Definition of currach in English:


(also curragh)


Scottish, Irish
  • A small round boat made of wickerwork covered with a watertight material, propelled with a paddle; a coracle.

    • ‘Two fishermen survived when the curragh was blown ashore at Tirrane on the Mullet Penninsula.’
    • ‘Anyone within hailing distance of a currach should get over there.’
    • ‘It only happened because a local Irish export shop operator ordered two currachs for display purposes.’
    • ‘Some boats were large (the largest shown has a crew of 32) and were probably made of leather over a wooden frame, similar to the Inuit umiak or the Irish curragh.’
    • ‘So I was delighted to be in Kilkee for the launching of new currachs by the local community which maintain the tradition of currach building in West Clare.’
    • ‘The eight-foot stone became famous in 2000 when it slipped into the sea while being transported from Milford Haven to Bristol on two replica stone age boats, or currachs.’
    • ‘The project had three main elements, the construction of the boat, the launch of the currach and the acquisition of the currach into the National Museum collection.’
    • ‘Early Gaelic accounts speak of large ocean going sailing currachs roving the North Atlantic.’
    • ‘For example a local man with a currach, who wouldn't have tonnage, has to go out and spend in the region of six or seven thousand pounds in order to fish for lobsters.’
    • ‘All the local fishing boats (sail boats then) and currachs combed the area and an extensive search was undertaken along the neighbouring shorelines.’
    • ‘They will learn windsurfing, canoeing, and boating in a curragh.’
    • ‘These were, even then, lessening the forested areas; and finds of deep-sea fishbones in middens prove they were taking to sea, probably in skin-covered boats, the ancestors of Inuit canoes or Irish curraghs.’
    • ‘Like a ghost ship, the curragh floats onward, into the maze of icebergs off the east coast of Greenland.’
    • ‘They completed the course in one hour and 44 minutes faster than most of the 120-odd currachs and kayaks and everything else that took to the water for the race.’
    • ‘Access to the island is by small open boats and currachs with ferries running from both Bullsmouth in Achill and from Doran's pier in Ballycroy.’
    • ‘The antipasti were served on a long white dish, not unlike a white currach.’
    • ‘The conditions were terrible and you couldn't have launched a lifeboat that day, not to mind a currach.’
    • ‘He was a noted currach builder and champion oarsman.’
    • ‘Hide boats carrying tin from Britain to Gaul are mentioned by Pliny, using earlier sources, and in the currachs of western Ireland we see the same tradition still in use even today.’
    • ‘Their grandfather's fishing vessel was a curragh.’


Late Middle English: from Irish and Scottish Gaelic curach ‘small boat’. Compare with coracle.