The original ASGARD was designed and built in Norway by Colin Archer of Larvick in 1905 and was the wedding present of Dr. and Mrs. Hamilton Osgood of Boston, U.S.A., to their daughter Mary on her marriage to Erskine Childers, father of the late President Childers of Ireland.
The name ASGARD is an old Norse word meaning "Home of the Gods"
In July, 1914 ASGARD with Erskine and Mary Childers along with four others, sailed to the North Sea to collect a cargo of 900 Mauser rifles which had been bought in Hamburg for the Irish Volunteers.
The arms were landed on Howth Pier on 26 July 1914. The arms were subsequently used by the volunteers during the 1916 Easter Rising.
Erskine Childers, who supported the anti treaty forces in the Irish Civil War, was executed by the Irish Free State authorities for the possession of a fire arm which had ironically been given to him as a gift by his former friend General Michael Collins. Collins himself having only a short time previously been killed in action during a skirmish with the IRA at Beal na mBlath, Co. Cork.
ASGARD was sold by Mrs. Childers in 1926, several years after her husband had been executed by the Irish Free State authorities, and passed through several hands before being purchased by the Irish Government in 1961 because of her historical associations.
In 1968 the Irish Government formed the committee known as Coiste An Asgard and placed ASGARD under their guidance and control to be used as a sail-training vessel for the young people of Ireland.
Sail training cruises were carried out on using ASGARD each year from 1969 to 1974.
The sail training scheme was continued from 1975 to 1980 on the Bermudan Ketch, CREIDNE, Built in 1967, which is now used as a sail training yacht by the Naval Reserve, An Slua Muiri.
In 1978 ASGARD was transferred to Kilmainham Gaol Museum. Recently plans have been put forward to restore the ASGARD to seaworthy condition. She is regarded as probably the most significant vessel in recent Irish history.
Today a fine new sail training vessel, built in the 1980s, ASGARD II, provides sail training facilities and maintains the ASGARD name and is a regular visitor to Irish Sea ports. During 2000 ASGARD II will be visiting the east coast of the USA.