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MacDara Conroy

MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

Sea trout
A “major fish kill” in a Co Derry river has tallied than 2,000 fish across a range of species, as BBC News reports. The incident was discovered last Friday morning (24 November) on the Muff River in Eglinton, near the…
This whale tale sighting was no fluke for the RTÉ Nationwide team that went to sea with Cork Whale Watch in May 2018
A West Cork-based whale-watching tour business has ended its 2023 season early, blaming overfishing of sprat for the absence of the usual whale visitors to the South Coast. In a social media post on Monday (27 November), Cork Whale Watch…
Satellite view of Lough Neagh, which was “choked” by blooms of toxic blue-green algae in the summer of 2023
Warning signage is being removed from locations around Lough Neagh following this past summer’s blooms of toxic blue-green algae. But as BBC News reports, it could be years before the ecological impact on the lough is fully understood. Ulster Angling…
The Battery with its old fortifications next to the famed Forty Foot swimming hole
The storied Battery above the Forty Foot in Sandycove has a new owner, as The Irish Times reports. With a price tag of €3 million, the three-bedroom home created on the site of a former Dublin Bay military installation was…
Logo of Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs
Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEARA) has published an FAQ regarding the impact of zebra mussels on the public angling estate. Fears have been expressed that tens of thousands of fish could be culled after the…
File image of Oxford Island Nature Reserve on the southern shores of Lough Neagh
Restrictions have been lifted at Oxford Island in Co Armagh after the discovery of a suspected wartime munition. The object has since been made safe after its examination by specialist PSNI officers at the Lough Neagh beauty spot and nature…
File image of boats moored at Shannon Harbour
Boat owners and watersport enthusiasts have expressed concern over proposed new bye-laws for Ireland’s inland waterways, according to RTÉ News. Afloat.ie previously reported on the public consultation over the proposed bye-law changes for the canals and Shannon Navigation, which closes…
A dead juvenile salmon in the Corkley River near Keady where a slurry spill is being investigated
Local anglers have said it could take years for stocks to recover after a major fish kill in a Northern Ireland river. According to BBC News, it’s believed hundreds of juvenile salmon were lost as a result of a slurry…
A normally busy but deserted Forty Foot in Sandycove in June 2019 due to a temporary bathing ban resulting from a wastewater leak
More than half of Ireland’s bathing waters were affected by swimming bans this past summer, an investigation by Noteworthy has revealed. While four in five coastal and inland bathing spots were classed as excellent in 2022, that statistic runs counter…
File image of Larne Lough
Local campaigners are taking their challenge against proposed gas caverns under Larne Lough to the Court of Appeal, following its dismissal by the High Court in August. As previously noted on Afloat.ie, all seven grounds of the legal challenge brought…
The Cork Acoustics Buoy is a two-tonne, 13ft data gathering buoy developed with Huawei
The recent OceanTech Summit in Baltimore, Co Cork heard about the latest progress of an ongoing initiative to help protect marine wildlife in Irish waters, as Silicon Republic reports. Afloat.ie previously highlighted the Smart Whale Sounds project, which has the…
Sign advertising the availability of red diesel with the stipulation ’not for road use’
The UK has been fined €32m by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for allowing pleasure boats to use red diesel before Brexit came into effect. Under EU law, only commercial boats can use lower-tax dyed diesel, following a ruling…
Satellite view of Lough Neagh
Lough Neagh “isn’t just dying, it’s been killed” by a combination of human-made factors, one conservationist has declared as the crisis around toxic blooms of blue-green algae continues. Speaking to The Irish Times, Friends of the Earth NI director James…
The restored Victorian-era red-brick Substation (left) at Dublin Port Centre
Minister for Public Expenditure, National Development Plan Delivery and Reform, Paschal Donohoe will join Dublin Port Company chief executive Barry O’Connell to officially open the resorted Victorian-era red-brick Substation at Dublin Port Centre this Friday 22 September. The former electrical substation…
Blue-green algae bloom in Northern Ireland
Causeway Coast and Glens councillors have echoed growing concerns over the state of the aquatic environment following recent blooms of toxic blue-green algae, as the Belfast Telegraph reports. Alliance Councillor Peter McCully tabled a motion at last week’s Environmental Services…
Cloghan Point has four large tanks which are currently used to store part of the Republic of Ireland’s strategic reserve of diesel and gas oil
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s planning committee have approved for expansion of a Belfast Lough oil terminal despite sizeable local opposition to the project, as BBC News reports. Cloghan Point has four large tanks which are currently used to…
File image of the beach at Fountainstown, near Crosshaven
RTÉ News reports on a multi-agency search and rescue operation for a child missing in the water off Fountainstown Beach near Crosshaven in Co Cork. It’s understood that an eight-year-old child was swept out to sea on Tuesday afternoon (5…
File image of Larne Lough
The High Court in Belfast has dismissed a legal challenge against proposed gas caverns under Larne Lough. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, judgment was reserved in early May in the "complex" and "significant" judicial review into granting a marine licence…
A bottlenose dolphin breaks the surface of waters in front of Tarbert Power Station on the Shannon Estuary
The Shannon Estuary’s resident population of bottlenose dolphins could be under threat from plans to transform the area into a green energy hub, a conservation group fears. Plans revealed last month in the final report of the Shannon Estuary Economic…
Brendan Wall (left) and Ivan Chittenden
Ireland’s national governing body for triathlons says it did not sanction the swim event at the weekend in which two men died in separate incidents. Afloat.ie previously reported on the tragedies in Youghal on Sunday (20 August) during the Ironman…
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