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Displaying items by tag: Dalkey Island

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council is currently carrying out a visitor survey for Dalkey Island to assist in the long-term management and protection of a key historical and ecological site in Dublin Bay.

Dalkey Island, which is owned by the council, is a part of the Dublin Bay Biosphere, and is home to a significant colony roseate terns, not to mention seals, rabbits and wild goats.

The island has also been an important site of pilgrimage for many centuries, and was previously knows as St Begnet’s Isle.

The online survey aims to quantify the number of visitors and the quality of their experience. It will only take a few minutes to complete, and is available HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay

Thefts of outboard motors and break-ins to boats on moorings were prevalent a couple of years ago. My own boat suffered nearly €6,000 of damage and theft when it was broken into on the mooring at Crosshaven in Cork Harbour during that spate of robberies. An alert, dedicated Garda detective in Cobh on the other side of Cork Harbour recovered some of the items when he located the culprits.

"This week three outboard motors were recovered in Kinsale"

This week three outboard motors were recovered in Kinsale thanks to a member of the public who spotted two men acting suspiciously near the water’s edge at Scilly. They fled, leaving behind a dinghy with three outboard engines in it. Gardai, called to the scene, discovered that attempts had been made to remove engines from two other boats in the harbour area.

"Garda advice is to lock-up your equipment"

That has led to a timely reminder from Gardai who observed that the boating season seems to be starting earlier ever year, urging owners to protect their equipment. Some owners told me after my boat was broken into, that they leave their hatches unlocked on moorings to avoid any break-in damage, but I wonder what about equipment aboard cruisers? The Garda advice is to lock-up and mark your electronic and other equipment. Use your Eircode or some other marking that cannot be removed and take a photograph of the equipment and its marking.

Good advice….and that was one of three stories which stand out for me this week ….. The name change forced on the organisation which has done great work in water safety is another and then there is the battle on Dalkey Island off South County Dublin.

Forcing a Change at Irish Water

John Leech, a well-known and experienced race officer and sailor, who is also Commodore of Lough Derg Yacht Club, is Chief Executive of Irish Water Safety and very devoted to the protection of life in the water…. He told me this week that his organisation is changing its name and that is all because of Irish Water.

Water safety IrelandWater Safety Ireland's new logo

“Since ‘Irish Water’ was established in 2013, it has caused Irish Water Safety considerable difficulty. Some members of the public get confused and believe we are “Irish Water. We can take up to 15 or 20 phone calls a day from angry and frustrated members of the public who have water supply problems. As a result of this confusion, we requested to our partner Department, Rural and Community Affairs that our name be changed to ‘Water Safety Ireland’.”

• Listen to John Leech on the Podcast below as he explains this.

The Battle on Dalkey Island

So, onto Dalkey Island where BirdWatch Ireland and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, are currently baiting rats under the EU-funded Roseate Tern LIFE Programme to protect seabirds. It’s not the only island on the East Coast which has a problem with rats and funding to remove them hasn’t been easily made available.

Dalkey Island and Sorrento Terrace viewed from Dalkey HillDalkey Island viewed from Killiney Hill Photo: Wikipedia

“If we can keep this island and its satellites rat-free, then other burrow-nesting and crevice-nesting species could potentially settle there,” Dr. Stephen Newton, Senior Seabird Conservation Officer at BirdWatch Ireland, told me on my radio programme, THIS ISLAND NATION and added:” Who knows, we might even one day have Puffins nesting on Dalkey Island?” Non-toxic bait and ‘flavoured treats’ in combination with trail cameras will also be used to ascertain whether the rates have been got rid of.

• The Podcast below has more details of the brown rat menace to inshore islands on the East Coast.

Published in Tom MacSweeney

#MarineNotice - Mariners are advised that a Port Lateral Mark has been deployed marking Leac Buidhe Rock, north of Dalkey Island.

The buoy has the following light characteristic Fl(4)R.6s, and will be seasonally deployed from April to October. It can be found at position 53°16.650’N 006°05.100’W. understands that the mark placement has been made at the suggestion of Dublin Bay Sailing Club, after a number of incidents in which boats have been damaged by contact with Leac Buidhe Rock.

In 2015, Winter DBSC Turkey Shoot organiser Fintan Cairns issued a warning to competitors to look out for the rock that had caused problems for competitors. See the warning to competitors and a  photo of Leac Buidhe here.

While welcoming the new buoy, Cairns also says 'unfortunately it will only be marked for summer months so we will have to be careful during winter'.


Published in Dublin Bay

#Rescue - Two divers were rescued yesterday afternoon (Sunday 20 August) after they failed to surface during a dive off Dalkey Island.

The dive boat cox alerted the Irish Coast Guard by marine VHF and began a search patter procedure as Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard’s four search units, Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat and the coastguard helicopter Rescue 116 were all tasked to the scene.

The lifeboat and helicopter backed up the dive boat and coastguard search of the coast from Coliemore Harbour to Killiney Beach, a distance of some 15km.

Within minutes, coastguard members searching off Whiterock spotted the divers being pushed towards the coast with the tide and wind as weather conditions worsened.

All vessels were alerted, and the dive boat recovered the two divers, who were said to be in good spirits despite their ordeal.

In a second callout yesterday, Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard volunteers were tasked to assist a 17ft boat with engine failure being towed to Dun Laoghaire Harbour by lifeboat. All aboard were reported in good condition.

Published in Rescue

#DalkeyIslandSlipOpens – Dalkey Island's newly constructed slipway harbour was officially opened today by An Cathaoirleach of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Cllr Carrie Smyth, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Speaking at the launch at Coliemore Harbour, An Cathaoirleach said: "I am delighted to be able to officially open the new slipway on Dalkey Island in what are my last few days as Cathaoirleach. Dalkey Island is a truly beautiful and important part of our county and I congratulate all of those who contributed to this project."

As previously reported on, the works of the slipway landing stage were carried out by Richard Nolan Civic Engineering and took almost a month to complete.

The upgrade which cost €350,000 was part of a PART 8 Programme which was implemented following a study undertaken in January 2010 that identified that the existing slipway on the island had fallen into a state of disrepair, restricting access at low tides.

According to Declan Nolan of the contractors, some of the work days involved extended 18 hours due to access delays caused by the vagaries of the sea.

During the main construction stage, this necessitated use of a self-propelled pontoon barge, the Kesmit that transported heavy plant machinery weighing more than 20 tonnes and building supplies that were loaded at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The new slipway is stepped at various heights for the tidal range and is overall higher than that of the previous structure. A widened channel and dredging has created easier and safer access for boats to berth.

Most importantly, the public can once again safely visit Dalkey Island which is designated as one of 16 parks within Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

Dalkey Island's strategic location between Dublin and Co. Wicklow provides an experience that is a unique place with significant seascapes of both Dublin and Killiney bays. In addition the 20-acre island's importance is varied in terms of ecological, archaeological, architectural and cultural heritage.

As for tourism potential, a new combined visitor ticket to the Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre and passage to the island by a licensed commercial ferryboat will be made available for the first time.

There has not been a ferryboat service for three years, though the reinstatement of such service is expected to return within the next fortnight.The delay is due to the final stages of the new slipway where safety features to improve boarding and disembarkation is currently underway.

Equally similar works at Coliemore Harbour are also in progress to address and improve safer and easier access for boarding and disembarkation.

It is understood that Tim Carey, Heritage Officer of the DLRCoCo who launched the Dalkey Islands Conservation Plan: 2014-2024 along with Cllr Carrie Smyth earlier this week, has already granted a permit for the ferryboat which too has been certified with a license from the Department of Transport.

Only when such safety feature works are completed on both the island and the mainland that the commercial ferryboat service will resume. The boat is licensed to take five passengers on each of the 4-minute hop crossings to the island.


Published in Island News

A popular south Dublin boating spot is set to be back on the Dublin Bay boating map again this Summer thanks to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County council  (DLRCoCo) plans to install a new landing jetty on Dalkey Island.

The proposal to upgrade the island's slipway and pier will allow boats to bring people to the island for the first time in almost two years.

There is still access to the island but possible only by small tender to a rough jetty. Most  boating visitors merely anchor off and enjoy the island's quiet anchorage, wildlife and the magnificent views of the surrounding Dublin and Killiney bays.

The works will involve the slipway being slabbed to make for safer surface. Steps will also be provided to enable easier movement from the slip to the pier deck; the construction of which is currently very poor. Access steps on the island will also be widened and previously placed mooring rings and handrails, which have corroded, are to be replaced.
The positioning of a handrail along the northern side of the slip, pier and steps, will also make it easier and safer for people to go about their business, as will a galvanised ladder and a steel pole at the seawards end of the slipway which will act as a navigation aid, DLRCoCo say.

The island is only a short sail of less than 30 minutes from nearby Dun Laoghaire Harbour and its town marina. Over 1,000 pleasure craft berthed there could visit the heritage site if facilties were improved.

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has decided that the pier should be completely replaced with a new raised concrete structure, new steps constructed and handrails added.

Published in Island News
Tagged under

#MissingSwimmerRTÉ News is reporting that a swimmer taken from the water after going missing off Dalkey Island in Dublin Bay this morning (Sunday 7 April) has died.

Earlier this evening The Irish Times reported that the 35-year-old man was in a critical condition in Tallaght Hospital after being recovered from the water off Sorrento Terrace.

Lifeboat volunteers with Dun Laoghaire RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard's Dublin-based helicopter Rescue 116 were involved in the search which began around 11am today after the swimmer failed to return to shore.

Published in News Update

#dbsc – Dublin Bay sailors Paul Keane and Hugh Sheehy have announced plans for a unique sailing event in Ireland this coming sailing season.

The Island Trial, an open sailing time trial on a fixed course in Dublin Bay was first announced on Sunday 23rd March to the local dinghy sailors who had gathered to collect prizes and wind up the 42nd Dun Laoghaire frostbite season.

The 11km fixed course utilises famous local landmarks and Dublin Bay racing marks which are laid on the bay from Mid April to October each year.

What makes the event truly unique is that to enter sailors must provide a GPX tracking file which verifies the course sailed and the start and finish times. This means the course is open every day (and night) and sailors can decide when they would like to have a go.

At the moment there are two prizes up for grabs. First is the Bragging Rights Cup for the outright record which is being eyed up by the local moth and skiff fleet, although some big boats may have a chance too.

Then there's the Handy Sailor Silver Salver - the trophy for the winner on corrected time - which highlights the skill of the crew, no matter what their boat. Other prizes such as a junior trophy will be added as the event progresses.

The event has piqued the curiosity of many and several sailors visiting Dun Laoghaire for the biennial 4 day regatta in July will have a go at the trial. All boat types are welcome, from foiling moths to MOD-70s.

Published in DBSC
Tagged under

#Currachs&Tallships – Three events are scheduled to take by place in Dublin Bay over the June Bank Holiday, writes Jehan Ashmore

As previously reported on, Coliemore Harbour in Dalkey is where a pair of racing currachs for the Begnet's Boat Project are to be launched on Saturday (1 June) and rowed if not raced! across the sound to Dalkey Island.

The currachs are to be constructed locally with the support of the community which is to foster and strengthen creative, spiritual and maritime links between the town (the former medieval port for Dublin) and Dalkey Island.

In addition the community are invited to take part in accompanying projects, one in which includes a 'St. Begnet's Cookbook' which features seafaring recipes by Elaine Flood which are to be put to good use in feeding the boat-building team during the month-long currach construction.

Currently there is a fundraiser campaign with a reward scheme, noting a countdown of only three days remain before closing date. To learn more about this project and to help in funding, click HERE.

The Old Gaffers Association (OGA) which as previously reported on are to celebrate their Golden Jubilee, where also on Saturday (1 June) larger craft are to participate for the RMS Leinster Trophy from Dun Laoghaire Harbour and surrounding islands and buoys to Poolbeg Y & BC Ringsend.

On Sunday (2 June), the Howth 17's are also to join in the action on the Liffey with a 'race between the bridges' having set off from Poolbeg, where most of the Dublin OGA branch members are based.

On the following Monday, (3 June) is the race for the new OGA Asgard Trophy. The trophy is made from a variety of spare timbers saved by John Kearon, conservator of Erskine Childers' Asgard.

All being well, the gathering of the OGA's one design class of classically gaff-rigged boats should present a glorious sight in Dublin Bay, with fellow Old gaffers fleets joining in from the Isle of Man, Scotland and England as part of the Golden Jubilee's clockwise cruise circuit of the UK.

The third event is the arrival of six tallships from Belfast which are to descend in the capital port on Friday (31 May). They will remain in port over the four-day long inaugural Dublin Port River Festival, an initiative of Sail Training Ireland.

This can only add to a sea of masts, albeit not like last year's Tall Ships Festival, yet however is still something to look forward... during those early days of June.


Published in Dublin Bay Old Gaffers

#Begnet'sBoats – A community-led project to build a pair of currachs in Dalkey, Co. Dublin is gaining momentum as locals participate in a goal to launch the boats from Coliemore Habour on 1 June, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Begnet's Boats Project is the vision of local resident Liz Murray who was inspired to bring the community together in a creative approach and to reflect the rich maritime heritage of Dalkey and local saint of St. Begnet. There are two churches in her name, one located in the town and the other on the small island lying some 300m offshore.

Murray has assigned a team to construct the pair of 'racing' currachs and they are to be led by boat-builder Mark Reddon. In addition the community are invited to take part in accompanying projects, one in which includes a 'St. Begnet's Cookbook' which features seafaring recipes by Elaine Flood.

The highlight of the venture will be a parade of the boats which are to be carried upside down, as is the traditional manner, from Castle Street, the town's main street to the coast at Coliemore Harbour.

From there the currachs, to be named 'Naomh Beagnait 1 & 2' will ceremoniously be rowed if not raced! across Dalkey Sound to the island, where the first reference to St. Begnet on the island dates to 700 A.D.

Information in how to get involved including a reward scheme and fundraiser countdown campaign can be viewed by visiting:

It would seem that the only way to get to Dalkey Island these days is by privately-owned craft and as previously reported on, Coliemore Harbour has not had access to a ferry boat service in recent years. The harbour has been the traditional embarkation point for generations.

Currently engineering consultants are carrying out a structural survey and report due to be completed around May. The consultants were contracted by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council who had deemed the harbour unsafe and not suitable for use by a commercial ferry operator.

The delay in restoring a licensed ferry service has led to a campaign by locals, businesses and community groups who have feared that an alternative longer term ferry service would operate instead from either Bulloch or Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Published in Coastal Notes
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Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.


The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

©Afloat 2020

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