In Meitheal Mara we promote and foster maritime culture and traditional skills, using boatbuilding, woodcraft and seamanship as the means to help both groups and individuals to learn, progress and develop. We provide work and training for young people and adults through to retirement, and sometimes beyond. Our approach is inclusive and based on mutual respect.

Training is tailored to suit needs, abilities and time-scales through a variety of programmes. We work closely with other local youth, education and community organisations to achieve positive outcomes. Funding partners include Cork Education and Training Board, Cork City Council, Cork County Council, the Port of Cork, Cooperation Ireland Cork, the Health Services Executive, Pobal, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, the Department of Education, and the Department of Social Protection.

Programmes & Services:

Agency Funded Training

Our Agency Funded Training programmes utilise traditional boat building, woodworking and rowing to promote participant’s social and personal development.


Back to Education Initiative

The Back to Education Initiative – partly funded by the Department of Education & Science – provides an alternative route to basic numeracy, communications and literacy using boat building skills as the vehicle. Participants can achieve QQI Woodwork course qualifications.

At Meitheal Mara we specifically target early school leavers & homeless youth (ages 15+) in our BTEI programmes. Referrals come from H.S.E. and Probation Services.

BTEI also runs highly successful canoe and coracle building courses for people with physical challenges and mental health difficulties in partnership with Headway, Citylinks (H.S.E.) and the National Learning Network Rehabilitation Programme.

Community Employment Scheme

Working with long-term unemployed people, and funded by Department of Social Protection (DSP), Meitheal Mara offers a 1 to 3 year Community Employment training programme & work environment where confidence can be built, skills learnt and developed and a gateway given back to the workforce.

Office and Boat Yard (boat building & woodwork) positions are available on a regular basis. Please check our recruitment page or contact the office for information.

For boat yard positions we offer QQI Level 3 & 4 boat building qualifications. All participants are encouraged in health & safety training, literacy, computers and through our individual training program are also encouraged to explore opportunities to increase their value to future employers.

Community Services Programme

This programme is administered by POBAL for the Department of Social Protection. It provides places for people with disabilities or who are in recovery to work and learn in a safe and supportive environment. The programme can be personalised & tailored to suit each individual’s needs.

The programme contributes to Meitheal Mara’s sustainability by allowing us to provide goods and services to customers on a semi-commercial basis and provides a step-up for our woodwork trainees. Examples of the work produced include model currachs, woodcraft and special commissions. The “Fionnbarra” Bantry Longboat was completed under this programme.

Bádoireacht Youth Programme

Bádoireacht is a unique boat building and rowing service for young people (ages 14 – 18). It has been running successfully since 2002 with an average of 130 young people participating each year. Young people have an opportunity to learn to row currachs, sail and to build their own boats and woodcraft.

In 2008 we added the 38ft Bantry longboat, “Fionnbarra” – Bantry Bay Longboat, to our fleet. Through this project we foster and develop personal and social development. Teamwork and responsibility are integral to what we do. We work with Youth Development Projects, Probation Services, Justice projects, Foróige and many more youth projects.

For further information on our programmes please click on the links below: