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Wallace Clark – piloted curragh from Derry to Iona marking St Columba’s voyage

Wallace Clark, who died on May 8,2011, aged 84, was a charismatic and inspiring Northern Irishman whose accomplishments as a writer, businessman and public servant were second only to his feats on the sea. These included piloting a curragh from Derry to Iona making the anniversary of St Columba’s voyage.
In a lifetime of seafaring exploits, two great expeditions stand out. The first was launched in 1963, when he set off from the north of Ireland to the holy isle of Iona, retracing the voyage made 14 centuries earlier by St Columba in a curragh (a simple canvas-covered boat). Greeted on arrival by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsay, the dozen oarsmen under Clark’s command claimed to have felt no fear during what they described as a spiritual, as well as a maritime, adventure.

“There was not one of us who would not sail with him to the edge of the world,” wrote the voyage’s co-organiser, Canon John Barry.

The full text of The Daily Telegraph’s obituary may be found in the Articles section on this site.