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Displaying items by tag: Drogheda

The Irish Independent covers the excitement among the denizens of Drogheda after a dolphin swimming up the River Boyne paid an unexpected visit to the town.

Reports of a dog in the water yesterday morning (Thursday 22 April) turned out to be wide of the mark when Boyne Fishermen Rescue and Recovery encountered the “medium-sized dolphin” in the River Boyne at the Upper Mell slipway, just east of the town centre and some 7km from the open sea.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group says the marine wildlife is likely to be a bottlenose and called for the public to contact it with any images or reports of further sighings.

While there is no immediate cause for concern, dolphins are saltwater animals and can develop serious kidney and skin problems with prolonged exposure to freshwater environments.

Published in Marine Wildlife

Independent.ie reports that a man has died in an incident while fishing on the River Boyne near Townley Hall, outside Drogheda yesterday afternoon, Saturday 27 June.

It’s understood that a man in his 30s was taken from the river two hours after he was reported in difficulty and later pronounced dead in what is being regarded as “a tragic accident”.

Published in News Update

Drogheda Coast Guard had a prehistoric mystery on their hands earlier this week with what the station is calling “probably the most unusual tasking we ever had or ever will have”.

The coastguard team were tasked on Tuesday (26 February) after an emergency call reporting ‘dinosaur bones’ in the River Boyne close to Drogheda town centre.

And indeed when they arrived the volunteers discovered what appeared to be the skeletal remains of a Tyrannosaurus rex half-submerged in the mud.

But on closer inspection, the bones were revealed to be “a very impressive imitation”.

Drogheda Coast Guard officer in charge Dermot McConnoran told TheJournal.ie that the plaster-cast bones were covered in silt suggesting they’d been in the river for some time.

Further research has turned up images of the same skeleton “in a less river-worn state” from a little over a year ago. It’s not yet known who is responsible for its creation.

Published in Coastguard

Drogheda Port's Captain Martin Donnelly have invited a wonderful new fleet of ships to visit Drogheda for the Irish Maritime Festival 2017 on 10-11th June.

“The visiting ships are the focal point of The Irish Maritime Festival and it is always wonderful to see people of all ages climbing aboard to explore these magnificent vessels. It’s so important that we offer a selection of ships each year to interest and excite our audience and this is our biggest offering of Tall Ships yet.” explains Capt. Donnelly, Harbourmaster of Drogheda Port.

He was speaking this week as he unveiled the line-up of ships visiting Drogheda this year.

“We’re delighted to welcome the Brian Boru, a sail training vessel based in Waterford. Drogheda’s first crew of sail trainees will arrive at the end of their voyage on Friday while the second crew will depart Drogheda on Monday.”

Perhaps the most impressing of all the ships sailing into Drogheda this summer will be the “Shtandart”. Commissioned by Tsar Peter I of Russia in 1703, the modern day “Shtandart” is an exact replica. Built in 1999, this magnificent 128m long vessel carries 10 officers and 30 trainees. The elegant masts will play host to the Peter Pan aerial acrobatic show during the Irish Maritime Festival.

He continued “We’ve an unusual new addition to the festival for 2017. Coming into service in 1965, the motor tug “Brocklebank” served for 23 years as a tug assisting cargo ships, passenger liners and naval vessels to their berths. She really has been a workhorse of the maritime industry. Now, in retirement, she resides at Albert Dock as part of the Liverpool Maritime Museum and we’re delighted that she’s making the journey to Drogheda for the festival.”

Captain Donnelly concluded “Others visiting Drogheda for the festival include “La Malouine”, an elegant Polish brigantine, the Danish schooner “Soteria” and the stunning “Phoenix”. “The Earl of Pembroke” a magnificent three-masted sailing ship will also dock at Drogheda Port and play host to the Stowaway Sessions, two intimate music gigs on Friday and Saturday night.”

Keep your eye out for the beautiful tall sailing ship “Maybe”, which was built in 1929, which will make a short appearance with another crew of sail trainees. This year there is a big focus on sail training at the festival with no less than three vessels carrying trainees. A special gathering and presentation is taking place at 6.00pm on Friday 9th June at Millmount Tower. Anyone interested in future voyages is welcome to attend.

Find out more about each of the ships by visiting www.MaritimeFestival.ie/Ships. The Irish Maritime Festival is hosted by Louth County Council and Drogheda Port Company in association with Virgin Media. Find out more by visiting www.MaritimeFestival.ie and follow on Facebook and Twitter for competitions, news and festival updates.

Published in Tall Ships

#Coastguard - Three people are “extremely lucky to be alive” after their boat upturned on the River Boyne last night (Monday 17 April), as TheJournal.ie reports.

The three casualties rescued east of Mornington, Co Meath were found to be not wearing lifejackets when they were rescued by volunteers from Drogheda Coast Guard.

Clogherhead RNLI also attended the incident, which occurred east of Drogheda Port, after a member of the public raised the alarm around 9.30pm.

“Only for the quick thinking of the caller and the rapid response from all agencies involved were we able to bring this incident to a successful conclusion,” said an Irish Coast Guard statement.

Elsewhere, DublinLive reports on Howth Coast Guard’s rescue of two kayakers stranded at Ireland’s Eye on Saturday afternoon (15 April).

The coastguard volunteers were on exercise when by chance they happened upon the kayaking duo, who had set out with no means to call for help.

Published in Coastguard

Drogheda Port Company welcomed the Irish Cruising Club Rally to Drogheda on the weekend of Saturday 4th June for the first time in 41 years. The club last visited Drogheda in September 1975. The recent promotion and popularity of the river Boyne and the Irish Maritime Festival as key tourist attractions for visiting leisure boats was fundamental in attracting the club back to the Boyneside to have their annual rally.

The club visit consisting of 17 yachts and 60 visitors arrived from all parts of Ireland, north and south and were welcomed into the port on saturday morning on the high tide by the acting port Chairperson Gail McEvoy. The yachts were accommodated on the steampacket quay inside the town port.

Specially designed Drogheda burgees, with the eight pointed star and crescent from the port emblem of 1770, were presented to the captain of each of the visiting yachts as a memento of their visit by acting port chairperson Gail McEvoy, to spread the word to the yachting community that Drogheda is open to leisure tourism.

A welcoming hamper was also put on board each of the visiting yachts with samples of the best of local produce. The port company wishes to acknowledge the generous involvement of Dan Kelly’s Cider, Jack Cody’s Beer, Boyne Valley Foods, East Coast Bakehouse, Clarkes Fresh Fruit and Gerry’s Fresh Food, all playing their part to promote the region through Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives such as this.

The visitors had a full itinerary organised for their stay and enjoyed the historic town with a walking tour arranged through the Old Drogheda Society and finishing with an evening meal in the town centre.

Tom Fitzpatrick Rally Captain thanks Drogheda port for the warm welcome the club received from Drogheda Port and commented on the lovely sail into Drogheda along Boyne which had surpassed everyone’s expectations. He presented a copy of the club burgee and annual from 1975 commemorating the last time the club visited.

Paul Fleming Drogheda Port CEO in welcoming the visitors agreed with the rally Captain that the most attractive way to arriving to Drogheda is on the Boyne on a sunny day, a pleasure few people get to experience, but thankfully this is changing. He also thanked the local food producers who all contributed to extending a local welcome which will be remembered.

The club was founded in 1929 and initially arranged offshore races as well as cruising activities and into the 1960s was organising the Irish Admiral’s Cup teams for their biennial foray to Cowes. Since the 1970s the focus of the club has been to promote cruising under sail and to provide publications and services for members and for the cruising community.

Published in Cruising

#droghedamaritime – The third annual Irish Maritime Festival took over Drogheda last weekend. The flotilla of ships sailed into Drogheda on Friday afternoon and from that moment on the sun shone. The Festival, hosted by Louth County Council and Drogheda Port Company, saw over 40,000 visitors come through the gates and enjoy all the fun.

"The 2015 Irish Maritime Festival was bigger and better than ever before. Our aim is to grow the Festival to become recognised on the national calendar of events and this year moved us ever closer to that aim." explained Mary T. Daly of Louth County Council "Working with Drogheda Port Company, we bring the structure and the organisation but the local community bring the personality, fun and action. It was just brilliant to see so many community groups involved in making the Festival such a success."

Speaking about the action on, in and above the water Chair of Drogheda Port Company Denis Moynihan continued "The Festival featured a number of epic battles including the Boyne Swim, The Boyne Boat Race, Howth-Drogheda Yacht Race, the Battle Over The Boyne Tug of War and The East Coast Chowder Championship. We were delighted to welcome athletes and vessels from all over the country to compete here at the Festival. The victories were hard won and well done to one and all."

All weekend the kids laughed, the pirates battled, the chefs cooked and the huge ferris wheel spun.

Karen Healy, event organiser continued "There was a wonderful atmosphere all weekend. We loved seeing so many visitors from near and far enjoying all that Drogheda has to offer. The music stages were a huge hit with bands, singers and dancers from all over the North East creating a soundtrack for the Festival. The beautiful ships were the focal point and, as always, the pirates brought action and adventure to the water."

The Irish Maritime Festival, in association with Maxol, is a massive undertaking but the outcome of all the plans was a fun, lively festival that was enjoyed by so many. "The support of sponsors, both local and national, is of vital importance in helping us grow The Irish Maritime Festival. We are so grateful to sponsors, media and event partners who helped us to deliver this huge event. And of course, the event wouldn't exist without the support of the public who make all the months of planning and hard work so worthwhile. Roll on The Irish Maritime Festival 2016 ..." concluded Louth County Council's Mary T. Daly.

Arrival_of_the_Morgenster.jpg

Arrival of the Morgenster

Arrival_of_the_RNLI.jpg

Arrival of the RNLI

Boats_on_the_Boyne.jpg

Boats on the Boyne

Duetting_Pirates.jpg

Dueting Pirates

Iron_Man_in_Action.jpg

Iron Man in Action

Piper_leads_Sailors_to_Maritime_Blessing_in_St._Peters.jpg

Piper leads Sailors to Maritime Blessing in St. Peters

Wakeboarders_-_A_Pair_in_Action.jpg

Wakeboarders

Published in Maritime Festivals

#tallships – The countdown to The Irish Maritime Festival is well and truly on. The ships have set sail from their respective home ports and are fast approaching Drogheda for the Festival from 19-21st June.
In association with Maxol, The Irish Maritime Festival is one of the largest festivals in the North East and attracts visitors from Dublin, Belfast and all across the country. Situated in the historic port of Drogheda, the event is staged by Louth County Council and Drogheda Port Company.
The ships will arrive in a parade of sail up the River Boyne on Friday 19th June beginning at 1.30pm and everyone is welcome to be there. "It is such a wonderful sight to see these magnificent vessels sailing up the river. We invite and encourage everyone to be there. The parade of sail and opening event on Friday is free to attend and children and families are particularly welcome." explained Festival Organiser Mary T. Daly of Louth County Council
This family friendly festival features a huge range of off and on shore activities. The off-shore schedule includes over 250 swimmers competing in the challenging Boyne Swim, a 2.7km long swim finishing in front of cheering audiences. Check out the fleet of vintage lifeboats courtesy of the RNLI and learn about their adventures at sea. Board the beautiful classic ships or marvel at the 100ft long Class A Tall Ship "The Morgenster", so tall that it won't even fit under Drogheda's iconic viaduct. Watch out for the Boyne Regatta and the Howth to Drogheda yacht race.
Seasonal favourites such as the Pirate Battles and Extreme Sports displays will also return to the River Boyne as part of the 2015 Irish Maritime Festival.
Another new challenge this year is the heroic "Battle Across the Boyne" Tug of War taking place on Sunday at noon at the DeLacy Bridge. Teams from the near side and the far side will compete for glory.
On-shore there is lots to do and see. "The Irish Maritime Festival truly allows the local community here in Drogheda and the Boyne Valley to shine" Mary T. Daly continued. "The Festival is made up of so many brilliant community groups and businesses who bring so much to the Festival and are helping to grow it into a truly national event. There will be sand castle competitions, adults and kids cookery demos, maritime themed walking tours, artisan food producers, skills displays by the Scouts and much more. Two live music stages will be going all weekend with singer songwriters and bands from all over the North East. Chill out in the pop up cinema and catch up on some maritime themed family movies. Visit the aquarium. Meet the whale and dolphin experts and see their life sized models. Take part in the art competition in the Art and Photography zone. Compete for the chance to be crowned the East Coast Chowder Champion. And there's more, much more to see and do."

Iron_Man.jpg

See the Iron Man in Drogheda

Car lovers won't want to miss the 5th Annual Drogheda Motor Show also taking place at The Irish Maritime Festival. Shiny new cars with beautiful interiors and great sales promotions are the order of the day at the Motor Show. Watch out for the "Design a Car" challenge. This competition is a collaboration between local primary schools, local motor dealers and the team at Drogheda Men's Sheds and the results promise to be some pretty innovative car designs.
It's not too late to volunteer to be part of the Festival. Mary continued "We are expecting 40,000+ visitors to the Festival over the weekend so we are delighted to have such a brilliant team of volunteers on board. Become part of the Festival Volunteer team by visiting www.maritimefestival.ie/volunteer, complete your details and one of the volunteer co-ordinators will be in touch."
Tickets for all this family fun are surprisingly affordable at just €5.00 for 1 adult and up to 2 children or €10 for a family ticket of 2 adults and up to 4 children. Tickets are available at the gate or avail of a 20% saving when you book online at www.MaritimeFestival.ie.
"The long range weather forecast is good and the ships are on their way. We've lots of fun, family friendly activities planned for everyone and we can't wait to welcome you all. Ahoy there – see you at the Irish Maritime Festival!" concluded Mary T. Daly.

Published in Tall Ships
Tagged under

#TallshipsDrogheda - The Irish Maritime Festival in Drogheda which has drawn thousands of visitors to Boyneside received a major boost with the official announcement that Maxol, has come on board as the festival's main sponsor.

Last year over 37,500 people of all ages visited the festival which offered many attractions along Drogheda Port, including vintage vessels, the Drogheda Motor Show, artisan food market, maritime history, live entertainment, pirate battles and the Boyne Swim.

Expectations are high that this year's festival, which takes place in Drogheda from Friday-Sunday, June 19-21, will surpass that attendance figure with full programme details to be announced later this month.

Involved since its establishment, Louth County Council, is now a main funder and programme manager of the Festival which is hosted in conjunction with Drogheda Port. Both the Council and Port warmly welcomed Maxol's major commitment to The Irish Maritime Festival.

Denis Moynihan, Chairman of the port, said "On behalf of Drogheda Port Company, I welcome the Maxol Group to the growing Irish Maritime Festival family. In playing a vital role in this annual festival, Drogheda Port welcomes the renewed focus on the town's unique maritime culture and heritage.

He added, "the Festival is a considerable co-operative undertaking each year and we look forward to what will be the biggest and best festival yet."

Published in Tall Ships

#Fishing - Drogheda is hosting the 30th annual meeting of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO) this week till Friday 7 June.

The prestigious fisheries conference will take place in the Westcourt Hotel and will be attended by delegates from Canada, Denmark (in respect of the Faroe Islands and Greenland), the European Union (representing its 27 member states), Norway, Russia and the USA.

Welcoming the conference to Drogheda on Tuesday 4 June, Minister Fergus O’Dowd said it "will continue the key work of NASCO, using the best scientific information, and international co-operation to conserve and manage Atlantic salmon populations.

"I wish the many delegates a friendly and intellectually stimulating stay in Drogheda where the meeting programme will no doubt provide insights and an outstanding platform for dynamic networking to ensure the continued conservation of our precious salmon stocks."

Based in Edinburgh, NASCO is an international organisation established by an intergovernmental convention in 1984. Its main function is to conserve, restore, enhance and rationally manage Atlantic salmon through international cooperation taking account of the best available scientific information.

NASCO is the only intergovernmental organisation with this mandate, which it implements through international consultation, negotiation and co-operation.

Ireland is at the forefront of salmon conservation internationally, according to Inland Fisheries Ireland, which adds that Irish participants at the conference include a Government delegation of managers and scientists and representatives of a number of Irish-based NGOs, including Salmon Watch Ireland.

The cross-border Loughs Agency, which has responsibility for salmon conservation and protection Foyle and Carlingford Loughs, will also be represented as part of the Irish delegation.

Published in Fishing
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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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