Riverside festival in Limerick to honour sailor Pat

Pat Lawless RIP 1A NEW festival in honour of an adventurous Limerick pensioner who completed a solo circumnavigation of the world will be launched along the banks of the River Shannon in the city on Sunday, June 8.

The Pat Lawless Sail and Oar Festival will see Limerick soak up its status as a riverside city with a host of exciting events from rowing and sailing regattas to a historic kayak tour and a gandelow boat demonstration.

The late Pat Lawless made international headlines in 1996 when the then 70-year-old sailed his 26-foot vessel, the Seadog, up the Shannon Estuary on the final leg of his 30,000-mile around the world voyage.

Pat’s interest in sailing came relatively late in life when he became a member of Iniscealtra Sailing Club in Mountshannon.

The father of six from the South Circular Road passed away in 2010 aged 84.

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The festival being held in his honour is organised and funded by the Mid West Regional Authority (MWRA).

Majella O’Brien, EU projects officer with the MWRA explained that it was part of its ongoing efforts through the NEA2 project to develop and promote the watersports sector in the Mid West Region.

“Lough Derg, the River Shannon and the Estuary are intrinsically linked with the economic and social history of this region but the potential of these waterways for tourism development remains under-explored.

By hosting the Pat Lawless Sail and Oar Festival we want to demonstrate this potential to our European project partners.

“We are particularly delighted to be able to host a river festival in honour of Pat Lawless whose crossings of the Atlantic Ocean and solo circumnavigation of the world brought great pride to Limerick and the wider region,” she said.