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Displaying items by tag: Coastal

Public consultation on a new report on expanding Ireland’s marine protected areas will begin “later this year”, according to Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien.

A report exploring the need to expand Ireland’s marine protected areas (MPAs) to meet a target of ten per cent of the State’s entire maritime area has been given to Mr O’Brien and his junior minister Malcolm Noonan.

Ireland is aiming for 30% of its maritime area to be designated MPAs by 2030, and the report by an expert group examines the benefits and costs of doing so, and how Ireland should go about doing it.

The report has not yet been published, but Mr O’Brien said that a significant finding is that many threatened and important marine habitats, species and ecosystems that aren’t covered by the EU Birds and Habitats Directives cannot be afforded the protection necessary to meet Ireland’s international commitments and legal obligations under current legislation.

It also identifies the possibility to “greatly improve the level of stakeholder engagement and participation in the site selection and management process”, Mr O’Brien’s department said.

The advisory group on MPAs has been chaired by Prof Tasman Crowe of the UCD Earth Institute, working with 20 experts in life and ocean sciences, marine socio-economics, maritime culture, governance and legislation.

The advisory group was tasked with “providing important technical advice and recommendations on the processes required and the challenges to be addressed in the future expansion of Ireland’s network of MPAs, based on the group’s own work and on the views of a wide range of stakeholders”.

MPAs are geographically defined maritime areas that provide levels of protection to achieve conservation objectives. They support economic activity associated with the sea by ensuring that activity is kept at a level that ensures the seas and oceans continue to support life and human health. They also help reduce the effects of climate change and ocean acidification.

“Never before have we, as a nation, faced the twin global crises of climate change and accelerating biodiversity loss on land and at sea,”Mr O’Brien said.

Collective Action

“ This comprehensive report represents a “Call for Collective Action” on behalf of our people and our natural marine environment, to ensure that we can sustain clean, healthy, diverse and productive oceans and seas around Ireland, both now and in the future. Minister Noonan and I sincerely thank Prof Crowe and his colleagues for providing this valuable and timely report today,” he said.

“Not only can MPAs provide us with answers to the challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss, but they also hold a key to our future - as a maritime nation that’s home to a bountiful and sustainable source of food, green energy and tourism activity for example. In this context, later this year we will be welcoming the views of the public and all stakeholders on this report and the process that lies before us,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This is our ongoing vision for Ireland’s marine environment - one that can not only sustain nature and people and support livelihoods, but also one that brings us together to solve some very real crises of our time,” Mr Noonan added.

MPAs can take a variety of forms ranging from exclusive marine reserves to areas allowing sustainable use or restricting specific activities, the two men said.

Special Protection Areas

Ireland's future network of MPAs may include the incorporation of existing Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and/or Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) under the Birds and Habitats Directives. It may also incorporate protection measures established under the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) for example, and other area-based conservation and protection measures.

Mr O’Brien said he intends to publish the Marine Protected Area advisory group’s report for an extensive period of public consultation in late 2020 and early 2021.

Further details are available at here

Published in Coastal Notes
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#Rowing: Rushbrooke Rowing Club from Cobh will host the Irish Coastal Rowing Championships next August. It is the first such coastal event to be held under the auspices of Rowing Ireland.

 The decision to choose Rushbrooke was made at the inaugural annual delegate meeting of the new Rowing Ireland Coastal Rowing Division in Portlaoise.

 Rushbrooke submitted a detailed proposal to hold the championships at the National Rowing Centre in Cork and were given unanimous support. Delegates opted for the weekend of August 18th and 19th for the event.

 Ted McSweeney, the chairperson of Rushbrooke Rowing Club said: “This is the greatest honour to be bestowed upon our club. Our club has been in existence since the early 1900s, and although the original club ceased in the late 1960s when the original wooden clubhouse and boats were engulfed by a fire, in 1989, local residents decided to restart the club and agreed on using the Yawl class racing boat. Over the last 28 years, we have gone from strength to strength and have established ourselves as one of the top coastal rowing clubs in Cork.  

 “As a club, we are delighted at the opportunity to host the inaugural Irish Coastal Rowing Championship and will endeavour to deliver an event that will meet the superb standards that have been set over the past few years.  Even at this early stage, we have received immense support, both from the Coastal Rowing community and local organisations. We would like especially to thank the management team at the National Rowing Centre in Farran Woods, who have been exceptionally helpful and forthcoming in assisting us with our bid.  A new chapter in coastal rowing has begun and Rushbrooke Rowing Club will strive to maintain the high standard of regattas that we have been accustomed to. We look forward to welcoming all Coastal Rowers to Cork in 2018 and we can assure you of a Ceád Míle Fáilte.’

 Kieran Kerr, chairperson of the Rowing Ireland Coastal Division, said:  “On behalf of Rowing Ireland, I would like to congratulate Rushbrooke Rowing Club on a very professional bid. We look forward to an exciting inaugural Irish Coastal Rowing Championships.”

Published in Coastal Rowing

Ballynamona Strand on the East Cork coastline is internationally renowned for a long list of bird life including Shrikes, Larks, Citrine Wagtails, Sandpipers, Pipits, American Coot and Red-necked Stint. There is a new sight to be seen there, writes Tom MacSweeney and it is ensuring that the strand remains a welcoming place for wildlife, seabirds, marine life and for the general public. Regrettably, visitors of the human kind leave litter behind, disregarding the marine environment and despoiling the area.

The local community has responded leading to the new sight on the beach - a quad bike and trailer - showing community dedication to the preservation of a clean maritime environment. It’s the work of the group known as ‘Clean Coasts Ballynamona.’ “Truly an excellent example of what can be achieved when business and community work together,” said Proinsias Ó Tuama, one of the leaders of ‘Clean Coasts’ ‘and a teacher at St.Colman’s Community College, Midleton, where students are also involved in the protection of local beaches. Business and community interests raised €16,000 for a quad bike and trailer to remove beach litter. “It shows how local people are concerned for their maritime environment.”

The Ballynamona group has twice been An Taisce ‘Ocean Hero’ national award winners and has been using the equipment to maintain over 30kms. of coastline by removing marine litter from Ballybranagan to Ballymacoda in East Cork. Five tonnes of rubbish was taken from Ballybranagan beach with the help of the Transition Year students.

Published in Coastal Notes
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#Rowing: There is to be a new Coastal Division of Rowing Ireland. At a meeting of the RI board on Saturday, October 21st, the board unanimously acceded to a request from 20 of its affiliated clubs that it form a coastal division. Rowing Ireland has traditionally offered river (Olympic) rowing, and since May of this year has also offered offshore rowing. 

 Hamish Adams, Rowing Ireland CEO, said: “Having seen how successfully offshore rowing has been integrated into Rowing Ireland we believe that adding coastal rowing is a very positive step to expand our product offering and will permit Rowing Ireland to recruit members and develop rowing where river rowing is not possible.” 

 Rowing Ireland will run an Irish Coastal Rowing Championship in 2018, the venue and date of which will be agreed by the clubs at a later date. Kieran Kerr, the chair of the new Coastal Rowing Committee, said that the new coastal division will be club driven and will endeavour to raise the standard of coastal rowing through the provision of coach education and all the other services which Rowing Ireland provides.

Published in Coastal Rowing
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#Lecture - Glenua & Friends presents the lecture: The Road to Rio Paralympic Sailing

The talk by Dr. Austin O’Carroll takes place next Thursday 3 November at 20:00 in Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club Ringsend, Dublin. Entry €5 (in aid of Safetynet)

In 2013 Austin was offered the chance of a place with John Twomey and Ian Costelloe on the Irish Sailing Sonar team which was seeking to qualify for the Rio Paralympics.

In his illustrated talk, Austin will focus on how they forged a team together, followed by a hectic qualifying campaign and finally their experiences of the Paralympic Finals. While involved in this campaign, there was a huge influx of people into homelessness. This meant the medical charity Safetynet, founded by Austin, had to rapidly expand the range of services for homeless people. He will describe how they dealt with this crisis, while running the Paralympic campaign.

Austin’s journey to Rio began in Bere Island in 1982 with a Glenans sailing course. Undaunted by the physical challenges, he was a dinghy instructor by 1984. He is now a GP in Inner City Dublin with a deep interest in Health Inequalities.

In recognition of his work with marginalized groups, he was presented with the Irish Healthcare Person of the year 2015 award and granted an honorary fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. He started eight specialized primary care services for homeless people and founded Safetynet, the umbrella organization for specialized-services for homeless people in Dublin and Cork.

Safetynet has been innovative in the delivery of healthcare to homeless people including rough sleepers; provision of substance misuse treatment to homeless people. He is also involved in a variety of educational programmes dealing in health inequality and disability.

Published in Coastal Notes

#OnTV - The first episode of Bobby Kerr-fronted UTV Ireland series Along Home Shores comes this Thursday 27 October at 7.30pm and explores Dublin’s waterways, with a visit to the famous wallabies of Lambay Island.

Afloat.ie reported last month on filming for the new eight-part-TV series, in which the Insomnia café entrepreneur and avid sailor will discover the hidden treasures of the coastlines and waterways of Ireland.

In each episode, Bobby will examine how people are using the natural resources of our waterways to create employment, while also showcasing the beauty of Ireland along the way. Over eight weeks, he will embrace the heart of maritime communities all over Ireland.

The first episode sees Bobby beginning his journey on his own doorstep of Dublin, where he goes for an early morning swim at the Forty Foot with members of the Sandycove Bathers Association.

At Grand Canal Dock, he meets a local leisure business and tries paddle boarding for the first time, and Bobby's fitness is put to the test when cancer support group, the Plurabelle Paddlers, bring him dragon boat training.

Eugene Garrihy, the owner of Dublin Bay Cruises, invites Bobby on board his boat to talk business, and he also gets an exclusive invite to the hidden gem of Lambay Island by businessman Michael Bermingham, who is the only supplier of Lambay meat in Ireland.

"I have been truly amazed by the scenic beauty of Ireland's coastline and inland waterways during my filming of Along Home Shores,” said Bobby of his experience making the series.

“The fascinating characters I met along the way were an absolute inspiration to me. Through the prisms of heritage, business and culture, I have now gained a unique insight into Ireland. The sheer magnificence of our coastal and inland waterways, and their people, cannot be overstated."

Beginning his voyage in the capital, Bobby will bring the personality of coastal towns, villages and inland waterways to life as he travels anticlockwise around Ireland before ending his journey back in Dublin.

Future weeks will see him visiting Rathlin Island's seabird colony, kayaking the Causeway Coast, angling on Lough Erne, sailing on Lough Derg, attending the homecoming of Skibbereen's Olympic heroes, cycling the Deise Greenway, going oyster farming, staying overnight in a lighthouse and lots more.

The first episode of Along Home Shores airs this Thursday 27 October at 7.30pm on UTV Ireland. ​

Published in Maritime TV

#Surfing - A black rubber roof is one of the unusual features of the winning design for a new maritime centre in Strandhill, as the Sligo Champion reports.

The vision for the new surfing and coastal community centre by London architects Manalo & White also includes large concrete panels around the perimeter with Celtic seascapes and surfing scenes by Barry Britton, whose known as much for his art as for his waveriding legacy – not least being father of women's surfing pioneer Easkey Britton.

A planning application is expected to be completed by the end of April with a view to having the €500,000 facility, which would replace the existing centre used by the local surf club and other groups, ready in time for next year's tourism season.

The Sligo Champion has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing

Clean Coasts’ Big Beach Clean is taking place this weekend 18th-20th of September all along the Irish coastline. Clean Coasts is teaming up with the International Ocean Conservancy once again for the International Coastal Cleanup event. Last year 560,000 volunteer in 91 countries removed 7,257 tonnes of marine litter from the world's oceans. This year thousands of volunteers will be participating in beach cleans nationwide and you can search for a clean up near you on our website www.cleancoast.org

Michael John O Mahony Director of An Taisce’s Environmental Education Unit said, “Each year millions of tonnes of litter enter our seas and oceans, resulting in environmental, economic, health and aesthetic challenges. The Clean Coasts programme is inviting volunteers to join this global coastal clean-up helping remove marine litter from our beautiful coastline and aid in the protection of our coastal habitats and marine life”.

During the Big Beach Clean, Clean Coasts’ volunteers are asked to carry out marine litter surveys to quantify the amount and types of litter on Irish beaches. These surveys are aimed at heightening awareness about the issue of marine litter and serve as an indicator of the magnitude of the problem.

Published in Coastal Notes
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#COASTAL ROWING: The third annual Dublin Currach Regatta will take place on Saturday, the 4th of July, between the iconic bridges and in the heart of the city on the river Liffey.
 
Sponsored by Dublin Port Company and Dublin City Council, this is the third year that the east coast has the privilege of hosting a currach regatta included in the national currach racing league.  This year the annual  Dublin currach regatta will take place for the first time ever on the river Liffey in the heart of Dublin city centre.
 
Following many years of forging contacts between east coast currach rowers and teams on the west coast of Ireland, this is the first year that the western teams will come to Dublin to compete in a championship fixture.
 
Currach racing teams from Donegal, Kerry, West Clare, The Aran Islands, Connemara and  Galway will attend. Both women’s and men’s crews will be competing as well as the traditional mixed crew race, Fear agus Ban.  The races will feature qualifying heats following on to senior men’s and women’s finals as well as mixed crew racing.
 
All races will take place between 11:00 a.m. and 16:30  and the heats and competition can be viewed all along the Liffey quays right up to the Jeanie Johnston for the duration of the regatta.

Published in Coastal Rowing
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#clarebeaches – A newly published report by the EPA on Bathing Water Quality around Ireland has found that County Clare's 11 designated bathing areas were adjudged to have "Excellent Water Quality" during 2014.

The marine environment news has been described as "hugely significant and positive news" by Clare County Council in light of the newly introduced EU standards for bathing areas, deemed by the EPA to be almost twice as strict as those applied in previous years.

Bathing waters were classified into four categories, namely 'Poor', 'Sufficient', 'Good' and the newly introduced 'Excellent' category. The classification system is based on the levels of E. Coli and intestinal enterococci detected in the bathing water during the 2014 bathing season.

Clare is one of five Local Authority areas to receive "Excellent" classifications for each of its bathing areas, the others being Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, Kerry, Leitrim and Louth.

Clare's 11 bathing areas are Ballyalla Lake (Ennis), White Strand (Milltown Malbay), Ballycuggeran (Lough Derg), Cappa Pier (Kilrush), Bishopsquarter, White Strand (Doonbeg), Kilkee, Spanish Point, Lahinch, Fanore and Mountshannon (Lough Derg).

"This is a magnificent achievement for County Clare and those who work throughout the year to safeguard our bathing areas from environmental pollution and to ensure that the public can enjoy these locations in the knowledge that they are bathing in clean waters," stated Councillor John Crowe, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council.

He added: "This clean sweep for Clare is something that all tourism interests in the County should be aware of as we must now promote our quality beaches and other bathing locations, particularly in light of the growing numbers of visitors arriving in Clare during their journey along the Wild Atlantic Way."

"I wish to pay tribute to the Environment Section of Clare County Council and those living and working in the vicinity of Clare's 11 bathing locations for their due diligence and hard work in delivering this result. It's one that benefits our County's reputation and of course, the environment," said Councillor Crowe.

"The Council is delighted that each of the 11 designated bathing areas that it monitors achieved 'Excellent' status. This achievement is notable in light of the considerable disruption caused to many locations during the storms of early 2014, as well as the newly introduced standards for assessing bathing areas which are almost twice as strict as those previously applied. Our goal now is to maintain these high standards throughout 2015," explained Paul Moroney Senior Engineer, Clare County Council:

Commenting on the bathing water quality results, Dr Matthew Crowe, Director of the EPA's Office of Environmental Assessment, said: "Overall, the quality of Ireland's bathing waters continues to be very good and new standards introduced in 2014 provide a much higher level of protection for bathers."

"Disappointingly, seven identified bathing waters have been assessed as being of poor quality. The relevant local authorities and Irish Water have put management plans in place to tackle the main pollution risks at these beaches. The test will be whether or not we see the necessary improvements in water quality at these beaches," added Dr. Crowe.

The summary report 'Bathing Water Quality in Ireland – A Report for the Year 2014' is available to download from www.epa.ie.

Published in Coastal Notes
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Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

© Afloat 2020