Arklow and the Tyrrel's Yard
The town of Arklow’s involvement with sailing and the sea goes back to its original founding by Vikings in the ninth century. Both the shipping and fishing industries have used the port and shipbuilding has always been a major industry in the town. Although these industries have shrunk in recent times Arklow is still the headquarters of Arklow Shipping, the largest shipping company in Ireland. John Tyrrell & Sons shipyard is still an established business in Arklow and trades nowadays under the name of Arklow Marine Services.
The founding father John Tyrrell was born in Arklow in 1836. He completed an apprenticeship at the Royal Naval Dockyard at Devonport before returning home to Arklow to set up his own shipyard. His son Michael and grandson, another John (but often known as Jack) followed him into the business. Jack Tyrrell trained as a naval architect and designed hundreds of boats. It was in his time that the Huff of Arklow was constructed at the yard in 1951.
However the Huff of Arklow’s connection with the town goes deeper than its original construction. Eric Healy, for many years the legendary Captain of both of Irelands famous sail training vessels, Asgard, and Asgard 2, which was also built by Tyrrells, acquired much of his early sailing skills on Huff of Arklow being the brother-in-law of Douglas Heard, her original owner.