THE COUNTY has lost “a true son of Fermanagh” with the sad passing of well-known sailor, boat builder and historian Fred Ternan.
Born on Inniscoonra Island on the lower lough, where he lived until he was 18-years-old, Mr Ternan was a builder of traditional boats, a sailing aficionado, a former commodore of Lough Erne Yacht Club, and a local historian who was passionate about promoting the rich maritime heritage of the lough he loved so well.
A founding member and one of the driving forces behind the highly active Lough Erne Heritage group, the group announced Mr Ternan’s death with “great sadness and regret” last week, and said his passing marked the “end of an era.”
“Fred was a true son of Fermanagh, born on an island on Lower Lough Erne,” said the spokesman. “He was known to many, through his lifelong interest in boating and sailing.
“A co-founder of Lough Erne Heritage, he was a font of knowledge on all aspects of the maritime history of Lough Erne. His knowledge of sailing was second to none, and he inspired many people to take up sailing.
“He worked tirelessly to promote the history and heritage of boating and island life and left no stone unturned in his quest to achieve a goal, of which he achieved many.”
The spokesman said Mr Ternan had been passionate about Lough Erne cots, snipe sailing dinghies, and his Fairy yacht. Above all, though, they said his biggest passion was his loved ones and he was “a proud family man.”
Mr Ternan was also an active member of the Lough Erne Landscape Partnership (LELP). A spokesman said he had played a central role in driving the partnership and “played many parts in ensuring that Lough Erne and its heritage would be respected in the hearts and minds of many for years to come.”
Noting he had held positions on the LELP board, working group and legacy sub-group, and the spokesman recalled some of the many projects Mr Ternan had been instrumental in delivering in recent years and had “led with such enthusiasm and passion.”
These included reviving the Belleek Regatta, the Life on the Islands project, the development of a Schools Sailing Club in Enniskillen, his volunteering role at the Inniskillings Museum, and getting a feasibility study for a Lough Erne Maritime Heritage Museum.
“We will remember Fred fondly for each of these roles, and for the many friendly conversations we had with him over the years about his passion for Lough Erne,” they said.
Fred Ternan was laid to rest at in the churchyard of the Priory Church, Killideas following a Service of Thanksgiving last Thursday. He is survived by
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