By Helen Riddell
THE latest addition to the Castletownbere fishing fleet, the prawn trawler, the Alannah Riley arrived into the harbour recently, following a four-day sea crossing from Denmark.
For the last leg of the journey, the trawler was met by her sister ships Sarah David and Ocean Venture as she made her final approach into Berehaven.
As she entred the fishery harbour, she was greeted by family and friends of owners Neil Minihane and his sons David and Ross.
The 28m Alannah Riley was built in the Vestvaerftet shipyard in Denmark, over a period of sixteen months. The vessel is rigged for a combination of triple rigged prawn trawling and single or twin rigged demersal trawling.
She has two fishholds and will blast freeze her catch onboard. The trawler will fish from Castletownbere, and her crew of nine will undertake fishing trips of 21 days’ duration.
Ross Minihane explained that the prawn fishery industry in Ireland is currently good, and he has confidence in the market. At the annual fishery negotiations in Brussels last December, Minister for Marine Michael Creed announced a prawn fishery quota for Ireland for 2017 of 233,500 tonnes, which is worth €280m to the industry.
The Minihane family are one of the most well known and respected fishing families in Castletownbere, and Neil is shortly due to mark 45 years in the fishing industry, son David has been fishing for 23 years, and son Ross for 12 years.
The family also own the trawlers Sarah David, Dawn Ross and Ocean Venture.
On the afternoon that the Alannah Riley was officially launched in Castletownbere, her namesakes, Alannah (7) daughter of David Minihane and Riley (4) daughter of Ross Minihane, in time-honoured fashion, smashed a bottle of champagne on her bow. Prior to the launch Fr Danny Broderick blessed the trawler.