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Home is the Sailor – The Launch of RV Tom Crean at Dingle

6th October, 2022 marks the date that our sailor finally came home. On this day the vessel that symbolises long awaited national recognition for Tom Crean, RV Tom Crean moored in Dingle, County Kerry, the beautiful port town close to where he was born. It’s a place Crean frequented often in his lifetime and here the vessel lay down it’s anchors in preparation for its ceremonial launch.

Home is the Sailor - The Launch of RV Tom Crean at Dingle Tom Crean Book

In a cover-up that totally disregarded the efforts of over 50,000 campaign supporters who brought about this historic day, the Marine Institute of Ireland, (overseers of the event), bowed to the will of a few Tom Crean descendants to overlook the 11-year ‘Ireland Should Honour Tom Crean’ campaign that finally brought about this successful outcome.

RV Tom Crean, a scientific vessel funded by the Irish government, was a proposal put forward to the Marine Institute by a former board member, Loran O’Kinneide, in 2020 after consultation with Tim Foley, creator of the Ireland Should Honour Tom Crean campaign which was formed in 2010.

In January 2021, when the Marine Institute first announced that the ship would be named in honour of Crean, Lorcan, a long time campaign supporter and among the first to sign the campaign petition that was handed over to the Irish Government in 2018, would align himself with the Crean descendants and distance himself from the campaign, claiming it had no bearing on the naming of the ship.

When the launch day came around, describing the ship, quite correctly, as an appropriate tribute in honour of her grandfather, Tom’s granddaughter, whose role it was to smash the customary bottle against the vessel, inappropriately chose this historic moment to  replace the traditional bottle of champagne with a bottle of ale named after Tom Crean. It was clearly a self-promotional opportunity considered too good to miss for the Crean family and their Kenmare brewery operation. That they failed to grasp the history of the occasion in a self-serving act was, in my opinion, disrespectful to the great man himself.

That this timeline is a record of the facts that relate to Tom Crean’s life, this last entry, mars it somewhat but regardless of those who jostle for glory when victory is in sight, our campaign resulted in national recognition for Tom Crean from the country he loved and that’s what matters most.

Home is the Sailor.

God Bless RV Tom Crean and all who sail in her,