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Tom MacSweeney
More cruise ships at sea every year but what about their navigation lights
There have been a number of warnings about seamanship and navigational issues in the past few weeks that are important as the sailing season draws nearer. I wonder if the boating community takes enough notice of them? Gail McAllister, who ran…
1720 keelboats will be used for RCYC's new Under 25s Keelboat Academy
The loss of young sailors to the sport is an issue that has been identified by many clubs around the country and at national level. Other sports can be more attractive to younger age groups, particularly it seems as teenagers…
Sausage Island is a nickname for Ynys–Las in Anglesey in Wales
I wonder if the example of what FINTAN has done in Britain could be followed in Ireland? It is an innovative approach to adding to rescue knowledge. The UK Ordnance Survey and the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) have…
The Commodore of ICRA Simon McGibney has called for an emergency meeting of the body that governs cruiser–racer activities
“These are difficult times for the Association. While robust debate is welcome and encouraged, respect for all must remain in all of our dealings with each other,” the Commodore of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association, Simon McGibney, has said, in…
ICRA Class Zero yachts racing at last year's National Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club
After 16 years of progressive existence it needs to negotiate choppy waters. The present Commodore, Simon McGibney, says that the Association is at the stage where it needs an “in-depth” look at its future. Former Commodore Norbert Reilly, who has…
Dun Laoghaire's Henry Williams, a Silver Medal Winner
Henry Williams was a renowned Dun Laoghaire lifeboat Coxswain. His son, Alexander, succeeded him and both died in the attempt to rescue the crew of the Palme in Dun Laoghaire Eve, 1895. That rescue is remembered in an evocative ceremony…
Rating is what we use in IRC to assess a boat’s potential performance – the ability, or lack of ability of the helmsman and crew is not included writes Peter Wykeham-Martin, Chairman of the IRC Congress
The IRC Yearbook arrived in the post as I prepared to write this week’s Podcast. It is sent out together with your notice to renew your Handicap for the season ahead. Only, ‘oops’, the word ‘Handicap’ is no longer acceptable.…
The rise in common dolphin strandings is alarming wildlife enthusiasts
For the past six years, the first few weeks of the year have seen an increase in the number of dolphins being washed up on the Irish coastline. The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group is making a determined effort this…
Enda O'Coineen on the bow of Kilcullen Voyager
“I’m that bad nobody would come with me….” That’s what Enda O Coineen told me when he confirmed that he will be completing his round-the-world voyage which he started as part of the Vendee Globe Race, alone to complete the…
SCORA Commodore – Kieran O'Connell
After a few negative years, resulting in some despondency about the future of cruiser racing, the annual meeting of SCORA, the South Coast Offshore Racing Association, had a more positive atmosphere, with a good attendance of skippers, boat owners and…
Are Sea Area Forecasts Necessary?
In this digital age, with so many available resources providing sea area weather forecasts, is there still a need for national radio to broadcast these forecasts? I heard an RTE Radio Presenter asking a Met Eireann meteorologist on-air whether there…
Kieran O'Connell (third from left) competing onboard a Royal Cork keelboat
Interest in keelboat racing is increasing. Cruiser racing is on the way back! So says the Royal Cork Yacht Club’s Rear Admiral for Keelboats, Kieran O’Connell, writes Tom MacSweeney. Clubs around the coast have experienced a fall-off in racing numbers at…
Antarctic Search and Rescue base
There’s increasing concern about cruise ships in the Antarctic and whether people could be rescued should one get into trouble amidst the ice. 300 ships traverse that Polar region, with nearly a quarter-of-a-million tourist visitors aboard from November to March…
The logistics of handling the large amounts of fibreglass hulls from abandoned or derelict vessels poses a significant challenge
The International Maritime Organisation, that’s the United Nations agency for safety at sea, has acknowledged, the first time this has been publicised, that a large number of abandoned or no-longer usable fibreglass vessels - including fishing vessels and leisure craft…
Top - the new Irish Ferries William Butler Yeats and above the Navy's new patrol vessel William Butler Yeats
Hello and you’re welcome to the weekly MacSweeney Podcast… The procedures and practices involved in the naming of ships once appeared to be the product of evolution and tradition, then became the choice of politicians – at least as far…
Edward Bransfield commemoration committee at Ballinacurra – Liam O'Riordan ,Ann Wilson, Eugene Furlong & Jim Wilson
Ireland is a nation which has been slow to recognise its maritime resources and its international maritime achievements made by Irish sailors. This I was reminded about again this week. But there are indications of changes for the better, driven…

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