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Is Your Boating Equipment Protected? Forcing a Change at Irish Water & The Battle on Dalkey Island

22nd February 2019
Is Your Boating Equipment Protected? Forcing a Change at Irish Water & The Battle on Dalkey Island

Thefts of outboard motors and break-ins to boats on moorings were prevalent a couple of years ago. My own boat suffered nearly €6,000 of damage and theft when it was broken into on the mooring at Crosshaven in Cork Harbour during that spate of robberies. An alert, dedicated Garda detective in Cobh on the other side of Cork Harbour recovered some of the items when he located the culprits.

"This week three outboard motors were recovered in Kinsale"

This week three outboard motors were recovered in Kinsale thanks to a member of the public who spotted two men acting suspiciously near the water’s edge at Scilly. They fled, leaving behind a dinghy with three outboard engines in it. Gardai, called to the scene, discovered that attempts had been made to remove engines from two other boats in the harbour area.

"Garda advice is to lock-up your equipment"

That has led to a timely reminder from Gardai who observed that the boating season seems to be starting earlier ever year, urging owners to protect their equipment. Some owners told me after my boat was broken into, that they leave their hatches unlocked on moorings to avoid any break-in damage, but I wonder what about equipment aboard cruisers? The Garda advice is to lock-up and mark your electronic and other equipment. Use your Eircode or some other marking that cannot be removed and take a photograph of the equipment and its marking.

Good advice….and that was one of three stories which stand out for me this week ….. The name change forced on the organisation which has done great work in water safety is another and then there is the battle on Dalkey Island off South County Dublin.

Forcing a Change at Irish Water

John Leech, a well-known and experienced race officer and sailor, who is also Commodore of Lough Derg Yacht Club, is Chief Executive of Irish Water Safety and very devoted to the protection of life in the water…. He told me this week that his organisation is changing its name and that is all because of Irish Water.

Water safety IrelandWater Safety Ireland's new logo

“Since ‘Irish Water’ was established in 2013, it has caused Irish Water Safety considerable difficulty. Some members of the public get confused and believe we are “Irish Water. We can take up to 15 or 20 phone calls a day from angry and frustrated members of the public who have water supply problems. As a result of this confusion, we requested to our partner Department, Rural and Community Affairs that our name be changed to ‘Water Safety Ireland’.”

• Listen to John Leech on the Podcast below as he explains this.

The Battle on Dalkey Island

So, onto Dalkey Island where BirdWatch Ireland and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, are currently baiting rats under the EU-funded Roseate Tern LIFE Programme to protect seabirds. It’s not the only island on the East Coast which has a problem with rats and funding to remove them hasn’t been easily made available.

Dalkey Island and Sorrento Terrace viewed from Dalkey HillDalkey Island viewed from Killiney Hill Photo: Wikipedia

“If we can keep this island and its satellites rat-free, then other burrow-nesting and crevice-nesting species could potentially settle there,” Dr. Stephen Newton, Senior Seabird Conservation Officer at BirdWatch Ireland, told me on my radio programme, THIS ISLAND NATION and added:” Who knows, we might even one day have Puffins nesting on Dalkey Island?” Non-toxic bait and ‘flavoured treats’ in combination with trail cameras will also be used to ascertain whether the rates have been got rid of.

• The Podcast below has more details of the brown rat menace to inshore islands on the East Coast.

Published in Tom MacSweeney
Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney writes a column for He is former RTE Marine Correspondent/Presenter of Seascapes and now has a monthly Podcast on the Community Radio Network and Podcast services

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