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Displaying items by tag: Inishowen

A golf links which hosted the the Irish Open in 2018 is one of a number of amenities on the Inishowen Peninsula that faces threat from coastal erosion.

As RTÉ News reports, local communities fear that it may only take a few more storms before the likes of the popular Ballyliffin course suffer the same fate as an adjacent 3km walkway on Pollan Strand — which was lost after up to 50 metres of beach were eroded.

A local authority report commissioned four years ago on five site of concern recommended ongoing monitoring of the situation and “no active intervention”.

But local campaigners fear that without concrete action, they could lose valuable assets of their coastal communities forever.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
Tagged under

Independent.ie reports that a man has died following what appears to be a diving-related incident off the coast of Inishowen in Donegal on Sunday afternoon (12 May).

The man in his 30s was rushed to Letterkenny by the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 but it was later confirmed he died in hospital.

Published in Diving
Tagged under

#Marinas - Minister of State Joe McHugh will officially open the new €1.3 million Bunagee Marine Development on the Inishowen Peninsula tomorrow afternoon (Friday 9 June).

The new safe haven for coastal cruisers, including a breakwater and pontoons to accommodate 15 vessels, was developed by Donegal County Council as part of the major cross-border project Sail West.

It also forms part of a county-wide strategy to grow Donegal’s necklace of coastal tourism infrastructure and promote the county as a top marine destination in Europe, under the MalinWaters brand shared with Sligo, Northern Ireland’s maritime counties and Western Scotland.

Ahead of the marina's official opening, Donegal County Council Cathaoirleach Terence Slowey said: “We have a wonderful marine tourism product here in Donegal and the new Bunagee Marine Development is a great addition to our existing infrastructure.

“Situated close to the beautiful village of Culdaff, Bunagee is an ideal base that will give visitors the opportunity to explore the Inishowen Peninsula and the county.”

Minister McHugh will attend the official opening at Culdaff on Friday 9 June at 2.30pm.

The project was funded by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Cross-border Programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. It was constructed by Deane Public Works, and Doran Consulting was awarded the contract as the consultant engineers.

Published in Irish Marinas

#SeaSwim - Charity worker Heather Clatworthy has become only the second swimmer to cross the Atlantic between the Inishowen Peninsula and Portstewart on the North Coast – and the first in nearly 90 years, according to the Irish Examiner.

The 34-year-old, who lives in Warwick with her family but grew up in Portstewart, crossed the expanse of open sea on Wednesday 27 July in around half the time expected, reaching the shore a little over four hours after setting out from Stroove beach in Moville.

“Two hours in I just didn’t think I was going to do it,” she said after powering through illness and choppy waters to complete her amazing feat, last achieved by famous English Channel swimmer Mercedes Gleitze in 1929.

The Belfast Telegraph has video of Clatworthy as she set out on her remarkable challenge:



In other sea swimming news, Galway long distance swimmer Alice Flood celebrated her swim across the English Channel earlier this week.

As the Galway Independent reports, the Bushy Park native made the gruelling crossing in just under 14 hours and joins an elite group of swimmers who've completed the England-to-France challenge.

Published in Sea Swim

#MarineWildlife - A group of sea anglers off Donegal's Inishowen Peninsula got more than most would bargain for last week when they landed a shark – with video to prove it.

But far from fearful at the prospect, Graham Smith and friends told the Irish Examiner that they actively seek out such fishy predators as the tope shark, a few of which they caught while out kayaking in recent days.

"They normally range from 20lb to 45lb," he said of the small fighters, "but there are bigger ones around later in the year."

It's all in good sport, however, as the vulnerable species – also known as the school shark or snapper shark – were returned to the water "to terrorise the small fish of Inishowen."

Published in Marine Wildlife

#visitderry – Sail Ireland's North West and discover Donegal's rugged coastline and the River Foyle to the walled city of Derry~Londonderry, named by 'Lonely Planet' as one of the Top 10 Cities to visit in the World!

Follow the seaways from Scotland, England and Wales and, with good planning, the tidal streams will make light work of the passage across the North Channel and westward to the Foyle. Lying in wait is the fantastic coastline of Inishowen, with vistas of towering stacks, cliffs, beaches and a repertoire of heritage!

Sailing along the top of Ireland, take advantage of the sheltered delights of Lough Foyle and, at its mouth, the quaint village of Greencastle, the second-biggest fishing port in Donegal.

The harbour accommodates a wide range of yachts and a new permanent pontoon is planned for 2015. Trawlers from here ply as far as Rockall and the local mussel and oyster harvests supply restaurants across the region. Greencastle itself is home to a superb seafood eatery and its traditional Irish pubs are perfect places to relax and enjoy the 'craic' in this friendly village.

Visitors can also avail of a stunning shoreside walk and check out the Inishowen Maritime Museum – housed in the Coastguard buildings overlooking the harbour. Lough Foyle is shallow but a well-marked shipping channel runs all the way from Greencastle to Derry~ Londonderry's Foyle Marina, where two pontoons can berth up to 120 boats.

Named by acclaimed travel publication 'Lonely Planet' as a Top 10 City in the World, Derry is renowned as one of the finest walled cities in Europe and the defences celebrated their 400th anniversary in 2013 during Derry's iconic year as the inaugural UK City of Culture.

Take a trip back in time strolling along the famous 17th Century walls, and view one of the largest collections of original cannon in Europe, dating back to the days of the Siege. Or why not call in to one of the many museums and immerse yourself in the city's quirky history?

A hard day shopping and sightseeing is guaranteed to work up an appetite and whether you're looking for contemporary cuisine, a fine dining experience or somewhere to re-fuel the kids, you'll find it all here.

So where to next? Derry is home to a thriving music scene and the city is packed with lively bars, stylish clubs and traditional pubs.

Join the locals in an Irish trad 'seisiun' or catch a gig at one of Derry's cutting-edge music venues. Or why not check out one of the city's many events? Visit Derry recommends the City of Derry Jazz from April 30 to May 1 (cityofderryjazzfestival.com), and Flavours of the Foyle Seafood Festival (25-26 July).

Just minutes from Derry lies the stunning landscape of Donegal. Take a drive around its rugged coastline and marvel at endless beaches, medieval castles and natural wildlife. Challenge yourself and try your hand at angling, cycling, hiking or surfing. And let's not forget some of Ireland's finest links courses!

To the east of the city you will find the stunning natural hinterland of the North Antrim Coast. Explore the Giant's Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and take an 'Indiana Jones' style walk across the famous Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge, which is suspended over 100ft between two rugged cliffs – an experience that is definitely not for the faint hearted!

To finish your day, call into Bushmills Distillery for a drop of Northern Ireland's most famous exports, Bushmills whiskey.

On the doorstep of such stunning scenery, Derry~ Londonderry has to be one of Europe's greatest city experiences. With berthing fees from just £15 per night there really is no better time to visit. Make your next sail the North West of Ireland – it'll be 'LegenDerry'!

'The North West is among the most beautiful cruising grounds in the world'

During the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, the Derry~Londonderry stop–over was the best; not just from my slightly biased point of view, but also one shared by most of the crew on the other boats. The reception after the scenic trip up the Foyle into such a vibrant and friendly city is what made it so special.  The facilities in the new Foyle Marina and also nearby in Greencastle, Co Donegal are fantastic. It's great to see the development going into the port as it and the surrounding areas in the North West of Ireland are among the most beautiful cruising grounds in the world... especially when the sun shines!

Derry~Londonderry skipper Sean McCarter

DATE FOR YOUR DIARY!

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and Maritime Festival returns to the city – in Summer 2016!

Now firmly established as the No 1 stop–over destination on the Clipper Race circuit, Derry will host a week-long Maritime Festival to celebrate the arrival of this iconic race. Foyle Marina will transform into a summer promenade, complete with race village, marine marquees, award winning continental market and host of sea-faring activities on and off shore. At the centre of the festival will be the welcome of the 12-strong fleet of Clipper yachts, including Derry~Londonderry-Doire yacht. In 2014, the city welcomed more than 120 visiting yachts during the festival – make sure you are part of the celebrations next year!

Book your berth now!

Contact FOYLE Port
+44 (0) 28 7186 0555

www.foyleport.com 

www.visitderry.com

 

Published in Cruising

#MarineWildlife - Lough Foyle area environmental group Celebrate Water is organising a family afternoon to highlight the wealth of marine wildlife off the Inishowen Peninsula this Saturday 6 September.

As the Derry Journal reports, the day will see Greencastle's coastguard station in Co Donegal open to the public with an special exhibition on the area's whales and dolphins, followed by a talk by local wildlife expert Emmett Johnston on how to spot cetacean species and identify them for the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group.

These events and more on the day follow Celebrate Water's live strandings training course last month, organised in the way of some controversy over the issue of what to do in the event of mass strandings of cetaceans on Irish shores.

The Derry Journal has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Inishowen - The Irish Times reports that a fisherman has died after his fishing vessel is thought to have sunk off Inishowen Head in Co Donegal this morning.

The alarm was raised by a local fisherman who spotted debris in the water, and the body of the mid-50s man was recovered by another boat some minutes later.

A subsequent coastguard search established that the man had been fishing alone in his 20ft vessel.

Published in News Update
Tagged under

#MarineWildlife - Seven dolphins and two beaked whales have stranded on beaches in the northwest in events described as "unusual" by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).

On the Mullet Peninsula, a group of seven common dolphins - comprising five adults and two juveniles - live stranded at Tarmon Beach on Sunday 12 May.

Though initial attempts to refloat them were successful, one of the juveniles was later found dead and the other was euthanised due to poor health.

Meanwhile in Donegal, the fresh carcass of a female True's or Sowerby's beaked whale was found on Sunday evening on Five Fingers Stand at Inishowen - some days after a reported live stranding of a Sowerby's beaked whale on the Welsh coast.

The Inishowen stranding was followed yesterday 14 May by the discovery of a dead beaked whale calf at Trawbreaga Bay, in what is believed to be a connected stranding.

Samples of the adult female were taken in order to confirm the species, either of which would mark a rare cetacean record for Ireland - the first since 2009.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#CoastalNotes - Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Michael Ring today (23 April) unveiled the final route for the Wild Atlantic Way, a new coastal tourism route running from Donegal to Cork.

The minister joined Fáilte Ireland to present the final route to 300 top overseas tour operators attending Meitheal 2013, Ireland’s largest tourism trade fair.

The Wild Atlantic Way will be Ireland’s first long-distance driving route, stretching from the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal to Kinsale in Co Cork, and offering future visitors an opportunity to discover the west coast.

The 2,500km final route was unveiled following a comprehensive public consultation process and includes 156 strategically placed discovery points for tourists along the way. 

While the route unveiled today comprises the main spine of the Wild Atlantic Way, a series of looped itineraries off the spine are also planned to further develop the experience for visitors.

Speaking today, Minister Ring said: “The Wild Atlantic Way is a very exciting project and I’m certain it will be a major tourism attraction. But to make it happen we all need to get on board.

"There has been a great response so far and I’m encouraging tourism operators, local authorities, business people and residents to stay involved to get this over the finishing line."

Overseas tour operators were given an advance ‘sneak-peek’ of the route last night at a Fáilte Ireland welcome event in the Convention Centre Dublin when they were treated to the premiere of the video trailer above to show them just what their clients can expect along the route from next year on.

Paddy Mathews, manager of destination development with Fáilte Ireland, believes the project will be a great addition to what Ireland has to offer visitors.

“Developing a route like this is an important part of ensuring Ireland is able to provide visitors with an unforgettable experience," he said. "It will open up a huge number of towns and attractions to them and showcase the scenery and unique culture of the West Coast of Ireland providing easy access to a range of experiences along the route.

“Now that the route has been finalised we will be focusing our efforts on turning all this preparatory work into a reality – an international driving route to rival the best in the world.”

Fáilte Ireland has been working with all the local authorities along the West Coast as well as the leader companies, Údaras na Gaeltachta and the Western Development Commission.

Full details of the Wild Atlantic Way are available on the Fáilte Ireland website HERE.

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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