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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

The members of the Walrus Swim Team
Six sea swimmers from Ireland have succeeded in their attempt to cross the North Channel in winter — setting a new record in the process. According to RTÉ News, the members of the Walrus Swim Team completed the 35km relay…
The destroyed hull of the sunken Costa Concordia the day after the disaster on 13 January 2012
Earlier this week Italy marked the 10th anniversary of the Costa Concordia shipwreck disaster with commemorations on Isola del Giglio off Tuscany, as RTÉ News reports. Survivors joined local residents and relatives to remember those lost and give thanks to…
The members of the Walrus Swim Team
A team of six sea swimmers aim to make history later this week with the first crossing of the North Channel from Ireland to Scotland in winter. As RTÉ News reports, the Walrus Swim Team comprises regulars at the Forty…
Sir Ernest Shackleton after the loss of Endurance
A new expedition to find the wreck of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance will set sail for Antarctica one month after the centenary of his death. According to The Irish Times, the Endurance22 Expedition aims to find, survey and film the…
Larne Lough in Co Antrim
Northern Ireland campaigners are mounting a legal challenge over a Stormont minister’s approval for a gas storage project in Islandmagee near a key Game of Thrones filming location, according to BelfastLive. InfraStrata’s long-gestating plans to carve salt caves for gas…
Humpback whales have been spotted 75 times off the coast of Britain since 2019
A new review of marine wildlife in British waters reveals that once-rarely seen humpback whales have rebounded in recent years. Marine Industry News reports on the 2021 Marine Review from The Wildlife Trusts which notes that humpback whale numbers are…
File image of the beach at Leabgarrow (An Leadbh Gharbh) (Leabgarrow) on Arranmore (Árainn Mhór)
RTÉ News reports that an 18-year-old man has died by drowning off the island of Arranmore (Árainn Mhór) in Co Donegal after getting into difficulty while swimming. The incident occurred on Monday afternoon 3 January at the beach at Leabgarrow (An…
A surfer off the North Coast near Portrush
Enthusiasts of surfing, sea kayaking and coasteering are being asked to contribute to a project collecting data about Northern Ireland’s marine wildlife. As the Coleraine Chronicle reports, National Museums NI’s Centre for Environmental Data and Recording (CEDaR) hopes that the North…
File image of the RNLI flag
The RNLI has recorded a bumper year in donations driven largely by public support for its humanitarian work in the English Channel, as the Guardian reports. Online donations to the charity that saves lives at sea have risen by 50%…
A common dolphin reported live stranded in Mulranny, Co Mayo by Catherine Hanley
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has appealed for the public to keep a look-out after a spate of marine wildlife strandings reported in recent days. Half of the six reports were live strandings, the group says, but only…
File image of sprat at a market in Odessa, Ukraine
2020 was a record year for sprat landings — but this has come at the expense of many other marine wildlife species who depend on the small fish as a food source. Noteworthy’s investigation of the issue shows that in…
Irish Coast Guard logo
The Irish Coast Guard has reported an 12% increase in the overall number of incidents coordinated during 2021. And among these, the search and rescue agency saved 474 lives over the course of the year — though tragically 68 lives…
Day five in Eoin Connolly and Ronan McDonnell’s kayaking from source to sea
An intrepid pair of kayakers are now five days into their 10-day adventure paddling the length of the River Shannon from source to sea. Eoin Connolly and Ronan McDonnell skipped the usual festive fare as they set out on Christmas…
Octogenarian Paddy Conaghan from Arranmore
A Donegal octogenarian has set himself the mammoth task of going for an open water swim at as many Irish beaches and piers as possible. As RTÉ News reports, Paddy Conaghan is living out of a van for the duration of his…
Rescue teams recover residents from their homes in flooded Bridgetown, Co Wexford on Christmas Day
Fethard RNLI joined Kilmore Quay’s coastguard unit in a multi-agency operation to rescue local residents trapped in their homes by heavy flooding on Christmas Day, according to RTÉ News. It’s reported that a number of people in the village of…
A Drive-in Boatwash at Vollen Marina near Oslo in Norway
One of the big winners at the recent Paris Boat Show is a drive-in hull cleaner, as Marine Industry News reports. G&G Boatwash was awarded the jury prize and €1,000 in the innovation category for its appropriately named Drive-in Boatwash,…
Annacotty Weir on the lower Mulkear River
Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) says it is “greatly encouraged” by the growing public support for addressing problems around the movement of fish at Annacotty Weir. More than 10,000 people have signed a petition to remove the weir on the River…
The 50kg adult female loggerhead turtle was discovered on Muighinis Beach near Carna in a comatose state
A loggerhead turtle believed to originate from the waters around the Canary Islands has died despite the best efforts of Galway Atlantaquaria staff after it was found washed ashore in Connemara. As RTÉ News reports, the 50kg turtle was discovered…
Richard Tudor at Pwllheli Sailing Club
A Welsh sailor with a longtime connection to offshore racing in the Irish Sea has been recognised by his home club with a lifetime contribution award. Richard Tudor was presented with the accolade recently at a special function hosted by…
Extensive damage to the hull of the Japan SailGP boat after GB collided with it at the start of Friday’s last race in Sydney
The driver of Japan’s SailGP boat has tempered his criticism after accusing the GB team of reckless sailing in the aftermath of Sir Ben Ainslie’s F50 catamaran slicing off its bow in a collision. As Marine Industry News reports, the…
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