachtna Ó Drisceoil,Dún Laoghaire,Co.BÁC.)


"Nior aontaigh muintir an oileain ar fad le polasaithe an
Chomharchummainn afach agus tharla scoilt sa phobal sna
seachtoidi faoi dha cheist ach go hairithe.  Ni raibh lucht
Colaiste Chiarain, colaiste Samhraidh priobhaideach ar an
oilean sasta nuair a cuireadh tus le Colaiste na gCampai
Oibre le tacaiocht an Chomharchumainn.  Bhi seirbhis
farantoireachta an oileain faoi stiur priobhaideach freisin
go dti 1975 nuair a rinne Roinn na Gaeltachta socru leis an
gComharchumann e a reachtail tar eis gur votail muintir an
oileain i bhfabhar an socru nua i reifreann.  Admhalann
Micheal O Ceadagan go raibh an cheist an-chonspoideach agus
go riabh roinnt daoine fos mi-shasta leis an socru.  "Bhi
go leor sean nosanna sa rud agus ta se an- deacair sean
nosanna a chur i leataobh agus gan dabht bhi personalities
[idir luibini no italics] i gceist." Ta na conspoid seo
tareis dul i leig thar na mblianta ach mar sin fein, ta
macallai na scoilte fos le braith i slite beaga nach easca
don duine on taobh amuigh a thabhairt faoi deara.

Fógra ar "Realt an Deisceart " Southern Star. Mí Marta 1975.

O its a fine Summer's day, everybody is gay,

And everything is in full bloom.

There is plenty of room to manoeuvre your boat

Far, far from theose fierce traffic booms.

You can breathe the fresh air, there is plenty to spare,

And the gulls in loud voice you can hear.

So why not take a trip on a holiday ship

To the beautiful Isle of Cape Clear.



The sun it is shining , the sky it is blue,

and everyone is in good cheer.

for Heaven on earth must be something like this

A trip on the boat to Cape Clear.


From near and from far people come for to view,

The scenes around old Baltimore.

With Sherkin, Hare Island and Carberys Isles, Sure no one could ever want more.

To crown all your bliss, a treat such as this 

Shall sustain you for many a year.

So board the St Kieran and have a nice trp

To the beautiful Isle of Cape Clear.

Naomh Ciarán ( now Oileán na nEan) was built in Arklow by Tyrells of Arklow.

Dáil Éireann - Volume 316 - 08 November, 1979


Adjournment Debate. - Cape Clear Ferry Service.

Mr. Horgan: The subject to which I will address myself is one for which an Adjournment Debate here is ideally [1384] suited. I got the permission of the Ceann Comhairle to raise the question of the adequacy of the ferryboat service to Cape Clear because no reasonable, levelheaded person who looks at that service at present in relation to the needs of the island community and of the people who visit that island could believe that it is adequate. This is an inadequacy which reflects on several administrations and not only on this one and I am not making party political points about this.

The situation on Oileán Cléire is, if not exactly unique, unique in Munster. The island community there, quite apart from being a Gaeltacht community, has a unique attraction for visitors both from the area and from abroad. It is also a place where many students go to learn Irish during the summer months. It is my contention and it is the belief of many people who have to use the service that it has become so outmoded now as to be severely inadequate to meet the demands that are put upon it.

Dáil Éireann - Volume 319 - 22 April, 1980


Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Ferry Service

Mr. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for the Gaeltacht whether she is aware that the ferry service to Cape Clear Island off the West Cork coast is being threatened because of the failure to adequately remunerate the crewmen, and the steps she is taking to deal with this situation.

42. Mr. Horgan asked the Minister for the Gaeltacht whether the wages of the crew of the ferryboat between Baltimore and Oileán Cléire, County Cork, are determined by reference to the level of wages paid to any other grade of public employee; if so, the grade of employee concerned and the type of work performed by persons employed in such a grade.

Mrs. Geoghegan-Quinn: Le cead an Cheann Chomhairle, tógfaidh mé Ceist Uimh. 41 agus Ceist Uimh. 42 le chéile.

Is ar mo Roinnse a thiteann an caillteanas ar an tseirbhís sin—breis agus £25,000 sa bhliain ar an meán le cúpla bliain anuas—cé nach seirbhísigh phoiblí foireann an bháid. Níl baint ag an bpá a íoctar leo le pá aon ghráid sa tseirbhís phoiblí. Tugadh na gnáthmhéaduithe dóibh faoi chomhaontuithe náisiúnta.

I dteannta leis na gnáthmhéaduithe faoin Comhaontú ar Bheartas Pá tá méadú pá agus feabhsú i gcoinníollacha fostaíochta á lorg ag an bhfoireann. Táimse sásta go gcuirfí an cás faoi bhráid na Cúirte Oibreachais ach ba mhaith liom go mbeadh sonraí a iarradh maidir le reachtáil na seirbhíse ar fáil.

Follow link above for full debate.

Dáil Éireann - Volume 324 - 12 November, 1980


Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Cape Clear Island Ferry.

26. Mr. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for the Gaeltacht the up-to-date position in regard to the proposed new ferry for Cape Clear Island; and whether the vessel will be completed in time for service in the 1981 summer season.






In June 1982 the Naomh Ciarán 2 arrived in Trá Chiarain skippered by Conchubhar O Drisceoil.


Naomh Ciarán 2 built in Killybegs by Tyrells of Arklow.