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n. (context nautical English) An Irish boat, constructed like a coracle, and originally the same shape; now a boat of similar construction but conventional shape and large enough to be operated by up to eight oars.


A currach (, ) is a type of Irish boat with a wooden frame, over which animal skins or hides were once stretched, though now canvas is more usual. It is sometimes anglicised as "Curragh". The construction and design of the currach are unique to the west coasts of Ireland and Scotland, with variations in size and shape by region. It is referred to as a naomhóg (; lit. "little holy one", "little female saint", from naomh "saint, holy" and the feminine diminutive suffix -óg) in counties Cork, Waterford and Kerry and as a "canoe" in West Clare. It is related to the Welsh coracle. The plank-built rowing boat found on the west coast of Connacht is also called a currach or curach adhmaid ("wooden currach"), and is built in a style very similar to its canvas-covered relative. A larger version of this is known simply as a bád iomartha (rowing boat).

The currach has traditionally been both a sea boat and a vessel for inland waters.

Usage examples of "currach".

Arab dhows and Gallic currachs, Greek triremes and balsa-wood PT boats, Canton delta lorcha and lateen-sailed Portuguese trawlers.

Armorica, our own kinsfolk, have visited its northern fishing-grounds yearly, hi their ridiculous craft, while Maeldune of Hibernia, with seventeen followers, less than a hundred years ago, was blown to sea in flimsy skin currachs, and claimed to have reached a large island where grew marvelous nuts with insides white as snow.