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Kinvara Goes Single-Use Plastic-Free on Eve of Cruinniu na mBád

10th August 2019
Pianist, songwriter and sailor Marieke Husymans of the Pianocean project will perform at Kinvara quay this weekend. Scroll down for video Pianist, songwriter and sailor Marieke Husymans of the Pianocean project will perform at Kinvara quay this weekend. Scroll down for video

Samba rhythm music declared a “single-use-plastic-free” zone in the south Galway harbour of Kinvara yesterday as it prepared for the annual Cruinniú na mBád writes Lorna Siggins.

The fragility of the marine environment is a theme of this weekend’s festival, which marks 40 years since a fleet of Galway hookers laden with turf appeared out of the mist into Kinvara bay.

Three billboards created by Kinvara teenagers were unveiled yesterday evening as part of an initiative to reduce single-use plastics in the community.

Six students worked with artist and muralist Shona MacGillivray, who is based in Gort, Co Galway – drawing inspiration from English street artist Banksy and contemporaries for the environmental messages.

The project is spearheaded by a community group “Plastic-free Kinvara”, founded in March 2018.

"The cooperation from our community has been tremendous," the group’s joint chair, Anna Murphy, said.

A full programme of events on and off the water over the weekend kicks off today with a cookery demonstration by Marianne Krause at midday.

Artist and author Gordon D’Arcy will talk about coastal birdlife, and south Galway documentary-makers Jill Beardsworth and Keith Walsh will speak about their 2018 film production, entitled When All is Ruin Once Again.

As Afloat reported previously, Pianist, songwriter and sailor Marieke Husymans of the Pianocean project will perform at 2.30pm on Saturday and 3 pm on Sunday on her vessel, Lady Flow, berthed at Kinvara quay.

Galway boatbuilder and sailor Coilín Hernon will talk about his work with traditional craft on Sunday.

Efforts to restore native oyster stocks and protect marine mammals will also be addressed by Bord Iascaigh Mhara inshore fisheries development co-ordinator Oliver Tully and Dr Simon Berrow of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group.

Festival organiser Dr Michael Brogan and film-maker Bob Quinn marked 40 years of the cruinniú last night  – recalling the first event on a “wet Friday evening in August 1979” when the fleet sailed in after an absence of 20 years.

That fleet was led by three of the oldest turfboats - An Capall, An Tonai and An Maighdean Mhara, each of which had traded turf to Kinvara, Clare and the Aran Islands for generations.

Published in Galway Harbour
Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Search and Rescue: True stories of Irish Air-Sea Rescues and the Loss of R116 (2022); Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004); and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010). She is also co-producer with Sarah Blake of the Doc on One "Miracle in Galway Bay" which recently won a Celtic Media Award

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Galway Port & Harbour

Galway Bay is a large bay on the west coast of Ireland, between County Galway in the province of Connacht to the north and the Burren in County Clare in the province of Munster to the south. Galway city and port is located on the northeast side of the bay. The bay is about 50 kilometres (31 miles) long and from 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) to 30 kilometres (19 miles) in breadth.

The Aran Islands are to the west across the entrance and there are numerous small islands within the bay.

Galway Port FAQs

Galway was founded in the 13th century by the de Burgo family, and became an important seaport with sailing ships bearing wine imports and exports of fish, hides and wool.

Not as old as previously thought. Galway bay was once a series of lagoons, known as Loch Lurgan, plied by people in log canoes. Ancient tree stumps exposed by storms in 2010 have been dated back about 7,500 years.

It is about 660,000 tonnes as it is a tidal port.

Capt Brian Sheridan, who succeeded his late father, Capt Frank Sheridan

The dock gates open approximately two hours before high water and close at high water subject to ship movements on each tide.

The typical ship sizes are in the region of 4,000 to 6,000 tonnes

Turbines for about 14 wind projects have been imported in recent years, but the tonnage of these cargoes is light. A European industry report calculates that each turbine generates €10 million in locally generated revenue during construction and logistics/transport.

Yes, Iceland has selected Galway as European landing location for international telecommunications cables. Farice, a company wholly owned by the Icelandic Government, currently owns and operates two submarine cables linking Iceland to Northern Europe.

It is "very much a live project", Harbourmaster Capt Sheridan says, and the Port of Galway board is "awaiting the outcome of a Bord Pleanála determination", he says.

90% of the scrap steel is exported to Spain with the balance being shipped to Portugal. Since the pandemic, scrap steel is shipped to the Liverpool where it is either transhipped to larger ships bound for China.

It might look like silage, but in fact, its bales domestic and municipal waste, exported to Denmark where the waste is incinerated, and the heat is used in district heating of homes and schools. It is called RDF or Refuse Derived Fuel and has been exported out of Galway since 2013.

The new ferry is arriving at Galway Bay onboard the cargo ship SVENJA. The vessel is currently on passage to Belem, Brazil before making her way across the Atlantic to Galway.

Two Volvo round world races have selected Galway for the prestigious yacht race route. Some 10,000 people welcomed the boats in during its first stopover in 2009, when a festival was marked by stunning weather. It was also selected for the race finish in 2012. The Volvo has changed its name and is now known as the "Ocean Race". Capt Sheridan says that once port expansion and the re-urbanisation of the docklands is complete, the port will welcome the "ocean race, Clipper race, Tall Ships race, Small Ships Regatta and maybe the America's Cup right into the city centre...".

The pandemic was the reason why Seafest did not go ahead in Cork in 2020. Galway will welcome Seafest back after it calls to Waterford and Limerick, thus having been to all the Port cities.

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