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Displaying items by tag: River Lee

Plans for a new light rail bridge across the River Lee in Cork city centre have sparked concerns that the project would prevent any passage of vessels and “sterilise the city forever for future generations”.

The Echo reported last week on the multi-billion-euro transport plan for Cork that includes a light rail system similar to the Luas in Dublin, with a 25-stop route that could cross the city via a new bridge at Kent Station to the South Docklands.

This is the proposal that has raised the ire of Michael McCarthy, chairman of cruising industry network Cruise Europe, who fears the bridge would cut off the city from its maritime heritage.

McCarthy cites the pontoon by the coffee pods on Lapps Quay — “nothing but a few small rowing boats” — as an example of what could happen to the city without free access for vessels of all sizes.

And he argues that some councillors and officials who will be responsible for considering these plans have “no feel or empathy for the maritime or the marine”.

“The river made Cork City what it is today and now they are intent on sterilising it for ever when there is a very viable alternative,” he adds — suggesting that the light rail system could instead follow the old Cork-Blackrock-Passage-Crosshaven line using the existing bridges from Kent Station to City Hall.

Cork City councillors were briefed last week by the National Transport Authority on the plans, which form part of the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS).

Next month a specialist team will be commissioned to analyse all route options for the scheme, which is expected to cost €1 billion in total. The Echo has more on the story HERE.

Published in Cork Harbour
Tagged under

#ferries - Owners of the River Lee car ferry service in Cork harbour, the Irish Examiner reports, have told Cork County Council they don't believe it's economically viable to put on a second ferry at peak evening times.

Doyle Shipping Group (also operators of Cross River Ferries) contacted Paraic Lynch, municipal officer for the Cobh/Glanmire Municipal District Council, to tell him the news after a number of councillors petitioned the company to beef up their service from Glenbrook, on the Passage West side to Carrigaloe, on the Cobh side.

Councillors living in the Cobh area are particularly concerned about the length of time it is taking people to get across the harbour from the Glenbrook side during the evening rush-hour period.

Mr Lynch told the councillors that Doyle Shipping had contacted him to say they didn't see it as viable to operate two ferries at that time. However, he added that the company says it will continue to monitor the situation, especially when major work gets underway on the €100m upgrade of the Jack Lynch Tunnel/Dunkettle interchange later this year.

Councillors are particularly concerned about that as they believe it will drive more motorists to use the cross-river ferry to avoid delays at the northern side of the tunnel as the upgrade works get underway.

For further comments by councillors following the decision announced by the shipping group click here.

Published in Ferry

Dear Editor,

I moved to Inchigeelagh, Co Cork last October. My first Summer here is being filled with admiring all of the beautiful scenery.

I've got a bug about sailing in the local lake that just won't go away, I'm sure you understand! :)

The trouble is that I've no idea about how to go about it, where to enquire, what kind of boat I'd be allowed to take out, what size engine is allowed etc.

It's not for fishing, just to go sail in circles with the kids on a nice day and perhaps sleep on board for the night before going back home after a day or two.

Please tell me it's allowed and easy to go about?

Any help would be greatly appreciated,

Thanking You,

Con

Afloat.ie replies: The lovely Lough Allua on the upper River Lee above Inchigeelagh has been enlarged by the Hydro-electric dam at Carrigadrohid to provide an impressive lake which is renowned for its angling (pike fishing especially), and it is also used by kayakers - both for the pleasures of the lake itself, and as part of the transit of the River Lee from source to sea.

However, the presence of old tree stumps hidden just below the surface – often a hazard when water-levels have been raised – may make sailing hazardous in some locations. We suggest that Con contact Eddie English of SailCork, who would know of any sailing enthusiasts in the neighbourhood – [email protected]

Published in Cork Harbour
Tagged under

#InlandWaterways - An urgent health-and-safety audit of Shakey Bridge in Cork have been called for amid fears the iconic city structure could be one shake from collapse.

As the Irish Examiner writes, historian and city councillor Kieran McCarthy said it was shocking to see one of the city’s best-known landmarks and tourist attractions — the city’s only suspension bridge, famous for its wobble — decay to such a dangerous state.

“Urgent action is required before we have to make the sad call to close it off to the public completely,” he said. “That would be a shame.”

As talks continue over the city’s 2019 budget, he plans to ask the city council’s chief executive, Ann Doherty, to urgently identify and set aside funding to repair the bridge which was officially opened 90 years ago.

Daly’s Bridge is a 48m-span wrought-iron suspension pedestrian bridge which was built by a London-based company over the northern channel of the River Lee in 1927 to a design by former Cork City architect Stephen Farrington.

To read much more on this story including photos of the rusting bridge's lattice-work structure, click here.

Published in Inland Waterways

#portofcork - Along the River Lee is where an expected stink is to eminate in the coming days as the Port of Cork dredges the riverbed.

As the Evening Echo writes, every three years the Port of Cork carries out dredging work in the harbour and the quaysides to maintain the shipping channel. The work disturbs the riverbed, dragging up sediment and releasing gases like hydrogen sulphide. While the gases are safe, they are responsible for the eggy smell that could hang over the river in the coming days.

In 2014, Barrack Street, MacCurtain Street, Shandon, North Main Street, Patrick’s Street and Merchant’s Quay were all affected by the smell as a result of dredging. However, it was thought the lack ro rain and warm temperatures exacerbated the situation at that time.

The current dredging scheme is expected to last until the end of October but the city quays portion is planned to be completed by October 9, limiting the smell in the city centre. The Port of Cork said it is taking measures to limit the impact.

For more on the dredging by clicking here. 

Published in Port of Cork
Tagged under

#RiverLee - Divers have found a car submerged in the River Lee in Cork just hours after it was seen entering the water this morning (Friday 6 May).

BreakingNews.ie reports that a member of the public spotted the vehicle near the Lee Rowing Club with its boot sticking out of the water around 6am, prompting an immediate search and rescue response.

The car was subsequently located after a search of the river and divers from Haulbowline are assessing the scene, as RTÉ News reports.

In other news, a young tourist is recovering after he was swept onto rocks by an unexpected wave at Doolin in Co Clare yesterday (Thursday 5 May).

The 25-year-old American sustained multiple injuries after the wave knocked him off the shoreline at the popular beauty spot, according to BreakingNews.ie.

Published in Cork Harbour
Tagged under

#Cork - The search for a homeless man seen falling into the River Lee in Cork city ended in his arrest, as The Irish Times reports.

Valentia Coast Guard co-ordinated the search and rescue operation for the man, who was witnessed falling into the water after 7am yesterday morning (Saturday 21 March).

However the man was quickly discovered by emergency personnel on a support beneath Parnell Bridge, refusing to come out.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

#Drowning - Three drownings over the weekend have underlined the importance of safety on the water during the current sunny spell.

In Galway, residents of Moycullen were mourning the loss of a Lithuanian man who drowned while swimming with friends in Ballyquirke Lake on Saturday evening 8 June, according to Galway Bay FM.

And RTÉ News reports of a similar incident in Cork in the early hours of this morning 10 June, in which a 21-year-old man drowned after getting into difficulties in the River Lee near Ballincollig.

The young man is also believed to have been swimming with friends after another hot day across the country, according to The Irish Times.

Elsewhere in Cork, RTÉ News says a 17-year-old has died after drowning in the River Blackwater.

Earlier it was reported that the teen was in a serious condition after getting into difficulties while swimming with friends at a bathing spit known locally as Lisheen Bridge, and had been in the water for some time before he was recovered.

Published in Water Safety

#COBH TITANIC 100  - Following President Michael D. Higgins visit to Cobh to commemorate the centenary call of RMS Titanic to Queenstown, the town yesterday hosted a Naval Service review that included the Royal Navy's HMS Mersey.

The President as supreme commander of the Defence Forces boarded the Naval Service 'flagship' L.E. Eithne which passed the guest-ship, a River class patrol vessel which headed a line of vessels which lay at anchor of Cobh's waterfront, they were the L.E. Aoife, L.E. Aisling and L.E. Niamh

The historic event which marked the pinnacle of the Titanic 100 Cobh centenary week will continue as part of a year-round programme of events. For information visit www.titanic100.ie. On the homepage the L.E. Niamh features again, where on this occasion marine photographer Jehan Ashmore captured the vessel underway as she powered her way at high-speed through a misty Dalkey Sound.

Among the many places throughout Cobh where thousands of tourists have flocked since the Balmoral docked on Monday to retrace the liner's maiden voyage, has been the White Star Line pier.

From this pier were the last passengers to depart Queenstown on board the tenders PS Ireland and PS America to the ill-fated Titanic that struck an ice-berg. On her Irish call 123 passengers were transferred to the Titanic which lay outside Cork Harbour, while 7 passengers disembarked from the liner and headed ashore.

What remains of the pier which is not accessible to the public and is in danger of collapsing, there has been calls to raise funds to save the structure, as previously reported.

Also in attendance during yesterday's historic proceedings, was the excursion passenger tender Spirit if the Isles which is operating on her second season since starting Cork Harbour cruises last year. They run between Cork city quays and downriver along the Lee to Cobh.

In the 1980's the tender then named Ingot ran excursions from Dun Laoghaire Harbour into Dublin Bay and likewise of L.E. Niamh, she too transited Dalkey Sound as part of her sightseeing tours.

Published in Titanic

#ANGLING - An "eagle-eyed" angler in Co Cork received a free eye test after his remarkable find of a wedding ring in the water last week.

Seventy-five-year-old Pat O'Flaherty spotted the €400 gold band - complete with its red box - in the River Lee, garnering him a front-page story in the Irish Examiner and a free eye test from Specsavers.

They put me in the chair and did all the tests and told me I have 20:20 vision," he said.

The owner of the ring has yet to be traced, despite much speculation as to how it ended up in the Lee in the first place. If unclaimed, O'Flaherty intends to auction the ring for charity.

In other angling news, West Cork's Courtmacsherry Angling Centre hosted members of the Bradford Sea Angling Club in the UK last weekend.

Poor weather meant that the group was restricted to inshore fishing on the Friday and Saturday, but the Sunday saw a catch of ling up to 23lbs as well as pollack, coalfish, cod, haddock and whiting.

Published in Angling
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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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