Ida Kiernan

Ann Kirwan, Commodore writes

We were deeply saddened to hear that our dear friend Ida Kiernan passed away during Sunday night.

Ida was a keen Mermaid sailor racing on Tiller Girl in the 1970s with Johnny and Audrey Walker, and with her two subsequent owners Gay Brennan in the late 70s and then with Jonathan O’Rourke in the late 1980s and 1990s.

Ida started volunteering with DBSC and was a regular in the hut while she was still sailing Mermaids. When DBSC acquired a committee boat in 2001, Ida stopped sailing Mermaids and became a regular volunteer on MacLir.  Ida is probably best known to many of us as the Timer on MacLir on Thursdays and Saturdays as well as the co-ordinator of the DBSC race management teams. As well as being a stalwart volunteer with DBSC, Ida was always in demand for many other sailing events held in Dun Laoghaire and further afield.

Ida who was way ahead of her time, made her mark as an innovator in the world of Irish sailing. She was a committee member with the Irish Yachting Association (IYA) before she started up the Dun Laoghaire Sailing School in the early 70s. Ida’s vision for the sailing school was to make sailing accessible to young people who otherwise would not have the opportunity to enjoy our wonderful sport. The school was run from the Coal Harbour with a small fleet of mirror dinghies and some other boats which were launched from the slip in the Coal Harbour. Ida had aspired to developing this model countrywide, but while it was a great success in Dun Laoghaire, there wasn’t the same demand to promote the model elsewhere. The Dun Laoghaire Sailing School was the forerunner of what is now the very successful INSS and retains Ida’s vision of making sailing accessible to a large portion of the population who otherwise would not have the opportunity to enjoy the sport.

Ida had many strings to her bow. She was Secretary of the Federation of Jewellery Manufacturers of Ireland (FJMI), organised trade shows in the USA, worked closely with the Irish Trade Board in New York, worked in a busy accountancy practice, volunteered in the lifeboat shop, ran the bridge in the National Yacht club for over 30 years, acted as NYC sailing secretary in the early 90s before serving as Vice Commodore and then as Commodore of the National Yacht Club from 2000 to 2002.

Ida did everything effortlessly and with a smile. She was a fun, vibrant, mischievous, fabulous person who will be sadly missed by those who knew and loved her, including her many friends in DBSC, in the waterfront yacht clubs, across the water in Howth, and further afield.

Our thoughts are with Ida’s family and her many, many friends at this incredibly sad time following her untimely passing.

Fair winds Ida, and may you Rest in Peace.

Ann Kirwan,
Commodore, DBSC