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Funding of around €400,000 from the Government has been allocated towards maintenance works on the Dunbrody Famine Ship over recent years.

The funding, according to the New Ross Standard, has been used to carry out essential works to the tallship (barque) vessel, including painting, waterproofing and the instalment of a lift.

Minister of State Michael D'Arcy Jnr said: 'The ship has a high level of maintenance work which has to be done. At a particular point we gave a commitment of €400,000 in funding.'

The barque went into dry dock at New Ross Boat Yard in January 2017 for several weeks and substantial repair and improvement works were carried out. She will once again go into dry dock in early 2021 for further works. Mr D'Arcy said the ship has been greatly improved over the past two years. A survey of the rigging will take place in early February, with specialists arriving from Cork at New Ross Boat Yard to carry out the job.

Mr D'Arcy was highly complimentary of the work of Dunbrody staff. 'This is one of the major tourism projects, not just in Wexford, but in Leinster and Ireland. My view on this is that the tourist projects like this need to cluster with other projects like Hook Lighthouse and the Irish National Heritage Park. There are very few projects in any other county that are as close to each other.'

The newspaper has more here on the story. 

Published in Tall Ships

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has opened a new funding round available to community groups and angling clubs across the country.

The funding will be awarded to fisheries conservation projects and development projects with over €1.3 million announced yesterday (Thursday 16 January).

Applications are invited from angling clubs, local development associations, tidy towns and others who may be looking to carry out relevant projects.

The 2020 funding call consists of three schemes:

  • The Capital Grants Scheme 2020 (€240,000): This scheme supports projects which will help deliver an accessible and sustainable fisheries resource for all. It is aimed specifically at capital projects which will improve angling access and infrastructure (eg accessible fishing stands, walkways, etc).
  • The Midlands Fisheries Fund (€50,000): This scheme focuses on sustainable development works in the Midlands Fisheries Group permit area. The fund has been created through contributions from permit income received. Projects which will be eligible to receive support will improve fish habitats in a sustainable manner (eg river bank protection, control of exotic species, etc).
  • The Salmon and Sea Trout Rehabilitation, Conservation and Protection Fund (€1 million): The aim of this fund is to rehabilitate, protect and conserve salmon and sea trout and their habitats. This year, funding will be available for conservation projects only (eg fish passage improvement, spawning enhancement, etc).

IFI’s Suzanne Campion said: “We are committed to realising the potential of the fisheries resource from a social and economic perspective but also to protecting it for future generations to enjoy.

“Interested groups are invited to get in touch with us for further information with guidance available throughout the application process.”

For more information about the 2020 Funding Call, download the information booklet. To submit an expression of interest, visit the IFI website HERE.

All applicants must apply through an ‘Expression of Interest’ form to progress to full application. Full applications may be submitted until the closing date of Tuesday 25 February.

Published in Angling

New rules for sports grants introduced after a controversy involving private schools two years ago could affect eligibility for yachts clubs in the future, it is feared.

Ten sports clubs across the country — two private schools and eight golf clubs — were excluded from receiving State funding under the Sports Capital Programme, it’s been reported in The Irish Times, which has much more on the story.

It follows a rule change which means clubs or schools with a one-off entrance fee of over €1,500 or an annual fee of €1,500 or more are “excluded from receiving a grant offer”.

A briefing from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport said the new grant allocation rules were enacted to “ensure that as much money as possible goes to the most deserving organisations”.

A department spokesperson confirmed that such changes will be under review, along with all other aspects of the grant scheme annually, ahead of next year’s round of funding allocations.

No yacht clubs were denied under this year’s amendments, but there are concerns that some Dublin clubs could fall foul of these new measures in future.

Published in News Update

Sutton Dinghy Club received the biggest amount out of four local allocations for sailing as the 2018 round of the Sports Capital Programme is completed.

The north Co Dublin club was awarded €55,971 towards the upgrade of its clubhouse facilities and slipway, out of a total of €37 million for local projects announced last Friday (15 November) by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS).

Elsewhere, Royal Cork Yacht Club receives €38,051 towards its plans for new universal access to sailing at its marina, while Inniscarra Sailing and Kayaking Club was allocated €9,062 for sports equipment and improvement of facilities.

And Killaloe Sailing Club in Co Clare was granted €28,158 towards new facilities and a new club RIB.

There was also a single allocation for rowing, as Courtmacsherry Rowing Club was awarded €82,802 towards the first phase of its new clubhouse plans.

The Sports Capital Programme (SCP) is the primary means of providing Government funding for capital projects to sport and community organisations at local, regional and national level. According to the DTTAS, the 2018 round of the SCP saw the highest level of interest ever with 2,337 individual applications received.

Published in News Update

Galway Bay FM reports that almost €100,000 has been ring-fenced for the completion of coastal protection works on Inis Mór in the Aran Islands.

The works will focus on arresting erosion at the island’s coastal cemetery, which locals fear will bear the brunt of more extreme weather in the future.

The funding comes from a grant of more than €750,000 from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to complete improvement works on a number of the Ireland’s coastal islands.

Besides Inis Mór, the list includes Whiddy Island, Bear Island, Hare Island and Sherkin Island in Co Cork; Inis Bigil, Clare Island and Inishturk in Co Mayo; and Oileán an Bhráighe, Árainn Mhór and Gabhla in Co Donegal.

Published in Coastal Notes

An ‘Irish ocean observing system’ is among six research projects to receive €25 million in funding through the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Infrastructure Programme.

Innovation Minister Heather Humphreys yesterday (21 October) announced the investment as part of Future Jobs Ireland that will be distributed among the six infrastructure projects “in areas of strategic priority across a variety of disciplines”.

Mr Michael Gillooly of the Marine Institute is lead on the EirOOS Irish Ocean Observing System, a component of the European Ocean Observing System (EOOS) that aims to further scientific and technical research capacity in key areas such as sea level science, ocean circulation and carbon sequestration, allowing us to better understand the connection between Ireland and the Atlantic.

Announcing the awards, Minister Humphreys said: “The quality of research being undertaken in Ireland today is testament to our world-class research community. This talent combined with the support provided through programmes like this one maintains our reputation as a great place to do business and work.

“The successful projects are at the cutting edge of innovation and are helping us to achieve our goal of preparing now for tomorrow's world.”

The SFI Research Infrastructure Programme aims to ensure Irish researchers have the capacity to apply for international funding opportunities, including Horizon 2020 funding calls.

Additionally, the programme eases inter-institutional sharing of national research infrastructure, especially for institutes of technology, as well as effective collaborations with industry.

Welcoming the investment in EirOOS, new Marine Institute chief executive Dr Paul Connolly said: “Sustainably managing our oceans and understanding the impacts of ocean and climate change, requires increased observations on and within the ocean.

“These observations underpin research and advice to support policy makers in sustainably managing our oceans and also in developing adaptation and mitigation plans for climate change impacts.

“The investment in the EirOOS infrastructures will enable enhanced ocean observation and underpin forecasting and modelling in the marine area.”

Published in Marine Science

The Irish Sea ports of Liverpool and Heysham in addition Sheerness (London Medway) all part of the Peel Ports Group, have received funding to enhance measures they have already taken to improve resilience ahead of the UK’s expected departure from the EU on 31 October.

The funding according to Peel Ports Group was announced last month by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

These funds will go towards creating more space for HGV parking and container storage to support smooth trade operations by RORO (roll-on, roll-off) ferries, especially across the Irish Sea. (Afloat adds, Peel Ports also operate the MTL Terminal in Dublin Port.)

The fund comes as part of a £30m government scheme, announced last month, to bolster ports across England and ensure they continue to operate efficiently post-Brexit.

Mark Whitworth, Chief Executive Officer of Peel Ports, said: “We are doing everything we can to help our customers continue delivering import and export trade throughout our port network. This government funding helps us to put in place additional measures to achieve that. Whatever happens after 31 October we are as ready as we can be to facilitate global commerce that will benefit the UK economy.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Our world-leading maritime ports are fundamental not only to our success as a global trading nation but also to people’s everyday lives, bringing vital goods into the country. This timely investment will support ports across the country in their work to boost capacity and efficiency, ensuring they’re ready for Brexit and a successful future.”

For information on Peel Ports RoRo services click this link.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Tagged under

Sailing and rowing are among the beneficiaries of Sport Ireland’s €3 million investment in women in sport announced yesterday (Thursday 6 September).

Rowing Ireland will receive €100,000 over two years, while Irish Sailing and Canoeing Ireland will get a total of €80,000 for 2019 and 2020.

Irish Surfing also figures in the list with a €20,000 total allocation for this year and next, while the Irish Waterski and Wakeboard Federation receives €10,000.

Funding under the relaunched Women in Sport Programme complements the €265,000 allocated to Local Sports Partnerships earlier this year, brining Sport Ireland’s total investment for 2019 and 2020 to €3,277,000.

The announcement follows the publication of Sport Ireland’s new Policy on Women in Sport earlier this year, which identifies four key target areas: Coaching & Officiating, Active Participation, Leadership & Governance, and Visibility.

Speaking at the launch at the Sport Ireland campus in Blanchardstown, Sport Minister Brendan Griffin said: “One of the key objectives of the Government’s National Sports Policy is to increase the number of women and girls participating in sport and to eliminate the participation gradient between men and women.

“While the gender gradient, at 4.5%, is narrower now than at any point over the past 10 years, it is important that this gradient is eliminated altogether.

“Sport Ireland’s new Women in Sport Policy and the re-launched Women in Sport Programme is essential in this regard. I want to pay a particular tribute to our high-profile sportswomen who continue to inspire and encourage thousands of girls and young women throughout Ireland every day to become involved in sport and to stay involved.”

Lynne Cantwell, chair of the Sport Ireland Women in Sport Steering Group, added: “The funding process has seen national governing bodies embrace projects focused on developing leadership opportunities, and pathways to coaching and officiating.

“This holistic approach will lead to a step-change in the landscape for women’s involvement in sport across the board from grassroots to leadership.”

Published in News Update
Tagged under

Inland Fisheries Ireland has announced a new funding call for 2019 with three funding schemes now open to angling clubs and community groups.

The funding has been made available for fisheries conservation projects and development projects nationwide through the National Strategy for Angling Development (NSAD).

Applications are invited from angling clubs, local development associations, tidy towns and others who may be looking to carry out projects.

The 2019 funding call consists of three schemes.

The NSAD Capital Grants Scheme 2019 (€136,000) is aimed specifically at capital improvement works with grants available to groups and individuals looking to improve angling access and infrastructure in their locality.

The Salmon and Sea Trout Rehabilitation, Conservation and Protection Fund focuses on the protection of both salmon and sea trout. It will fund rehabilitation, protection and conservation projects, all of which must focus on salmon or sea trout. This fund replaces the Salmon Conservation Fund and extends it to include both salmon and sea trout with project values starting from €2,000 for awareness projects. The upper limit of €15,000 has been removed.

The Midlands Fisheries Fund (€50,000) will focus on conservation and rehabilitation projects in the midland fisheries permit area. The fund has been created through contributions from the permit income received via the Midlands Fisheries Group permit area.

Sean Canney, Minister of State with responsibility for the inland fisheries sector, said: “Since the inception of the National Strategy for Angling Development, we have invested €3.4 million in fisheries development, protection and conservation projects across the country.

“Progress is being made in the delivery of projects which support vital fisheries conservation and rehabilitation and which enhance Ireland’s angling offering. The fisheries resource should be enjoyed by all and this funding call today once more will help bring angling to the broader community in a conservation focused manner.”

Suzanne Campion of IFI said it looks forward to working with community groups from application to delivery stage on their projects.

“We are already partnering with over a hundred clubs and associations in the delivery of fisheries projects. The commitment of these groups in making a valuable difference to their locality is inspiring.”

For more information about the 2019 funding call, to download an information booklet and to submit an Expression of Interest, visit www.fisheriesireland.ie/funding.

All applicants must apply through the Expression of Interest, which opens today (Tuesday 16 April), to progress to full application. Full applications may be submitted from Monday 20 May with the closing date for applications on Thursday 20 June.

IFI will be hosting information workshops over the coming weeks for those looking for further information or support with the application process:

  • Dublin — Citywest Hotel — Monday 29 April
  • Cavan — Cavan Crystal Hotel — Tuesday 30 April
  • Donegal — Harvey’s Point — Wednesday 1 May
  • Ballina — The Great National Hotel — Thursday 2 May
  • Galway — Maldron Hotel, Oranmore — Friday 3 May
  • Limerick — Maldron Hotel — Tuesday 7 May
  • Tralee — Ballygarry Hotel — Wednesday 8 May
  • Cork City — Rochestown Park Hotel — Thursday 9 May
  • Kilkenny — Ormonde Hotel — Friday 10 May
Published in Angling

Robotics, Internet of Things and data analytics are set to play a key role in Ireland's blue economy, according to the Marine Institute.

The national funding agency for the marine research industry recently awarded financial investments in two marine technology projects led by Xocean and IDS Monitoring.

Louth-based marine technology firm Xocean has been awarded €199,739 in funding over two years to transform marine monitoring and data collection.

The company uses innovative robotics, particularly unmanned vehicles, and IoT technology to monitor and collect data at sea.

Elsewhere, a new smart data buoy project by Clare-based IDS Monitoring will also benefit from a €196,955 funding grant, to develop a new smart buoy for coastal and inshore environmental monitoring.

The new IDS Buoy will make it easier to assemble, deploy and use buoys, as well as reducing purchase costs and maintenance, whilst enhancing the value of the information delivered through the smart buoy.

Recently announced by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, the industry-led awards support Ireland's Integrated Marine PlanHarnessing Our Ocean Wealth, as well as the national Marine Research and Innovation Strategy 2017-2021.

“Supporting Irish companies in the marine sector, through research grants, helps to accelerate innovation and drive growth in our blue economy,” said Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan.

“The Marine Institute is committed to assisting industry-led development through knowledge transfer, capacity building and research to enable optimal decision making and planning to best leverage our natural marine resources sustainably and efficiently.

“Both advanced technology research projects funded through the Marine Institute have the potential to be globally significant, and present enormous commercial opportunities for these Irish marine enterprises.

“Increased economic growth and job creation from small and medium sized enterprises based in Ireland is a key component of several national strategies and regional development plans.

“These awards will be carried out with the support of the Marine Institute under the Marine Research Programme 2014-2020 funded by the Irish Government, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.”

Published in News Update
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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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