Traditional Irish hide-covered boat used by medieval monks to flee from Viking raids. It is supposed that it is in one of these that St. Brendan arrived in "the Fortunate Isles" (the Carribean) around A.D. 500. Contemporary experimental voyages in this type of vessel prove that it's sturdy enough to make the voyage.

Curraghs are still used in western Ireland today, in much the same way rowboats are used anywhere. You can also find curragh races in many places. I remember a few years ago at the Celtic Nations festival in New Orleans, there was a curragh race in a bayou.

Derived from the Gaelic for beatle, Ciaróg

When moved on land, the curragh is carried upside down by a group of fishermen underneath it. The black leather of which it is constructed gives the impression of a beatle walking along the beach.

Take a trip to the Gaelic speaking Aran islands off the west coast of Ireland. Embark from the pretty fishing village of Doolin. The visitor is transported by curragh to a small ferry waiting in deeper waters.

The Curragh is also the name of an area in Co. Kildare, Ireland. A massive (almost 5,000 acres) area of grassland, it is thought to be over 2,000 years old. Since 1921 it has been owned by the Irish state, and is used for, among other things, Army training, horseracing, sheep grazing, recreation and even filmmaking (the battle scenes in Braveheart were shot here).

During World War II, which was known in Ireland as The Emergency, the Army's facilities were used as an internment camp for foreign soldiers found on the national territory. IRA prisoners were also interned here at various times.

Unlike the boat, The Curragh is pronounced with a soft "gh", i.e. Kurr-ah. The boat, which is sometimes spelled Currach, is pronounced with a hard "gh", i.e. Kurr-ukh.

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