Royal Cork Yacht Club Unveils Historical Supplement Ahead of 303rd AGM

Just prior to the 303rd Annual General Meeting of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, Dr. Alicia St Leger, Past Admiral Colin Morehead, and Dr. T. Paul McCarthy presented a new historical supplement that builds on the research the informed the 2005 publication, A History of the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

The brainchild of Dermot Burns, who served as Club Archivist from 1991 to 2019, the supplement delves into the early history of the Royal Cork Yacht Club. Burns, deeply involved in exploring the club’s history, was the inspiration behind the 2005 book. He continued his research post-publication, focusing particularly on its early period. In 2019, he expressed his intention to publish his findings coinciding with the club’s tricentenary. Unfortunately, the onset of the Covid pandemic and other factors led to delays, and in late 2021, before his death a few months later, Burns entrusted the completion of the project to then Admiral Colin Morehead.

Collaborating with Dr. Alicia St Leger, author of A History of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, and Dr. T. Paul McCarthy, Morehead ensured that Burns’ extensive research is now available for future generations.

During the occasion, Admiral Kieran O’Connell expressed gratitude, saying, “On behalf of the Flag Officers and Members of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, I want to express my sincere appreciation for all the efforts and endeavors which have gone into the preparation of this supplement by its author Dr Alicia St Leger and fellow members Colin Morehead and Dr T. Paul McCarthy.”

Dr. Alicia St Leger, shedding light on the supplement, mentioned, “The earliest known reference for the club is 1720, and this is the start date of the supplement. As is clear by the text, the sequence of dates has gaps.” She emphasized the limited source material for this historical period, but highlighted the club’s holdings and the scrutiny of various sources, including newspapers, artworks, maps, charts, and contemporary written accounts up to and including 1833.

St Leger pointed out that the documented history reveals how the club experienced times of great activity and expansion, as well as challenging periods, particularly during wars. “The sequence also shows how changing times necessitated periodic renewal and updating of the club’s organization, something that was essential to ensure its long-term survival and growth,” she added.

Dr. T. Paul McCarthy concluded by stating, “It is likely that further information will be found in the future that will shed light on the development of the club in this period, and it is hoped that this document will assist future researchers in this regard.” The supplement serves as a crucial addition to the preservation and understanding of the Royal Cork Yacht Club’s storied past as it continues to navigate its way into the future.