Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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Weekly Maritime News and Affairs with Tom MacSweeney
Sail training at Dun Laoghaire
Island Nation
It was a glorious day in Dun Laoghaire. I could see young sailors clustered on boats around a pontoon. The sound of their enjoyment at being afloat drifted across the water. I was there because Alistair Rumball, who set up…
Gary Sargent back In Schull after rounding Ireland on a Laser dinghy
Island Nation
Being a maritime correspondent can be encouraging, disheartening and frustrating.Preparing the current edition of THIS ISLAND NATION I experienced those emotions.I heard a sailor praise the coastal communities he had met during a 42-day voyage around Ireland. He described them…
Ballast water discharges can carry invasive species
Island Nation
Five years ago the Department of Transport told the United Nations agency dealing with safety at sea and the marine environment that it was preparing to ratify a treaty drawn up by the UN intended to control the spread of…
Tom MacSweeney at the grave of Thomas McSweeney
Island Nation
There are moments in life which are inexplicable. Such it was when I stood at the gate of a very old graveyard in Vittorosia just outside Valetta in the capital of Malta. I had never been there before yet something…
Leinster House
Island Nation
There are 158 Deputies in the Dáil, elected by the people of Ireland. The Naval Service is the maritime defence force. Just two of those Deputies have shown direct interest in the “strategic implications for the State” threatening the Navy…
Gary Sargent is sailing a Laser dinghy Round Ireland. Scroll down to listen to the podcast.
Island Nation
I have never sailed a Laser. The 13ft. dinghy’s closeness to the surface of the water exposes the occupant without much protection to the elements. But I admire those who sail the boat. They are a hardy bunch to whom…
Rankin Dinghies off Cobh. Listen to the podcast below.
Island Nation
There is more to sailing than racing, such as enjoyment, fun, cruising and bringing people together to enjoy each other’s company and the boats they sail. When those boats are dinghies that have a proud history and which a dedicated…
The Haulbowline Naval Base is an important strategic location for the Irish Defence Forces
Island Nation
Why has no politician of any hue, Government or Opposition, of any party or of the Independents, raised concern in the Dáil about the strategic implications for the State of the threat to a fully operational Naval Service and its…
'Regatta Club' aims to encourage youngsters from 8-to-18 years into "sociable sailing” and, perhaps, return to those days when children loved to go down to ‘the club’ to go sailing
Island Nation
There was a time when the local sailing club was a social centre for children, where they got their first ‘taste’ of sailing as a ‘fun’ and enjoyable occasion without the stress of competition and performance separating them from each…
Cork Harbour Naval base showing single road bridge access to Ringaskiddy where Indaver wants to build a hazardous waste incinerator
Island Nation
“The boy stood on the burning deck,” is one of the most famous lines in literature and particularly relevant in the maritime sphere. Many people can quote the next line…”Whence all but he had fled…” But why was he there,…
The ISA 'Try Sailing' Programme will be launched at Kinsale on Bank Holiday Monday
Island Nation
I have been vocal over the past few months in expressing concern about improving access to sailing and combating the impression that the sport is elitist. I spoke about the need for initiatives at the annual conference of the Irish…
Tony Kehoe and the Kehoe lifeboat family of Rosslare
Island Nation
I said words in tribute to a Lifeboatman on radio this week that I have never said before as I introduced my programme (scroll down the page for the podcast). I meant them and I was honoured to be able…
Vector Martini speeding under Haulbowline Bridge
Island Nation
It isn’t often that I am told “she is a beast of a boat…” with admiration in the voice of the person describing the boat to me. However, when she has over 2,000 horsepower to get her moving, it is…
Would it actually have been possible for the AUD to have landed its cargo in Tralee Bay?
Island Nation
I love Irish history. It is the story of the Irish people, living in an island nation. But I have always wondered about a maritime, a shipping aspect of the Easter Rising, the commemoration of which has raised the profile…
ICRA Commodore Simon McGibney is committed to expanding involvement in sailing
Island Nation
I am a passionate believer in the concept that sailing is ‘a sport for all and a sport for life’. I took to heart a slogan to this effect promoted by the Irish Sailing Association a few years ago. I…
The biggest cruise ship ever built
Island Nation
It is my belief that there is a ‘Family of the Sea,’ a community of interest uniting maritime people, from those engaged in the sector professionally, to those who take part in marine leisure activities. Bonding these disparate interests together…

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