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BIM to Host Webinar on Cultural Value of Ireland’s Coastal Communities

9th July 2021
An inshore fishing vessel at Dalkey Island on Dublin Bay
An inshore fishing vessel at Dalkey Island on Dublin Bay Credit: Afloat

‘Stories from the sea - cultural value of Ireland’s coastal communities’ is the title of a free webinar hosted by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) next Wednesday 14 July.

Ireland has a rich maritime history with coastal communities that have been shaped by the activities of small-scale fisheries.

While an economic value has been put on these activities, their influence on social and cultural life in Ireland is more difficult to measure and as a result, it is an often-overlooked aspect of fisheries management.

Ireland’s seafood development agency is bringing together an expert panel of speakers who will share stories from the sea and promise to change the way we think about the socio-cultural capital values of small-scale fisheries in Ireland.

The webinar takes place from 3pm to 4.30pm on Wednesday 14 July and is free to attend but registration is essential. Visit the Eventbrite page for to book your place.

Agenda

Moderator - Richard Curtin, Senior Economist, BIM

15:00 - Introduction to project, Richard Curtin, BIM

15:05 - Welcome, Jim O'Toole, CEO BIM

15:10 - Oceans of Wisdom – insights the Irish language gives us into the richness of our coastline - Manchán Magan

15.20 - The Seine Fishing Heritage of South Kerry and West Cork, with a particular focus on the role of women - Mary McGillicuddy

15.30 - The heritage of community labour and the realities of economic efficiency - John B Roney

15:40 - Dúchas - Séainín Johnson

15:50 - Panel discussion

16:30 - ENDS

Panel Biographies

Séainín Johnson is a third-generation fisherman who has operated off the west coast of Kerry for 55 years. Séainín first started fishing in traditional currachs in the 1960s before progressing to own a 40ft boat in the late 1970s. Séainín grew up in the fishing and farming community in the Gaeltacht area of Baile na nGall where he lives, is married to Anne and has five children. Having been immersed in the Irish language and his local community all his life, he is going to speak on the topics of culture, language and fishing.

Manchán Magan is a writer and documentary maker. He has written books in Irish and English on his travels in Africa, India and South America and two novels. His most recent book, Thirty-Two Words For Field, explores the insights the Irish language offers into the landscape, psyche and heritage of Ireland. He writes occasionally for The Irish Times, and presents The Almanac of Ireland podcast for RTÉ Radio 1 about the heritage and culture of Ireland. He has presented dozens of documentaries on issues of world culture for TG4, RTÉ and the Travel Channel. Having been brought up in Dublin, with long periods spent in the West Kerry Gaeltacht of Corca Dhuibhne, Manchán now lives in the midlands, in a grass-roofed house near Lough Lene, Co Westmeath, surrounded by his oak trees, and with bees and hens for company. www.manchan.com

Mary McGillicuddy: From childhood, Mary had a basic awareness of South Kerry’s seine boat fishing tradition because of direct family involvement in the early 1900s. However, little written material was readily accessible about the topic. The most visible records were locally displayed reprints of old Lawrence black and white photographs which documented women processing fish on quaysides in Kerry. This visual evidence prompted Mary to focus on this subject for her MA thesis in Local History in UL in 2008. She originally studied Media Studies in New York and later completed a BA in Sociology and History and a Diploma in Rural Develoment in UCC and holds an MSc in Environmental and Development Education from South Bank University, London. Based in Kerry, she worked for over 20 years in a development education centre in Tralee.

Dr John B Roney is Professor of History at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut and co-director of its Dingle campus in Co Kerry. He is also the current president of the New England region of the American Conference for Irish Studies and is on the board of directors of the John Moriarty Institute for Ecology and Spirituality. In addition to research and publication on cultural and intellectual topics in Irish history, Dr Roney has developed an interest in environmental history, with a specific focus on the cultural heritage of coastal communities on the west of Ireland. He regularly teaches a course, ‘Coastal Communities in the North Atlantic from Viking Age to the Present’, as well as Irish, French and Dutch history.

Published in Coastal Notes, Fishing
Afloat.ie Team

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Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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