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Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

Displaying items by tag: River Shannon

#shannon – A new festival named in honour of a Limerick man who famously completed a solo circumnavigation of the world will take place along the banks of the River Shannon in Limerick City on Sunday June 8th next.

Organised and funded by the Mid West Regional Authority (MWRA) through its participation in a European Programme for developing and promoting the watersports sector in Europe's Atlantic Area, the 'Pat Lawless Sail and Oar Festival' will celebrate Limerick's status as a riverside city and will feature a series of events on the river.

For spectators gathered on either side of the river at Harvey's Quay and Clancy Strand, there will be Rowing and Sailing Regattas, a historic kayak tour of Limerick City and a Gandelow boat demonstration.

The late Pat Lawless made international headlines in 1996 when the then 70-year-old sailed his 30-foot vessel, the Seadog, up the Shannon Estuary on the final leg of his 30,000-mile around the world voyage. Mr. Lawless, who was from the South Circular Road and was a member of the Iniscealtra Sailing Club in Mountshannon, passed away in 2010.

Majella O'Brien, EU Projects Officer with the MWRA explained that the upcoming festival is part of its ongoing efforts through the NEA2 project to develop and promote the watersports sector in the Mid West Region.

"Lough Derg, the River Shannon and the Estuary are intrinsically linked with the economic and social history of this region. The potential of these waterways for tourism development remains underexplored however. By hosting the 'Pat Lawless Sail and Oar Festival" we want to demonstrate this potential to our European project partners," she said.

Ms. O'Brien continued: "Through our participation in the NEA2 programme and by working in conjunction with other regional development agencies, the MWRA will continue to look for new ways that this region can build on existing marine leisure initiatives to help inform and develop new opportunities for sustainable development of water sports on our rivers, lakes and coastline. In doing so, we could attract thousands of additional visitors to the Mid West Region each year."

"We are particularly delighted to be able to host a river festival in honour of Pat Lawless whose crossings of the Atlantic Ocean and solo circumnavigation of the world brought great pride to Limerick and the wider region," she concluded.

The 'Pat Lawless Sail and Oar Festival' takes place in Limerick City on Sunday June 8th next. 

Published in Maritime Festivals
Tagged under

#News - A body has been recovered by divers from the River Shannon in Limerick city today (4 October), as RTÉ News reports.

Divers with Limerick Search and Rescue had been taking part in the major search operation for missing teenager Chloe Kinsella when they made the grim discovery before noon near Thomond Bridge in the city.

Though the body has yet to be formally identified, it is feared to be the 15-year-old who went missing from her home in the city last Saturday 28 September.

Published in News Update

#Drowning - The Irish Times reports that the body of a man who fell into the River Shannon while on a night out in Athlone has been recovered.

The victim, in his 50s, was with friends when he apparently slipped off the wall of Town Bridge late last night (7 September). A postmortem is due and Gardaí are investigating the incident.

Published in News Update

#Canoeing - The Longford Leader reports on a recent canoeing adventure by four college students along the River Shannon to fundraise for the Irish Cancer Society.

The four set off from the Shannon Pot in Co Cavan, giving themselves 10 days to reach the Shannon Estuary at Limerick - more than 250km away.

And amazingly, they completed the challenge with two days to spare!

The Longford Leader has much more in the story HERE.

Published in Canoeing

#Shannon - Passages on the River Shannon in 2013 so far have fallen more than 50% compared to numbers for the same period a decade ago, according to the Irish Waterways History blog written by Afloat's inland correspondent, Brian Goggin.

Using statistics supplied by Waterways Ireland, the site plotted a graph that shows an overall decline in lock and bridge passages on the Shannon in the months from January to May each year since 2003, with a slight spike in 2007 the only buck in the downward trend.

Though the figures do not record all uses of the waterway (such as sailing, angling and other watersports) and do not account for variables such as the weather, they are indicative - the site claims - of "the Shannon's most significant tourism activity, the cruiser hire business".

Indeed, the figures apparently show that boat hire passage numbers have fallen from 11,440 in January-May 2003 to just 4,781 in the same months this year.

Even private boat passages have been falling from a peak in 2009 to just below their 2003 numbers, if the site's interpretation of the stats is anything to go by.

However, a source close to Afloat.ie says that the falling numbers may be skewed by a growing emphasis on larger-capacity vessels on Ireland's inland waterways, with eight- and 12-berth boats supplanting older four-berth vessels, and families and groups consolidating their recreational boating.

It will be interesting to see how the rest of the year turns out, and whether the overall numbers from January to December will tell a different story of the state of the Shannon and other waterways.

Published in Inland Waterways

#InlandWaterways - Waterways Ireland has advised all masters and users of the Erne system that the channel east of Castle Island near Enniskillen will be closed till Tuesday 11 June to facilitate a number of events on the water.

Mariners are directed to follow the marked navigation channel and signs to the west of Castle Island and proceed at a slow speed and with minimum wash. They should note any advise or instructions given by event organisers when in this section of the navigation.

Public jetties in the vicinity will remain accessible throughout, though some minor restrictions may be in place as and when required. Further information is available from the Lough Erne warden at 028 6632 3004.

Elsewhere, there will also be restricted mooring for masters and owners on the River Shannon at Carrick-on-Shannon to facilitate spectator viewing of the Carrick 400 event.

On Sunday 2 June the quay wall from the downstream face of the town bridge to the floating moorings will be out of bounds for mooring from 7pm till midnight.

In other waterways news, recent water quality testing has shown the harbour at Kilcock on the Royal Canal to now be within normal bathing water standards.

Published in Inland Waterways

#OnTV - Sunday 26 May sees the first of a two-part documentary series on The Secret Life of the Shannon on RTÉ One.

The series will take viewers on a journey along the River Shannon with wildlife cameraman and presenter Colin Stafford Johnson, who spent a year living on the river on a barge, camping on its banks and exploring its tributaries in a traditional canoe.

His quest was to film the natural history of the 340km of the Ireland's longest inland waterway as it has never been seen before - and if the above video is anything to go by, he's done an incredible job.

The Secret Life of the Shannon part of the RTÉ Goes Wild month-long celebration of Ireland's wildlife on television, radio and online.

Episode one will be broadcast on Sunday 26 May at 6.30pm on RTÉ One, with the second episode to follow at the same time on Sunday 2 June.

Published in Maritime TV

#Diving - The Irish Underwater Council (CFT) reports the "huge success" of the 22nd annual Dive Ireland expo in Athlone at the weekend.

The two-day event at the Hodson Bay Hotel welcomed "speakers from near and far as well as photography workshops and a fully loaded international trade fair" - not to mention the CFT National Dive Conference and AGM.

Ahead of the expo, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan commented on the role of SCUBA clubs and diving centres in Ireland's national tourism infrastructure in promoting this country's dive sites.

In the foreword to the recently published Warships, U-boats and Liners, he also wrote of the Government's commitment to developing its archive of wrecks in Irish waters.

“With the support of responsible dive centres and local dive clubs ... these wrecks can be explored now and into the distant future by visitors from home and abroad.”

According to the CFT, local authorities are also starting to recognise the importance of developing aquatic activities to encourage tourism.

One example is Mayo County Council's Blue Ways list of swimming and snorkelling sites along the county's coast, which complements its Green Ways walking trails.

The council also highlighted the importance of heritage among Ireland's diving community, and their role in discoveries such as the Viking-era swords retrieved from the River Shannon near Banagher last autumn, as the Offaly Independent reports.

Published in Diving

#Fishing - One of Ireland’s most eminent fisheries experts and a recent CEO of the Shannon Regional Fisheries Board has been elected chairman of the Institute of Fisheries Management.

Eamon Cusack will assume the chair at the UK-based international body that promotes sustainable management of freshwater and marine fisheries. 

Cusack said he was “passionate” about protecting and rebuilding fisheries threatened by habitat damage and over-exploitation. 

To ensure their future, he would seek to continue to build successful partnerships between government and non-government organisations.  

Cusack succeeds Ian Dolben, who served as chairman over the past five years. Dolben credited the success of the institute during his term to members taking on voluntary roles, changing its public face and taking its members’ services to a new level.

Eamon Cusack has over 35 years’ experience in the development and management of inland fisheries, including EU-funded projects, and has been an active member of the institute for more than 30 years.

He is currently chairman of the Shannon Fishery Partnership, which advises on the management of the ESB’s fisheries on the River Shannon, and a director of Recreational Angling Ireland. 

He was a ministerial appointee to the Irish Central Fisheries Board, which oversees Irish national fisheries policy and strategy. 

A native of Galway, Cusack grew up on the banks of the River Dodder in Dublin. While a young member of Dodder Anglers, the largest angling club in Ireland, he became aware of the many pressures facing fisheries which began his lifelong interest in their management.

Published in Fishing

#SHANNON FLOODING - Galway Bay FM reports that Galway county councillors have postponed making any decision on an Oireachtas report into flooding in areas adjacent to the River Shannon.

The move was taken on the suggestion of Cllr Dermot Connolly in the wake of a joint Dáil and Seanad committee report that highlights eight proposals for dealing with flooding issues along the longest of Ireland's inland waterways.

Cllr Michael Connolly has suggested that Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan and Minister for the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan should meet to discuss the report's findings from both a flooding and environmental stance.

Meanwhile, the Irish Independent reports that the Office of Public Works (OPW) has agreed to carry out tests at Meelick weir on the Shannon in Co Offaly after thousands of acres of farmland were flooded over the summer, ruining silage crops and summer grazing land.

Waterways Ireland has denied allegations that a failure to open sluices and lift boards at the weird contributed to the flooding.

Published in Shannon Estuary
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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