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Whale of a Thought At Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club

20th July 2016
afloat_mcsweeney
IWDG's Celtic Mist at Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club IWDG's Celtic Mist at Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club Photo: Tom MacSweeney

I love an opportunity to call into Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club, “the real Dublin sailing club,” as I have been told by those fortunate enough to be members. There is always an easy, friendly welcome and a chat. No pretensions to the unnecessary grandeur that has to be endured at some other clubs. “We are the heart of Dublin sailing, proud to be known as the workingmen’s yacht club,” another description given to me of this club which has a particular fondness for traditional boats and has been to the fore in support for such as the Galway hookers and the Old Gaffers, whose residence in the club precincts is a notable endorsement of the hallowed traditions of sailing.
“The only marina and club in the heart of Dublin,” it proclaims and which I reflected upon as a very accurate statement as I drove through Ringsend, whose maritime tradition stretches back centuries and along the South Bank of the Liffey down to Pigeon House Road to the club. On this occasion I was calling to go aboard Celtic Mist, boat of the late Charlie Haughey, on which I had been honoured to carry out the re-launching ceremony when it was taken over by the Irish Whale and Dolphing Group to whom it had been given by the Haughey family.
I hadn’t been aboard since the day of the re-launch at Kilrush in August of 2012. It was on the 25th anniversary voyage marking Ireland’s declaration of a whale and dolphin sanctuary in national waters, made by Mr.Haughey. Celtic Mist was moored on the €1.5m. marina development by the Poolbeg Club which has provided 100 berths close to the city centre.
Fiacc O Brolochain was in charge aboard.
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Celtic Mist left Poolbeg and headed to Howth and then Drogheda for the Maritime Festival, across to the Isle of Man and onto Arklow for the Sea Breeze festival, continuing its 25th anniversary voyage. The IWDG is not happy with the formation of the new Heritage Council which has no member with expertise in wildlife. It says the Council has been reduced by the State to a level where it is “unable to deliver on its natural heritage functions.” The Group is also monitoring a number of unexplained deaths of dolphins off Kerry which local people are blaming on the presence of supertrawlers off the coast. The supertrawler/dolphin bycatch issue has been on-going since early 2014.

Saturday, August 27, has been set by the Whale and Dolphin Group as national Whale Watch Day on 20 headlands around the coast.

Published in Island Nation

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