Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Inismor

An abandoned lighthouse on the largest Aran island off Galway bay is for sale for over half a million euros.

As reports today, the lighthouse and ruined buildings command a view of the Atlantic from the island’s highest point.

The site owned by an Aran island resident on about five acres takes its name from and is close to one of Inis Mór’s ring forts, Dún Eochalla.

Dún Eochalla was constructed with an inner stone fort and outer rampart, as one of a series of ring forts on the island – the best known being Dun Aonghasa.

The lighthouse several fields away has been advertised with a guide price of 550,000 euro.

It was constructed from about 1810, using island limestone, and took eight years to build.

The structure rose to 144 metres above sea level, and was visible from counties Galway, Clare, Mayo, Limerick and Kerry

It was decommissioned in 1857, however, as its use as a navigational aid was too limited. There were complaints that its beam could not be seen by shipping in heavy fog.

The residential quarters, now also in ruin, were built for lightkeepers and their families, who used to be stationed at lighthouses from the mid 19th century.

Joe Greaney of Keane Mahony Smith auctioneers in Galway said the property had potential as a “recreation project” for an investor with sufficient funds. It was used for a time as a museum, he said.

Read more at here

Published in Island News
Tagged under

#Fastnet – After the first night at sea in the 2013 Fastnet race, two of 12 Irish yachts are showing the potency of Irish offshore sailing with top five performances in the 335–boat fleet. Clidfen Boat Club's Inismor sailed by the French Guoy brotherrs are lying fourth and Royal Cork's Anthony O'Leary in Irish champion yacht Antix lies fifth. Both boats are Ker39 designs with a proven offshore performance capability. Inismor is the current Round Ireland champion. 


The 335 competing boats still have over 475 nautical miles to go in this offshore challenge from Cowes to the Fastnet rock and back but already the signs look like a rerun of May's Myth of Malham race for the top Irish boats. So far Chris Tibbs weather forecast is being borne out on the race track and this will favour the 35-40– foot boats.

Read WM Nixon's Fastnet Yacht Race preview on the Irish entries here.

Currently lying 25th overall, skipper Aodhan Fitgerald reported from Discover Ireland at 02.25 this morning: 'Light winds now as we approach start point. We are amongst the northern most in our class so recent knock may pay dividends. Beautiful moon and star lit night off south coast uk. Very comfortable with dry decks which is nice but doesn't suit us! All well otherwise had some fun getting around Portland bill in the inner channel'.

Fastnet race tracker here: 

Published in Fastnet
Tagged under

#rorc – Two Irish linked Ker campaigns – among seven such designs in the top ten – showed the potency of Irish offshore sailing in a marathon edition of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's (RORC) Myth of Malham race with both Ker 39 sisterships finishing in the top ten. 2012 Round Ireland race winner Inismor (Bernard Guoy) sailing under French colours but with links to Clifden Boat Club and Royal Cork's Commodore's Cup winner Antix (Anthony & Peter O'Leary) were sixth and seventh respectively in IRC overall in the 120–boat fleet.

After last year's extremely windy Myth of Malham Race, this year's edition provided a far more tactical race for the fleet in the 230-mile race around the Eddystone Lighthouse.

Staying in the breeze and calculating the best route for tides made all the difference. The wind conditions ranged from zephyrs during the first night to 25 knot gusts on the last day of racing. Most of the fleet used the full complement of their sail wardrobe and, as many crews were exploiting the race route as a Rolex Fastnet qualifier, the Myth of Malham Race was a fine test of man and machine.

Edward Broadway's Ker 40, Hooligan VII, was declared overall winner after time correction under IRC. Broadway has been a member of the Royal Ocean Racing Club for over 20 years but only started campaigning his Ker 40 this year.

"We were the last Ker 40 out of the Solent," admitted Broadway. "We chose to play the island shore and the two other Ker 40s, Magnum andBaraka, went to the mainland shore and they were both just ahead at the Hurst Narrows. However, we caught up and virtually match raced all the way to Eddystone with Magnum. This is the first season with our Ker 40 and it is such a fantastic boat to sail; really responsive and very fast. I am an old man but just about all the crew have come from the British Keelboat Academy, including Aaron Cooper who has built the sails.

I can't really single out any defining moment in the race, save Magnum's kite ripping, which was a big gain for us. However, my crew were magnificent; totally committed and extremely respectable sailors. Between the three Ker 40s, after three RORC races, each one of us has come out on top, it looks like a fantastic season ahead."

Hooligan VII was also the winner of IRC One for the Myth of Malham, Andrew Pearce's Ker 40, Magnum 3, was second by less than 15 minutes and Piet Vroon's Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens, was third in class but still retains the overall lead of the RORC Season's Points Championship, albeit by just 2.4 points.

With 31 yachts IRC Two was the largest class in the race. RORC Admiral Andrew McIrvine's First 40, La Réponse, took line honours for the class but after time correction missed out on a podium place by less than two minutes. Patrick Ponchelet's French X40, Exception sailed a stunning leg back from Eddystone to over take two British First 40.7s to win the class. Ifan James' Cheeki Rafiki was second by just over 19 minutes on corrected time, whilst Peter Newlands' Anticipation took third.

Benoit D'Halluin's A35, Dunkerque Plaisance, took line honours in IRC Three and the class win on corrected time. "We had a great start out of the Solent, we were really pleased with our performance and the boat was going really well. However, between Start Point and Eddystone, we had foul tide and the wind faded. It was difficult and frustrating because as we are one of the highest rated boats and the fleet around us was gaining all the time. Once round Eddystone we went inshore at Start Point on the way back and it really worked for us, especially as the tide changed in our favour a little earlier than predicted. The run to the finish was dead downwind and we used our symmetrical spinnaker to great effect, whilst the J/109s in our class could not. All of the crew is absolutely delighted with our result."

Richard Palmer's J/109, Jangada Too, was second in IRC Two and won the highly competitive Two-Handed Class. With Jeremy Waitt as co-skipper, Jangada Too won against a 22 strong fleet containing many proven race winners in past RORC and Transatlantic races. "A very tough race, I doubt whether either of us got more than two hours sleep," admitted Richard. "The wind was so fickle that we were constantly raising and dropping the spinnaker and we didn't use the autopilot at all. The race was very stop-start and required a huge amount of mental concentration to work out the ever-changing scenario, especially with regards to the tide. It is great to get our first win of the series."

The runner up in the Two-Handed Class was Bernie Bingham's Rogers 30, Brightwork. A terrific battle for third place was won by Rob Craigie's J/122, J Belllino, by just seven seconds on corrected time from Simon Mitchell's Sunfast 3200, Roxanne. The racing in the Two-Handed class was incredibly close with less than an hour, after time correction, separating 2nd place from 10th.

The Class40 division produced a photo-finish: after 230 miles of racing Yvon Berrehar and Stephan Theissing racing Al Bucq were just 32 seconds ahead of Emma Creighton and Dan Dytch's Momentum Ocean Racing.

In IRC Four this was the first RORC race of the season for Jean Yves Chateau's Nicholson 33, Iromiguy, and the French crew won class ahead of Christophe Affolter's French Sigma 33, 4 Déci. Noel Racine's JPK 10.10, Foggy Dew, was third. The podium finish was just enough to put Foggy Dew at the top of the leader board in IRC Four for the RORC Season's Points Championship.

The Championship continues on Friday 14th June with the De Guingand Bowl Race from Cowes to Guernsey.

IRC Overall

Sail No Boat Type of Boat Owner
GBR741R Hooligan VII Ker 40 Edward Broadway
GBR39R Magnum III Ker 40 Andrew Pearce
NED46 Tonnerre de Breskens 3 Ker 46 Piet Vroon
GER6840 Sjambok Reichel Pugh 48 Jens Kuehne
NED40010 Baraka GP Ker 40 Harmen J de Graaf
FRA35439 Inis Mor Ker 39 Laurent Gouy
IRL3939 Antix Ker 39 Anthony O'Leary
GBR5355N Phosphorus Rodman 42 Mark Emerson
GBR236R Erivale III Ker 39 Michael Greville
FRA6770 Iromiguy Nicholson 33 Jean Yves Chateau
FRA19630 4 Déci Sigma 33 Christophe Affolter
FRA35080 Dunkerque Plaisance - Gill Racing Team A 35 Benoit D'halluin
FRA37310 Foggy Dew JPK 10.10 Noel Racine
GBR4733 Baloo Sigma 33 OOD Jonathan Power/Rob Harnan/Ben Redhead
GBR8537R Jangada Too J/109 Richard Palmer
GBR8352 Mefisto Sigma 38 Kevin Sussmilch
GBR8338 With Alacrity Sigma 38 Chris Choules
BEL1383 Wasabi JPK 10.10 Vincent Willemart
FRA25767 Exception X 40 Patrick Ponchelet
GBR9793T Cheeki Rafiki First 40.7 Stormforce Coaching
GBR1509R JIBE J/109 Robin Taunt
RUS1 Monster Project Volvo 70 Andrew Budgen and Fred Schwyn
GBR3111N Mostly Harmless J/105 Tom Hayhoe
GBR521R Toe in the Water Farr 52 Toe in the Water
GBR7041R Anticipation First 40.7 Peter Newlands
GBR42N La Réponse First 40 Andrew McIrvine
GBR1264 Marinero Swan 46 David Gower and Ken Newman
GBR3234L Relentless on Rocketdog 2 First 40 Sailing Logic/James George
GBR9030R Brightwork Rogers 30 Bernie Bingham
GBR9868T J Bellino J/122 Rob Craigie
GBR2539L Roxanne Sun Fast 3200 Simon Mitchell
GBR8380R Elixir Elan 380 Felicity Gabbay
GBR2091R Je Vante J/109 Todd Wells
GBR4690R Fastrak IX Sun Fast 3200 Nigel de Quervain Colley
GBR8191R British Soldier J/111 Army Sailing Association
GBR7848T Storm Trooper Sun Fast 37 Stormforce Coaching
GBR9205R Diablo-J J/105 Nick Martin
GBR8146 Vitesse Sigma 38 Jon England
GBR7909R Jolene II J/109 Philip Nelson
GBR6709R J-T'Aime J/109 Christopher Palmer
GBR5963T Pyxis X 332 Kirsteen Donaldson
GBR8275 Pandanova II Sigma 38 Andrew Gordon
GBR9956 Draig O'R Mor Dehler 36 Kay & Kevin Stibbs
GBR8809R Inspara J/109 Tor McLaren
GBR7383R Puma Logic Reflex 38 Sailing Logic
GBR3708R One Life Sun Fast 37 James Pearson
GBR1415R Kokomo Prima 38 Steve Trigwell
FRA38485 Courrier Vintage MC34 Patton Sam Marsaudon and Géry Trentesaux
GBR6525N Revive Prima 38 Paul A Farrands
GBR979R Malice HOD 35 Mike Moxley
GBR9503T Jamira J/109 Mark Tracey
GBR1921L Yoda Sigma 38 Trevor Hails
GBR3142L Zonpuka JPK 9.60 Giles Mayley
GBR8367 Rho Sigma 38 Nick Woolven
GBR7382R Jaguar Logic Reflex 38 Sailing Logic
GBR8529R Jazzy Jellyfish J/109 Kevin Armstrong
GBR5464R Right Royal Of Upnor Dehler 32 REYC
GBR922R Juno X 34 Charles Whittam
GBR8643T Arcsine Arcona 370 Kathy Claydon
GBR3135L Jumbuck J/109 John Allison
GBR9939 Flame Sweden 38 Martin Fordham
GBR7360T Quinta First 40.7 Stan Davies
GBR9885T Profile Logic First 40.7 Sailing Logic/Barclays Capital
GBR6504N Talisman Prima 38 Simon Harwood
RUS6262 Krasotka Sinergia 41 600nm Racing Club
GBR1346R Belladonna Grand Soleil 46 Andrew Howard
GBR1715T Breakout Swan 42 Simon Crawford
GBR1575L Pure Attitude X 37 Pure Latitude Ltd
GBR8908R Annika Malo 43 Classic John Burns
GBR9388R Lion Logic Reflex 38 Sailing Logic
GBR8799T Wild Spirit Sun Odyssey 40 Paul Jackson
GBR1603R Jubilant Moody S38 Martin Johnson
21 Artemis 21 Figaro II Artemis Offshore Academy
GBR43 Artemis 43 Figaro II Artemis Offshore Academy
GBR9383R Intuition Reflex 38 Yuri Fadeev
GBR735R Comedy Of Errors HOD 35 Tony White
GBR2460L Run First 35 David Mossman
RUS404 Knyaz A 40 Artem Brum
GBR641 Hope & Glory/UNICEF Humphreys 50 Custom Robert Gibson
GBR9109T Red Arrow J/109 RAFSA
GBR6388T Marta Sigma 38 Brian Skeet
GBR1329R Thumper Grand Soleil 39 Julian Johnson
GBR4709R Jambo! J/109 Stephen Morris
GBR9029 Rainmaker Oyster LW395 James Porter
GBR4973T Exocet IMX 38 Janet Pilkington
GBR9023T Arcadian Arcona 370 Simon Grigg
GBR9481R Lancelot First 40.7 Simon Boulding
GBR4001N Sunsail 4001 First 40 Girls For Sail
GBR6643R Nightfall Arcona 430 Tom Sperrey
GBR7657T Castalia Sun Fast 37 Andrew Butler
GBR1385L Buccaneer Logic First 40.7 Sailing Logic
GBR5236R Rare Figaro II Ian Hoddle
GBR1602R Parallel Blue First 40.7 Ivan Snell
GBR3L Me Julie J/109 Dom Monkhouse
GBR7388R Leopard Clipper Reflex 38 Mark Osborn
GBR8972T Inseyandra Bavaria 46 C Solent Sail Ltd
GBR7950R Loco Sydney 40 John Reivers
GBR809 Lutine Swan 53 Lloyd's Yacht Club
BEL11111 Djinn J/111 JUST 4 SAILING
GBR3390T Gentle Zephyr Bavaria 390 Neal Martin
GBR8520R Flying Fish Hot Stuff First 40.7 Andy Hunt
US43545 Echo Zulu Frers 45 David Rider
GBR8750R Bella of London Grand Soleil 50 Mike Surridge
GBR2899 Freebird Sadler 34 Jonti Clews
GBR2311L Zephyr First 45 Marinos Pappas
GBR6944R Smoke N' Oakum Grand Soleil 44 Race Steven Winstanley
GBR8873R Challenger 3 Challenge 72 Tall Ships
GBR8871R Challenger 1 Challenge 72 Tall Ships
GBR8874R Challenger 4 Challenge 72 Tall Ships
GBR7732T Mardy Gras X 332 Fred Mundle
GBR6687T Skywave Elan 333 Royal Signals Yacht Club
GBR6995T Javelin Sweden 390 Peter Hurley
NED118 Winsome S&S 41 Harry Heijst
GBR981R St Barbara V Rustler 42 Royal Artillery Yacht Club
FRA36859 Stamina III A 40 Michel Peretie
GBR8633R Jings J/133 David Ballantyne
Published in RORC
Tagged under

#roundireland – While the official tracker has Inis Mor as the overall leader in the 2012 Round Ireland Race, it's going to be a nail biting few hours for the French boat.

As of 3pm, Inis Mor has 30.6 miles to go. To beat Tonnerre she needs to cover that distance in five hours and 34 minutes.  Simple math says she needs to average 5.49 knots and as she is making 5.7 knots just south of Lambay Island, it should work for her.

But, the 5.7 knots is not quite in the right direction – because the wind has headed her, she can only make 221° instead of the 190° she needs to reach Wicklow on one tack.  So while 5.7 knots looks good, her actual progress towards the finish or VMG, is currently 5.4 knots – just outside the 5.49 knots needed.

To make matters worse,  she is entering an area of stronger tides that will be directly against her for the last few hours into Wicklow.  She can mitigate some of this by hugging the coast, but at what cost windwise?

Fascinating stuff,'s money's on Tonnerre, at least in this battle.  Keep an eye on Cavatina though – she still has a day left to win!

Published in Round Ireland

Ireland's offshore islands

Around 30 of Ireland's offshore islands are inhabited and hold a wealth of cultural heritage.

A central Government objective is to ensure that sustainable vibrant communities continue to live on the islands.

Irish offshore islands FAQs

Technically, it is Ireland itself, as the third largest island in Europe.

Ireland is surrounded by approximately 80 islands of significant size, of which only about 20 are inhabited.

Achill island is the largest of the Irish isles with a coastline of almost 80 miles and has a population of 2,569.

The smallest inhabited offshore island is Inishfree, off Donegal.

The total voting population in the Republic's inhabited islands is just over 2,600 people, according to the Department of Housing.

Starting with west Cork, and giving voting register numbers as of 2020, here you go - Bere island (177), Cape Clear island (131),Dursey island (6), Hare island (29), Whiddy island (26), Long island, Schull (16), Sherkin island (95). The Galway islands are Inis Mór (675), Inis Meáin (148), Inis Oírr (210), Inishbofin (183). The Donegal islands are Arranmore (513), Gola (30), Inishboffin (63), Inishfree (4), Tory (140). The Mayo islands, apart from Achill which is connected by a bridge, are Clare island (116), Inishbiggle (25) and Inishturk (52).

No, the Gaeltacht islands are the Donegal islands, three of the four Galway islands (Inishbofin, like Clifden, is English-speaking primarily), and Cape Clear or Oileán Chléire in west Cork.

Lack of a pier was one of the main factors in the evacuation of a number of islands, the best known being the Blasket islands off Kerry, which were evacuated in November 1953. There are now three cottages available to rent on the Great Blasket island.

In the early 20th century, scholars visited the Great Blasket to learn Irish and to collect folklore and they encouraged the islanders to record their life stories in their native tongue. The three best known island books are An tOileánach (The Islandman) by Tomás Ó Criomhthain, Peig by Peig Sayers, and Fiche Blian ag Fás (Twenty Years A-Growing) by Muiris Ó Súilleabháin. Former taoiseach Charles J Haughey also kept a residence on his island, Inishvickillaune, which is one of the smaller and less accessible Blasket islands.

Charles J Haughey, as above, or late Beatle musician, John Lennon. Lennon bought Dorinish island in Clew Bay, south Mayo, in 1967 for a reported £1,700 sterling. Vendor was Westport Harbour Board which had used it for marine pilots. Lennon reportedly planned to spend his retirement there, and The Guardian newspaper quoted local estate agent Andrew Crowley as saying he was "besotted with the place by all accounts". He did lodge a planning application for a house, but never built on the 19 acres. He offered it to Sid Rawle, founder of the Digger Action Movement and known as the "King of the Hippies". Rawle and 30 others lived there until 1972 when their tents were burned by an oil lamp. Lennon and Yoko Ono visited it once more before his death in 1980. Ono sold the island for £30,000 in 1984, and it is widely reported that she donated the proceeds of the sale to an Irish orphanage


Yes, Rathlin island, off Co Antrim's Causeway Coast, is Ireland's most northerly inhabited island. As a special area of conservation, it is home to tens of thousands of sea birds, including puffins, kittiwakes, razorbills and guillemots. It is known for its Rathlin golden hare. It is almost famous for the fact that Robert the Bruce, King of Scots, retreated after being defeated by the English at Perth and hid in a sea cave where he was so inspired by a spider's tenacity that he returned to defeat his enemy.

No. The Aran islands have a regular ferry and plane service, with ferries from Ros-a-Mhíl, south Connemara all year round and from Doolin, Co Clare in the tourist season. The plane service flies from Indreabhán to all three islands. Inishbofin is connected by ferry from Cleggan, Co Galway, while Clare island and Inishturk are connected from Roonagh pier, outside Louisburgh. The Donegal islands of Arranmore and Tory island also have ferry services, as has Bere island, Cape Clear and Sherkin off Cork. How are the island transport services financed? The Government subsidises transport services to and from the islands. The Irish Coast Guard carries out medical evacuations, as to the RNLI lifeboats. Former Fianna Fáíl minister Éamon Ó Cuív is widely credited with improving transport services to and from offshore islands, earning his department the nickname "Craggy island".

Craggy Island is an bleak, isolated community located of the west coast, inhabited by Irish, a Chinese community and one Maori. Three priests and housekeeper Mrs Doyle live in a parochial house There is a pub, a very small golf course, a McDonald's fast food restaurant and a Chinatown... Actually, that is all fiction. Craggy island is a figment of the imagination of the Father Ted series writers Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews, for the highly successful Channel 4 television series, and the Georgian style parochial house on the "island" is actually Glenquin House in Co Clare.

Yes, that is of the Plassey, a freighter which was washed up on Inis Oírr in bad weather in 1960.

There are some small privately owned islands,and islands like Inishlyre in Co Mayo with only a small number of residents providing their own transport. Several Connemara islands such as Turbot and Inishturk South have a growing summer population, with some residents extending their stay during Covid-19. Turbot island off Eyrephort is one such example – the island, which was first spotted by Alcock and Brown as they approached Ireland during their epic transatlantic flight in 1919, was evacuated in 1978, four years after three of its fishermen drowned on the way home from watching an All Ireland final in Clifden. However, it is slowly being repopulated

Responsibility for the islands was taking over by the Department of Rural and Community Development . It was previously with the Gaeltacht section in the Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht.

It is a periodic bone of contention, as Ireland does not have the same approach to its islands as Norway, which believes in right of access. However, many improvements were made during Fianna Fáíl Galway West TD Éamon Ó Cuív's time as minister. The Irish Island Federation, Comdháil Oileáin na hÉireann, represents island issues at national and international level.

The 12 offshore islands with registered voters have long argued that having to cast their vote early puts them at a disadvantage – especially as improved transport links mean that ballot boxes can be transported to the mainland in most weather conditions, bar the winter months. Legislation allowing them to vote on the same day as the rest of the State wasn't passed in time for the February 2020 general election.

Yes, but check tide tables ! Omey island off north Connemara is accessible at low tide and also runs a summer race meeting on the strand. In Sligo, 14 pillars mark the way to Coney island – one of several islands bearing this name off the Irish coast.

Cape Clear or Oileán Chléire is the country's most southerly inhabited island, eight miles off the west Cork coast, and within sight of the Fastnet Rock lighthouse, also known as the "teardrop of Ireland".
Skellig Michael off the Kerry coast, which has a monastic site dating from the 6th century. It is accessible by boat – prebooking essential – from Portmagee, Co Kerry. However, due to Covid-19 restrictions, it was not open to visitors in 2020.
All islands have bird life, but puffins and gannets and kittiwakes are synonymous with Skellig Michael and Little Skellig. Rathlin island off Antrim and Cape Clear off west Cork have bird observatories. The Saltee islands off the Wexford coast are privately owned by the O'Neill family, but day visitors are permitted access to the Great Saltee during certain hours. The Saltees have gannets, gulls, puffins and Manx shearwaters.
Vikings used Dublin as a European slaving capital, and one of their bases was on Dalkey island, which can be viewed from Killiney's Vico road. Boat trips available from Coliemore harbour in Dalkey. Birdwatch Ireland has set up nestboxes here for roseate terns. Keep an eye out also for feral goats.
Plenty! There are regular boat trips in summer to Inchagoill island on Lough Corrib, while the best known Irish inshore island might be the lake isle of Innisfree on Sligo's Lough Gill, immortalised by WB Yeats in his poem of the same name. Roscommon's Lough Key has several islands, the most prominent being the privately-owned Castle Island. Trinity island is more accessible to the public - it was once occupied by Cistercian monks from Boyle Abbey.

©Afloat 2020