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Displaying items by tag: Galway Harbour

What to expect when “the unexpected” happens and other issues facing marine pilots will be discussed at the Association of Marine Pilots in Ireland (AMPI) conference in Galway today.

“The Importance of Regulation and Best Practice” is the theme, and speakers include maritime lawyer Donal Keaney and Aileen Van Raemdonck, secretary general of the European Maritime Pilots’ Association (EMPA).

Aileen Van Raemdonck, secretary general of the European Maritime Pilots’ Association (EMPA)Aileen Van Raemdonck, secretary general of the European Maritime Pilots’ Association (EMPA)

Port of Galway harbourmaster Capt Brian Sheridan, Independent Senator Gerard Craughwell, and AMPI chairman Padraig Condon will open the conference at the Maldron Hotel, Sandy Road, Galway.

John Conlon, a master mariner and marine superintendent and security officer for Arklow ShippingJohn Conlon, a master mariner and marine superintendent and security officer for Arklow Shipping

Also speaking will be John Conlon, a master mariner and marine superintendent and security officer for Arklow Shipping; maritime pilot Arie Palmers from the Netherlands; and Andy Nattrass, navigation and piloting sales manager for Swedish company Trelleborg.

AMPI Secretary Patrick Galvin will give the closing address.

Published in Ports & Shipping

The heart of Galway's maritime heritage comes to life with the much-anticipated Galway Docklands Festival, taking place from September 29th to October 1st, 2023.

As Afloat reported earlier, the three-day festival promises an unforgettable experience celebrating Galway's rich marine industry, all while supporting charitable causes.

Boat Restoration

Kickstarting the festival, Friday's activities will take place around Galway Bay Seafoods. Dive into the world of seafood with mouthwatering tastings while engaging in enlightening short talks about Ireland's fishing industry. Visit the Galway Lifeboat and meet boat builders working on restoring Galway’s maritime heritage.

Claddagh Hall Adventures

Saturday's action-packed schedule is centred around Claddagh Hall. The morning begins with a burst of activity within the hall, followed by an enjoyable afternoon of sailing and boat tours. The evening will be topped off with a public quiz, promising fun and friendly competition for all.

Family Fun Day

Sunday is a family-oriented day. Bring the kids along for entertainment, face painting, and delightful treats from the ice cream van. Explore the magic of family boat tours and step onboard an authentic Galway Hooker to experience a piece of maritime history up close.

Throughout the entire festival, visitors will have the opportunity to visit the Galway Hooker Sailing Club's restoration project, experience local history with guided walking tours, learn knots, visit stands from Galway Aquarium, Corrib Beo, Water Safety Ireland and much more. It's a chance to connect with the maritime heritage of Galway like never before.

Worthy Causes

Organisers say all funds raised during the festival will be dedicated to two noble causes – the Galway branch of Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Ability West. 

Published in Maritime Festivals

Galway Harbour RNLI's volunteer crew responded to three separate calls for assistance in a single evening on Wednesday (09 August), demonstrating their readiness to deal with any situation that arises.

The first callout came at around 5.30 pm when the crew was requested by the Irish Coast Guard to launch following reports of a swimmer in difficulty off Salthill. The lifeboat, manned by crew members Dave Badger, Shane Austin, Gregg Cullen, and Brian Niland, was quickly launched and made its way to the area where the swimmer was last seen. The crew joined the search alongside the Irish Coast Guard Rescue 115 helicopter and a local cargo boat, which had been en route to Galway Docks. Fortunately, the swimmer was located and had made it safely to shore, and the search was stood down.

Shortly before 9 pm, the lifeboat was called out again, this time to assist a 30-foot fishing boat which had run aground near Cockle Rock, Renville. The lifeboat, manned by crew members Dave Badger, James Rattigan, David McGrath, and Ian Claxton, established a tow line and managed to get the fishing boat off the rocks before releasing it to return to harbour under its own steam.

While still in the vicinity of Renville, the lifeboat crew came to the assistance of a 21-foot half-decker fishing boat with one person on board which had lost steering and was unable to manoeuvre. The lifeboat towed the boat to its mooring buoy at Renville and brought the person safely ashore.

Dave Badger, who was Helm on board the lifeboat for all three rescues, praised the work of the shore crew who provided support back at the station, including Brian Niland, Mike Cummins, Seán McLoughlin, Aaron O’Reilly, and Seán Óg Leydon. He stressed the importance of having a means of calling for help and urged anyone who gets into difficulty or sees someone in difficulty in the water to dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Galway’s Claddagh Basin may be a venue for next year’s Irish kayak polo intervarsities contest.

The event may take place in the city canal basin in February 2024, Galway City Council says.

It is one of several water polo activities which will take place in the basin, following efforts by the Lough Corrib Navigation Trustees to generate interest among watersports bodies in using the location free of charge.

The Claddagh Basin has been used in the past for kayaking and water polo and, latterly, has been a location for illuminated gleoiteogs and other traditional craft, restored by Badóirí an Cladaigh.The Claddagh Basin has been used in the past for kayaking and water polo and, latterly, has been a location for illuminated gleoiteogs and other traditional craft, restored by Badóirí an Cladaigh Photo:  Joe O'Shaughnessy

The Claddagh Basin has been used in the past for kayaking and water polo and, latterly, has been a location for illuminated gleoiteogs and other traditional craft, restored by Badóirí an Cladaigh.

Along with the Claddagh quays, it was constructed in the mid-19th century as part of the Eglinton Canal project and provided moorings for some 300 fishing craft working from the Claddagh village

When Galway City Council advertised earlier this year for expressions of interest in water-related activities, there were no replies by the closing date of May 12th.

The city council says that the late application for water polo activities ensures that it will be used this summer by Corrib Water Polo Club and Tribes Water Polo Club for training and matches.

The 143m by 52m canal basin close to the river Corrib estuary is maintained by the Lough Corrib Navigation Trustees for Galway City Council under the 1859 Navigation Act.The 143m by 52m canal basin close to the river Corrib estuary is maintained by the Lough Corrib Navigation Trustees for Galway City Council under the 1859 Navigation Act Photo:  Joe O'Shaughnessy

“In addition, there will potentially be a kayak polo event in February 2024, which forms part of next year's Irish Kayaking Intervarsities Competition,” the city council said.

The 143m by 52m canal basin close to the river Corrib estuary is maintained by the Lough Corrib Navigation Trustees for Galway City Council under the 1859 Navigation Act.

The trustees, including city councillors, are responsible for the maintenance of navigation aids, a limited number of piers on the Corrib system, maintenance of the Eglinton Canal system, associated walkways, towpaths, lock gates and boundary walls.

Published in Galway Harbour

Galway RNLI's volunteer crew were requested by the Irish Coast Guard to assist a 30-foot motorboat, with five people on board, in difficulty off Blackhead in County Clare late on Friday evening.

The lifeboat launched at around 8.30 pm with crew members David Oliver, Dave Badger, James Rattigan and Ian Claxton on board and headed towards the location of the motorboat, which was northeast of Finvarra Point, off Ballyvaughan.

Conditions at sea were challenging, with squally wind, rain and poor visibility. The crew on board the Galway lifeboat reached the motorboat at around 9 pm and escorted the boat - which was under her own power - and the five people on board back to Galway Harbour.

David Oliver, who was helm on board the lifeboat, said: ‘Our volunteer shore crew were waiting at the harbour and helped to secure the motorboat when she arrived back. We were very pleased to be able to assist the five people on board the motorboat and make sure they got safely back to dry land.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Galway RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew were requested to launch by the Irish Coast Guard shortly after 4 am this morning (Saturday, 10 June) to rescue a casualty who had fallen from Nimmo’s Pier in Galway City.

The inshore lifeboat was helmed by Brian Niland, with crew members Dave Badger, Lisa McDonagh and James Rattigan onboard. They were supported by shore crew Mike Cummins, Shane Austin, Aaron O’Reilly, Frank Leonard and Ian Claxton.

The lifeboat and crew reached the casualty, who landed on a sand bank and had suspected upper limb injuries, within minutes. Two of the crew, who are trained in first aid, got out of the lifeboat onto the sand bank and, using a stretcher, were able to safely bring the casualty onboard the lifeboat. The lifeboat and crew arrived back to the lifeboat station just before 5 am where an ambulance was waiting to bring the casualty to hospital.

Speaking after returning to the station, Galway RNLI Helm Brian Niland said: 'Weather conditions were good this morning, and even though it was dark, there was good visibility, and the sea was calm. With the help of our shore crew, we were able to launch the lifeboat and get to the scene within minutes. Low tide was at 4.30 am and this worked in our favour as it meant that the casualty was not in any imminent danger of being swept out to sea. However, time is of the essence in situations like this. If you see someone in difficulty, please dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.'


Published in Galway Harbour
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Sruthán Buí is a 17-year-old gleoiteog based in Lettermullen, south Connemara, which will embark on an unusual trip later this month.

Its owner Mairtín Óg MacDonnacha, his cousins Joe and Michael Barrett and several others will set off on May 19th - weather permitting - from Lettermullen for Galway city - via the lake and river Corrib, rather than the coast.

The aim is to raise funds for the Tigh Nan Dooley child education and development centre in An Cheathrú Rua, and for a local defibrillator campaign.

Padraig Ned O Chualain is assisting them with transporting the gleoiteog by truck from Leenane when they transfer from sea to Lough Corrib.

“My cousin Joe Barrett did it in a kayak in 2019, and we were talking about it, and said it hadn’t been done in a hooker before, “MacDonnacha said of the idea.

The first leg will be from Lettermullen to Rosroe pier outside the Killary, and from there on the second day, they will sail to Leenane.

Mairtín Óg MacDonnacha on board the gleoiteog Sruthán Buí with his cousins Michael and Joe BarrettMairtín Óg MacDonnacha on board the gleoiteog Sruthán Buí with his cousins Michael and Joe Barrett

Sruthán Buí will then be taken by truck to Maam, where it will have to be derigged, and then rigged again on the lake for the next leg.

The challenge will take place over several weekends, to allow for crew work commitments.

“We hope to have it finished up on May 27th,”MacDonnacha said. “If the weather is promised bad, we might have to adjust those dates.”

MacDonnacha paid tribute to the support of Coilín Hernon and members of the Galway Hooker Sailing Club for their support.

The gleoiteog will stay on a mooring in the Claddagh basin in Galway until the crew are ready to sail it back by sea to Lettermullen.

Mairtín Og MacDonnacha and Michael Barrett spoke to Wavelengths at Tigh Mhicheál Jack, the Hooker Bar in Bealadangan, south Connemara, and you can listen below

Published in Wavelength Podcast
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Galway’s marine culture and MedTech industry are represented in a mural created by artists with students from Claddagh National School.

Researchers from CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Centre for Medical Devices based at University of Galway, commissioned local artists Birgit and Peter Lochmann to work with the school students.

The large scale artwork was funded by Claddagh Credit Union and installed on the school’s Astro pitch. It also features the late Eamonn “Chick” Deacy, a local Galway football legend.

CÚRAM researchers and the artists gave a series of art science workshops through which students learned how scientists use marine-inspired materials to discover ways of developing cures to treat various illnesses.

“This helped illustrate the importance of keeping our oceans healthy to keep our bodies healthy as well,” the scientists say.

Pictured at the mural launch are (L-R): Back row. Conor O’Keefe, Mikie Rowe, Mark Langtry, Abbie Callanan, Anna Fahey. Front row, 6th class students from Claddagh National SchoolPictured at the mural launch are (L-R): Back row. Conor O’Keefe, Mikie Rowe, Mark Langtry, Abbie Callanan, Anna Fahey. Front row, 6th class students from Claddagh National School

The workshops reflected CÚRAM’s “Marine Meets Medtech” exhibit developed and hosted in partnership with Galway Atlantaquaria, National Aquarium of Ireland.

The mural was unveiled this week by players from the Galway United men's and women's squads: Conor O'Keeffe, Mikie Rowe, Abbie Callanan, Anna Fahey.

Mark Langtry (‘Mark the Science Guy’) also performed his “Football Physics” show to teach students how science can enhance their sports performance.

Published in Galway Harbour
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The EU is giving 8 million euros to set up Ireland’s first “hydrogen valley” in Galway port as one of nine such projects across Europe.

The EU funding is a significant boost for the multi-million euro green energy scheme, which aims to produce hydrogen fuel in Galway for air, sea, road and rail transport, along with industry, on the Atlantic seaboard.

Hydrogen fuel is deemed “zero carbon” when water is separated into oxygen and hydrogen, using electrolysis and a clean primary energy source.

A “hydrogen valley” creates a regional ecosystem linking research, production and distribution with beneficiaries such as transport and industry.

The EU is supporting research and innovation activities in hydrogen technologies in Europe through a public-private initiative known as the Clean Energy Partnership.

The Galway project supported by the EU is spearheaded by SSE Renewables, operator of offshore and onshore wind farms in Ireland and Britain.

The company, which has welcomed the EU Clean Hydrogen Partnership funding, has teamed up with University of Galway, Galway Harbour Company, Bus Éireann and Colas civil engineering company.

Aer Arann Islands, Lasta Mara Teo and Aran Ferries are also involved, as providers of air and ferry transport respectively to and from the Aran islands. The transport companies hope to use hydrogen as a cleaner fuel source.

Known as GH2, the grouping involves a number of international partners to ensure “knowledge sharing”, as this is a requirement of EU grant funding, according to an SSE Renewables spokesman.

The spokesman said the GH2 consortium would now “begin negotiations with the Clean Hydrogen Partnership to progress the grant agreement, which is expected to be concluded before the summer”.

It says it hopes to submit a planning application for the Galway Hydrogen Valley with Galway City Council by late Spring of this year. If planning is secured, GH2 is “targeting delivery by early 2026”, the spokesman said.

The EU’s Clean Energy Partnership says hydrogen “can play a critical role in energy transformation”, and has “many possible applications across industry, transport, power and buildings sectors”.

“Most importantly, when produced sustainably, it does not emit CO2 and does not pollute the air when used. It is therefore an important part of the overall solution to meet the 2050 climate neutrality goal of the European Green Deal,”it says.

It says research and innovation is required to improve its competitiveness against other energy carriers, and to ensure it has an infrastructure network to extend it across a geographically spread market.

Published in Power From the Sea
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A Galway riverbank patrol group has appealed to those socialising during the festive season to keep an eye and ear out for friends in the city.

The Claddagh Watch group of volunteers will walk the Corrib riverbanks up to and including Christmas Eve, and over the New Year’s weekend.

Claddagh Watch chairman Niall McNelis said that while it was great to see so many people enjoying themselves over the Christmas period, there was always a need for vigilance in relation to the risks associated with people out and about at night close to the river Corrib.

“We are asking people to buddy up when heading out for the night, and to watch out for friends and keep mobile phones fully charged,”McNelis, a Labour Party city councillor and mental health advocate, said.

“And please don’t hesitate to contact the emergency services on 112 if you are concerned about someone who is missing,”he said.

Claddagh Watch Patrol’s Niall McNelis on the banks of the River Corrib, Galway Photo: Andrew DownesCladdagh Watch Patrol’s Niall McNelis on the banks of the River Corrib, Galway Photo: Andrew Downes

“Sometimes it may just be a young man who had gone to relieve himself, and hasn’t realised how close he is to the water’s edge,”McNelis said.

“The river Corrib is the fast flowing river of its size in Europe and people often don’t realise how strong the current is as it flows out into the bay.”

Claddagh Watch involves some 90 volunteers, about 50 of whom are actively patrolling the Corrib river banks and harbour area. The trained volunteers are out in all weathers until 3am on Friday and Saturday nights.

Claddagh Watch works closely with the Garda Siochána, the RNLI Galway lifeboat, the Galway Fire and Rescue Service and Water Safety Ireland.

It was formed in July 2019 to help prevent suicides in and on Galway’s waterways, and models itself on the Wexford Marine Watch charity which was initiated for similar years and is ten years old.

Claddagh Watch has been involved in 360 major interventions involving “blue light” services, and in 11 rescues over the past three and a half years.

“We have not lost anyone any night we were out,”McNelis said. “Our volunteers have accumulated over 10,500 hours of patrolling along the river.”

The organisation is recruiting more volunteers, and plans to extend its patrols up the Corrib via a towpath and walk which runs through the University of Galway campus and by the Corrib village student residential area.

Published in Galway Harbour
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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.

© Afloat 2020