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Displaying items by tag: heritage

A new interactive outdoor experience along the Royal Canal hopes to bring to life the experience of famine emigrants who walked from Strokestown to Dublin at the height of An Gorta Mór.

The National Famine Way was launched last Thursday 10 September by the National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park with a special National Famine Way Passport/Guide and OSI trail map.

The 14-page guidebook highlights local historical landmarks and allows walkers and cyclists to record their progress with 27 stage stamps along the specially developed 165km heritage route.

The trail details the ill-fated journey of 1,490 famine emigrants who walked from Strokestown Park in Co Roscommon to ships in the capital in 1847, a year which became infamous as ‘Black ’47’.

And the new Passport/Guide is centred around the walk of one of the original famine emigrants from Strokestown Park: 12-year-old Daniel Tighe, who remarkably survived the horrific journey to Quebec, Canada on one of the worst famine ships.

Award-winning author Marita Conlon-McKenna wrote short pieces that reimagine Daniel’s journey in 1847 and are connected to over 30 pairs of bronze children’s shoes dotted along the route. They are also available as audio recordings to listen to at www.nationalfamineway.ie

The National Famine Way crosses six counties — Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath, Meath, Kildare and Fingal — on the way to Dublin, mostly along the Royal Canal, and a completion certificate is awarded at the end of the trail at EPIC: The Irish Emigration Museum at George’s Dock.

The National Famine Museum collaborated on the project with Waterways Ireland and county councils along the route, which is designed to be accessible for families, schools, casual walkers and cyclists — as well as those who want to learn more about the famine and Ireland’s history.

Anne O’Donoghue, chief executive of the Irish Heritage Trust, which cares for Strokestown Park and the National Famine Museum, said: “This heritage trail not only links two significant Irish museums but also makes the connection between Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands and Ireland’s Ancient East.

“In addition to the health, historical, cultural and arts impact, the trail also has the potential to open up rural Ireland and offer an economic boost to local communities with cycling hire, cafés, bars, shops and accommodation all benefiting with an expected economic impact of over €2 million spent along the route.”

Published in Inland Waterways

On board HMS Caroline an exhibition of artworks produced by a community group in Belfast forms part of a National Heritage Lottery Fund project.

As the Belfast Telegraph writes, Members of Forthspring Inter-Community Centre have used their artistic talents to produce a series of paintings, sculptures and textiles to produce the Art Trail exhibition, art pieces inspired by the World War One ship which is moored in Belfast Harbour.

Ruth Osborne, learning and community engagement manager at HMS Caroline, said the project shines a light on archival material including photographic collections and sailors' diaries which were saved with the ship.

The pieces themselves have been installed in various locations on board. HMS Caroline has been engaging with communities across Northern Ireland since 2016.

Published in Historic Boats

Shared stories of folklore and the history of spiritual sites around Lough Erne will be the subject of a public meeting at Waterways Ireland HQ in Enniskillen later this month.

Hosted by Waterways Ireland in partnership with the Lough Erne Landscape Partnership, the community outreach event encourages locals around the Fermanagh waterway to drop in and share their stories and folk tales, as well as memorabilia and photographs, that only they would have.

Doors will be open from 1pm to 8pm on Monday 27 January, with the Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis at Queen’s University Belfast on hand to record these oral histories and more for posterity.

The project will also inform the development of the Lough Erne Spiritual Trail, an initiative of Waterways Ireland and the Lough Erne Landscape Partnership.

Eleven significant spiritual and/or ecclesiastical sites have been selected, including Devenish Island, White Island (North), Davy’s Island, Inishmacsaint, Caldragh (Boa Island), Cleenish, St. Ronan’s Aghalurcher, Galloon, Killadeas, Derryvullen and Tievealough.

Published in Inland Waterways

In a unique opportunity to portray the intriguing maritime heritage of the Ards Peninsula and North Down in Northern Ireland, seven communities have produced a maritime history of each of their locations – Portaferry, Portavogie, Ballyhalbert and Cloughey on the Ards Peninsula and Donaghadee, Groomsport and Ballyholme on the North Down coast.

The project is supported by the EU’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the SEUPB (Special EU Programmes Body). This is an initiative of the European Union which has been designed to support peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland. It provides support to projects that contribute towards the promotion of greater levels of peace and reconciliation. The Programme also places a strong emphasis on promoting cross-community relations and understanding in order to create a more cohesive society.

Ards and North Down Borough Council was awarded £3.3M from the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme to deliver the PEACE IV Action Plan and a total of 19 projects are being rolled out across the Borough.

Portaferry PanelThe Portaferry panel

One of these projects involves a programme which engages communities across the Borough to explore jointly their shared maritime history and develop connections linked to what each community has in common thus creating more cohesive communities. The project will improve cross-community cohesion between groups, particularly in rural towns and villages by jointly exploring their shared history and heritage.

Each of the seven communities has produced a large display panel telling stories, illustrated with photographs, of important people, shipwrecks, businesses, tales of bravery and memorable history particular to each location. The aim is to make available this information in the form of a travelling exhibition, online material, touch screen access and eventually an App telling the same stories. The panels are the property of each community to be also used as they think fit.

Pulling this together is Copius Consulting, a Belfast based company who have facilitated the programme implementation as a delivery agent commissioned by Ards and North Down Borough Council Peace IV Programme.

Match-funding has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.

Tagged under

The Loughs Agency has organised two morning seminars around the theme of maritime heritage in the Foyle and Carlingford areas later this month.

The first will take place at Greencastle Golf Club next Friday 22 November from 9.30am to 12.30pm, while Carlingford Marina will host its seminar the following Friday 29 November at the same times.

Both events will include contributions from Patrick Fitzgerald, a professional historian with a long career in researching genealogy and uncovering the story of migration through the centuries, who will take attendees on a journey of migration through the Foyle and Carlingford loughs.

The Greencastle seminar will also hear from Gerald Crawford, former secretary of the Foyle Fisheries Commission, who will tell the story of commercial salmon fishing across two decades Fishing for Salmon in the Foyle.

Retired mariner Seamus Bovaird will be presenting on paddle steamers on Lough Foyle, while Edward Montgomery, secretary of The Honourable The Irish Society, will speak about the society and the Foyle fisheries, and Wes Forsythe, a career archaeologist with an interest in the Foyle area, will presenting on ;Salt and the Sea;.

In Carlingford, Brendan McSherry, Louth County Council’s heritage officer with a passionate awareness of Carlingford Lough, its shores, hinterland and communities, will present on Carlingford Lough, a barrier or a highway?

Kirstin Lemon, geologist by profession with a broader intent to inform communities about their geology and the influence on their culture, will speak about ‘Mountains, Myths and Maritime: a UNESCO Global Geopark in Mourne Gullion Strangford’.

Finally, Liam Campbell, a researcher with an intense interest in exploring the development of cultures within distinct catchments, will present on the ‘Culture of the Catchment – Source to Sea’.

Admission is free free of charge for both events, however tickets must be obtained through Eventbrite to ensure a place at the Foyle and Carlingford seminars respectively.

In other heritage news, the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has published its report on the public and sectoral meetings held earlier this year on Heritage Ireland 2030, Ireland’s national heritage plan.

Among the issues raised at the sessions in Kilkenny and Galway in February were a lack of joined-up thinking across Government departments with relation to heritage issues, and a recognition of the need to understand heritage in a holistic sense encompassing everything from regional traditions to built heritage and wildlife.

The Lough Erne Landscape Partnership is recruiting for the full-time position of Heritage Project Manager, based in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh.

The successful candidate will work closely with local project partners, taking the lead on developing and delivering a suite of projects within the Lough Erne Landscape Partnership.

This “exciting” role will enable the right candidate to deliver projects to promote, protect and conserve the built, cultural and natural heritage of the Lough Erne area on and off the waterway.

The closing date for applications is Sunday 27 January. An application pack containing all information on the post is available from the LELP website.

Published in Inland Waterways

#Poulaphuca - The remains of an old homestead submerged by the Poulaphuca Reservoir have resurfaced, as RTÉ News reports.

Images captured by the Garda Air Support Unit in Wicklow clearly show the ruins of a house and a piece of farm machinery.

The ‘island’ was revealed by the retreat of reservoir waters in the recent summer drought that saw remarkable archaeological finds nationwide — as well as an ‘ÉIRE’ sign on Bray Head dating from the Second World War.

The farm was one of a number of properties abandoned before the valley was flooded to create Poulaphuca in 1940.

Published in News Update

The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) will appear today before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht which is examining the Heritage Bill 2016 Part 2 Canals. In a long running campaign, the IWAI will be calling for legislation that puts user requirements, tourism development and local communities at the centre of the regulations.

'How ironic it would be that a Heritage Bill rather than protecting the future of the Grand and Royal Canals and the Barrow Navigation enables legislation for Bye-laws that end up creating waterways with no boats on them' says John Dolan of the IWAI.

On Tuesday December 5th the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) will appear before the Joint Committee on Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht which is examining the Heritage Bill 2016 Part 2 Canals. The is renewing its call to elected representatives to support the IWAI campaign for further revision to the proposed legislation.

The main areas of concern relate to

  • • new complicated legal licensing, - rather than the need to legislate for a simple permitting system that is customer friendly, easy to use, and fit for purpose
    • Adequate provisions - so that boats of dimensions for which the canals were built to accommodate are protected and can continue to do so into the future
    • appropriate charging structures - that matches the provision of services available
    • fixed payment notices and fines with no independent appeal mechanism other than the courts, that will not encourage use of the canals and are not in place on the other Irish inland waterways
    • proposed provision and powers of Authorised Officers
    • legislation that will facilitate the introduction of a complete different set of rules, charges, regulations and fines that are not in place on the adjoining Waterways, and will make these canals less attractive to potential boating tourism

Ireland’s canals as beautiful linear waterways have the potential to attract both domestic and International boating visitors who will relish the tranquil opportunity of slow tourism cruising at walking pace as people move faster than the canal boats on the system, while experiencing the associated industrial heritage, peat lands, small villages and towns that have interdependence with the canals and our capital city.

To achieve this potential it is vital that the Heritage Bill 2016 preserves and enables the development of the canals for the current and future generations and communities. Over regulation and excessive charges are not the answer to developing these waterways, they deserve proper legislation that put user requirements, local communities and tourism at the centre of the regulations. 

Published in Inland Waterways

#InlandWaters - In support of the Waterways Ireland Heritage Plan 2016-2020, the Heritage in the Community Grants Scheme for 2018 is now open for applications.

A fund of €20,000 has been allocated to assist community-based heritage projects which compliment or fulfil the delivery of the Waterways Ireland Heritage Plan along the Barrow Navigation, Erne System, Grand Canal, Lower Bann, Royal Canal, Shannon, Shannon-Erne and the Ulster Canal (Upper Lough Erne to Clones).

Applications will be considered from communities seeking assistance for projects related to inland waterways heritage, including data collection and research; good heritage practice in managing sites, collections, objects and more; and supporting fresh approaches and initiatives that link heritage to communities, promoting active engagement.

The deadline for receipt of completed applications, by email or post, is Wednesday 31 January 2018. Further details on the Heritage Grant Scheme are available on the Waterways Ireland website.

Published in Inland Waterways

​#InlandWaters - ​The Waterways Ireland Archive in Enniskillen is open for tours today and tomorrow (Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 September) as part of the European Heritage Open Days taking place across Northern Ireland this weekend.

From 1pm to 5pm today and tomorrow, visitors can dive into the archives to discover the history of the inland waterways, and explore original archive material.

You'll also get a free tour of the building (tours start at 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm) which will include the chance to see the solo exhibition ‘Elsewhere’ by artist Douglas Hutton, showcased as part of the Fermanagh Live arts festival.

The exhibition will remain open to the public from 7pm in the evening throughout the festival until Saturday 30 September.

Published in Inland Waterways
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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.

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