Artist to row through Leitrim in a handmade boat

Leitrim Observer reporter

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Artist to row though Leitrim  in a handmade boat

Joe McCaul in his handmade boat

Artist Joe McCaul (65) is taking on an epic journey along Ireland’s waterways in a handcrafted rowing boat.

Departing from Belleek, Co. Fermanagh on Sunday 1st September, Joe will row 350km along the Shannon-Erne Waterway to Limerick.

He will be taking in towns including Enniskillen, Belturbet, Ballinamore, Leitrim, Carrick-on-Shannon, Rooskey, Athlone, Shannonbridge, Terryglass, Scarriff, Killaloe

Joe’s handmade boat is dedicated to the memory of his good friend Joe Stewart, a carpenter and an experienced oarsman. The duo had planned to build the boat together, but sadly Joe passed away before they could begin the project.

“We both talked for hours about this project. When he passed away, I felt compelled to build this boat in Joe’s memory,” says Joe.

A heart-shaped box containing some of Joe’s ashes now takes pride of place in the boat, which was officially launched at Cruinniú na mBád in Kinvara. The boat is named ‘Joes’ Boat’, referring to both Joe McCaul and Joe Stewart.

Originally from Belturbet, Co. Cavan, Joe plans to draw and paint his views along the journey. “I intend taking my time to make this journey memorable,” says Joe.

His artwork will then be exhibited to help raise funds for Galway Hospice, which cared for Joe’s wife Patricia 11 years ago.

For updates and to support Joe McCaul’s rowing fundraiser, see https://give.everydayhero.com/ ie/joe-mccaul-s-fundraiser- for-galway-hospice