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Asgard - The Howth Gun Runner Conserved

Photographs © John H. Luxton 2013

This series of photographs taken on August 28, 2013 of the historic yacht ASGARD which is now displayed in the Collins Barracks Museum complex in Dublin. The yacht was restored and conserved over a period of five years from 2007 to 2012. The ASGARD is open for public inspection during Museum opening hours, admission is free and well worth a visit.

Probably the most significant vessel in the history of the Irish state the yacht ASGARD was built by Norwegian yacht designer Colin Archer and owned by Robert Erskine Childers (author of the spy novel "Riddle of the Sands") and his wife Molly. It was used to deliver German rifles to Howth shortly before the outbreak of WWI to arm the Irish Volunteers. These weapons would be used by Irish forces during the 1916 Rising against British rule.

During World War I Childers held several positions in the British armed forces including that of an officer on board the Isle of Man Steam Packet ship BEN-MY-CHREE which had been converted to a sea plane carrier by Cammell Laird.

After WWI Childers returned to Ireland and joined the provisional Sinn Féin government  as director of publicity. Following the Anglo- Irish Treaty, which established the Irish Free State, Childers took the anti-treaty side in the Civil War which followed. This was to lead to his arrest and subsequent execution for the possession of a fire arm by the Irish Free State authorities. ASGARD which had been laid up during WWI in Wales was eventually sold by Molly Childers. In 1961 it was acquired again by the Irish State and following a re-enactment of the Howth Gun Running was then employed as a sail training vessel until retired to Kilmainham Gaol for public display in 1974. She remained there until 2001 when she was removed for restoration.     
The hull of the ASGARD is presented in two forms the port side is shown fully painted, the starboard side is left unpainted to show the construction of the hull.
A display of photographs of the yacht showing the vessel's interior.
Traditional tools used to restore ASGARD on display in the museum.

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