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Displaying items by tag: Inland Fisheries Ireland

Some 17 projects have been approved for funding under the Salmon Conservation Fund, The Irish Times reports.
The pilot scheme by Inland Fisheries Ireland is designed to help angling clubs and fishery owners restore salmon stocks in Ireland's rivers.
The successful applicants across 11 counties will receive a share from more than €120,000 derived from salmon licence-holder contributions.
Accepted projects include spawning enhancement, bank protection, fish passage and habitat improvement. Priority was given to rivers below conservation limits.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Some 17 projects have been approved for funding under the Salmon Conservation Fund, The Irish Times reports.

The pilot scheme by Inland Fisheries Ireland is designed to help angling clubs and fishery owners restore salmon stocks in Ireland's rivers.

The successful applicants across 11 counties will receive a share from more than €120,000 derived from salmon licence-holder contributions.

Accepted projects include spawning enhancement, bank protection, fish passage and habitat improvement. Priority was given to rivers below conservation limits. 

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways
Pupils at Donard National School fended off competition from across Ireland to win a coveted prize in the Inland Fisheries Ireland 'Something Fishy' competition for 2011, the New Ross Standard reports.
Wexford footballer Brian Malone presented fifth and sixth class pupils at Donard NS with goodie bags and an award for their entry 'Something Fishy - The Musical', which features songs and dances about the ecosystem of their local River Boro.
Dr Ciaran Byrne, IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne, who was on hand at the prizegiving ceremony at the Wexford Education Centre in Enniscorthy, commented on all entrants: “You guys are the caretakers of this environment and if you take this message with you today we will have a much better environment in 20 years’ time.”
More than 160 schools and 7,000 children took part this year in the 'Something Fishy' initiative, which is now in its sixth year of encouraging primary schoolchildren to explore different aspects of fish life.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Pupils at Donard National School fended off competition from across Ireland to win a coveted prize in the Inland Fisheries Ireland 'Something Fishy' competition for 2011, the New Ross Standard reports.

Wexford footballer Brian Malone presented fifth and sixth class pupils at Donard NS with goodie bags and an award for their entry 'Something Fishy - The Musical', which features songs and dances about the ecosystem of their local River Boro.

Dr Ciaran Byrne, IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne, who was on hand at the prizegiving ceremony at the Wexford Education Centre in Enniscorthy, commented on all entrants: “You guys are the caretakers of this environment and if you take this message with you today we will have a much better environment in 20 years’ time.”

More than 160 schools and 7,000 children took part this year in the 'Something Fishy' initiative, which is now in its sixth year of encouraging primary schoolchildren to explore different aspects of fish life. 

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways
Minister for Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte has announced plans to reopen licensed commercial fishing in Castlemaine Harbour in Co Kerry, following the results of last year's pilot fishery.
“I am satisfied, based on scientific and fishery management advice... that it is safe to reopen this fishery under closely controlled conditions," said Minister Rabbitte. "The trial fishing conducted in the harbour last year establishes that this can be done without impinging on threatened stocks."
A statutory 30-day public consultation has now commenced on the required amendment to the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme 2011 to provide for the fishery's reopening.
"The consultation period will give those who disagree with that conclusion to put forward their views and I will pay close attention to what they say before reaching a final conclusion on the matter," the minister added.
Minister Rabbitte has also tasked Inland Fisheries Ireland with ensuring full enforcement of relevant quotas and conservation by-laws.

Minister for Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte has announced plans to reopen licensed commercial fishing in Castlemaine Harbour in Co Kerry, following the results of last year's pilot fishery.   

“I am satisfied, based on scientific and fishery management advice... that it is safe to reopen this fishery under closely controlled conditions," said Minister Rabbitte. "The trial fishing conducted in the harbour last year establishes that this can be done without impinging on threatened stocks."

A statutory 30-day public consultation has now commenced on the required amendment to the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme 2011 to provide for the fishery's reopening.  

"The consultation period will give those who disagree with that conclusion to put forward their views and I will pay close attention to what they say before reaching a final conclusion on the matter," the minister added.

Minister Rabbitte has also tasked Inland Fisheries Ireland with ensuring full enforcement of relevant quotas and conservation by-laws.

Published in Fishing
Inland Fisheries Ireland has implemented 'no dip no draw' policy to prevent the spread of invasive species in Ireland's inland waters.
The policy, developed by the Irish Angling Development Alliance and endorsed by all affiliated clubs, aims to prevent Irish rivers and lakes coming in to contact with "a wide range of aquatic species of pathigens that could prove harmful to our game, coarse and pike fisheries" and which could "easily and inadvertently be introduced to Irish watercourses through contamination of angling equipment and associated gear".
As a result, disinfection prior to events for any and all angling equipment or tackle that comes into direct contact with fish or water is mandatory.
The IFI provides details for anglers and competition organisers regarding best procedure for implementing the policy in its Code of Practice, currently available online HERE.

Inland Fisheries Ireland has implemented 'no dip no draw' policy for competitive angling to prevent the spread of invasive species in Ireland's inland waters.

The policy, developed by the Irish Angling Development Alliance and endorsed by all affiliated clubs, aims to prevent Irish rivers and lakes coming in to contact with "a wide range of aquatic species of pathigens that could prove harmful to our game, coarse and pike fisheries" and which could "easily and inadvertently be introduced to Irish watercourses through contamination of angling equipment and associated gear".

As a result, disinfection prior to events for any and all angling equipment or tackle that comes into direct contact with fish or water is mandatory.

The IFI provides details for anglers and competition organisers regarding best procedure for implementing the policy in its Code of Practice, currently available online HERE.

Published in Angling
Scientists have expressed disappointment after the publication of a report into strategies for improved pest control in Ireland's salmon farms.
According to The Irish Times, experts from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) said the findings of the National Implementation Group were "insufficient to protect wild salmon and sea trout".
The report highlighted failures among a number of sites in the west of Ireland in controlling sea lice during the crucial spring period.
IFI says it is "a matter of priority" to review the location of salmon farms to ensure the protection of wild salmon and sea trout "while also meeting the needs of the commercial fish farm sector".

Scientists have expressed disappointment after the publication of a report into strategies for improved pest control in Ireland's salmon farms.

According to The Irish Times, experts from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) said the findings of the National Implementation Group were "insufficient to protect wild salmon and sea trout".

The report highlighted failures among a number of sites in the west of Ireland in controlling sea lice during the crucial spring period.

IFI says it is "a matter of priority" to review the location of salmon farms to ensure the protection of wild salmon and sea trout "while also meeting the needs of the commercial fish farm sector".

Published in Fishing

The Minister for Natural Resources, Conor Lenihan T.D., has approved a suite of regulations and bye-laws that will govern the wild salmon fishery in 2011. These will come into effect from Friday, 1 January 2011.

On receipt of management and scientific advice on the current status of Irish salmon stocks from Inland Fisheries Ireland and having considered submissions received through the public consultation exercise, the Minister of State introduced conservation measures for the management of the wild salmon and sea trout fishery in 2011.

Having signed the regulations and bye-laws the Minister remarked:
"I am cautiously optimistic about our native salmon stocks given the performance of stocks over recent years. The 2011 season will see 20 rivers which were closed in 2010 being opened because of an improvement in salmon stocks. 5 rivers which were previously closed for fishing, the Castletown, Suir, Glenamoy, Kerry Blackwater and Eske, will open with an identified surplus number of fish for harvest. 18 additional rivers will be open to angling on a "catch & release" basis."

"My caution is founded on the knowledge that 3 rivers which previously had been open will be closed on conservation grounds in 2011 (the Sheen, Screebe and Srahmore)", added the Natural Resources Minister.

In all the Standing Scientific Committee assessed 141 rivers and have advised that:-
·         52 rivers are open as a surplus of fish has been identified in these rivers (i.e. 2 more than in 2010);
·         29 rivers have been classified as open for "Catch and Release" only (i.e. 18 more than 2010 (see list below); and
·         60 rivers are closed as they have no surplus of fish available for harvest in them (i.e. 20 less than 2010).

The Minister also announced that in 2011 the cost of a one-day salmon angling licence (often used by tourist anglers) will be reduced by €12 (37.5%) on the recommendation of Inland Fisheries Ireland. "The purpose of the initiative is to give as much encouragement as possible to visiting tourist anglers to come to Ireland and experience the excellent game angling product being developed around our improving stocks" said Minister Lenihan.

With the exception of a proposed change to the number of blue (angling) tags applicable to a one-day salmon licence holder, the Wild Salmon and Sea trout Tagging Scheme Regulations for 2011 are in essence unchanged from the Regulations which were introduced following the establishment of Inland Fisheries Ireland in July, 2010. A number of minor amendments to the Regulations, recommended by Inland Fisheries Ireland, will provide for more effective administration of the tagging scheme regulations in 2011.

Summary of main changes to the management of the wild salmon fishery in 2011

 

19 Rivers which were closed in 2010 will open for angling on a "catch & release" basis in 2011:-
Ø      Glyde (Dundalk fishery district)
Ø      Slaney (Wexford fishery district) (note; river is closed until 12 May 2011)
Ø      Bride (Lismore fishery district)
Ø      Glengariff, Adrigole (Cork fishery district)
Ø      Kealincha, Lough Fada, Behy, Owenascaul, Milltown, Feohanagh (Kerry fishery district)
Ø      Grange (Sligo fishery district)
Ø      Oily, Owenwee (Yellow River) (Ballyshannon fishery district)
Ø      Bracky, Glenna, Tullaghobegley, Ray, Glenagannon (Letterkenny fishery district).

5 Rivers which were "catch & release" in 2010 and will open for harvest in 2011
Castletown (Dundalk fishery district)
Suir (Waterford fishery district)
Kerry Blackwater (Kerry fishery district)
Glenamoy (Bangor fishery district)
Eske (Ballyshannon fishery district)

3 Rivers which were open in 2010 will be limited to "catch & release" in 2011
Sheen (Kerry fishery district)
Screebe (Connemara fishery district)
Srahmore (Bangor fishery district).

8 Statutory instruments/Bye-Laws give effect to the decisions made by the Minister of State for management of the salmon fishery in 2011:

Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme (No. 2) Regulations, 2010 provide for, among other things, the total allowable catch of fish that can be harvested by commercial fishing engines and rod and line from identified rivers.

Salmon Rod Ordinary Licences (Alteration of Licence Duties) Order 2010 and Special Tidal Waters (Special Local Licences) (Alteration of Duties) Order 2010: prescribe the licence fees payable from 1 January 2011.
Conservation of Salmon and Sea Trout (Catch and Release) Bye-law No. 873, 2010:  specifies the rivers in which angling is permitted on a catch and release basis and associated conditions.

Conservation of Salmon and Sea Trout (Bag Limits) Bye-law No. 874, 2010: provides for the annual, season and daily bag limits for the 2011 season and also provides for fishing methods.

Conservation of Salmon and Sea Trout (Closed Rivers) Bye-law No. C.S. 306, 2010: prohibits angling for salmon and sea trout over 40cm in specified rivers.

The following bye-laws make provisions in relation to specific rivers:

Conservation of Salmon and Sea Trout (Newport River) Bye-law No. 875, 2010.

Conservation of Salmon and Sea Trout (River Bandon) Bye-Law No. 876, 2010.

Conservation of Salmon and Sea Trout (Garvogue River) Bye-Law No. 877, 2010

 

Published in Angling
The National Biodiversity Data Centre has launched a new online atlas of freshwater fish in Irish lakes.
Produced in collaboration with Inland Fisheries Ireland, the website features has a species search tool that gives access to detailed data and images for 23 freshwater fish species found in Irish lakes.
The lake browser tool also allows users to see what species were recorded where in 956 lakes across the country.
Not only a useful educational tool, the site could prove particularly useful for anglers looking for the perfect catch.

The National Biodiversity Data Centre has launched a new online atlas of freshwater fish in Irish lakes.

Produced in collaboration with Inland waterways Fisheries Ireland, the website features has a species search tool that gives access to detailed data and images for 23 freshwater fish species found in Irish lakes. 

The lake browser tool also allows users to see what species were recorded where in 956 lakes across the country.

Not only a useful educational tool, the site could prove particularly useful for anglers looking for the perfect catch.

Published in Inland Waterways

The Minister for Natural Resources, Conor Lenihan, has announced the start of a 30 day public consultation process on the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme Regulations for the 2011 season.

Regulations are made each year, after public consultation, for the management of the wild salmon and sea trout fishery, based on the scientific and management advice provided to the Minister by Inland Fisheries Ireland.

In launching the public consultation process the Minister remarked,

"The 2011 season will see 20 rivers which were closed in 2010 being opened because of an improvement in salmon stocks. Nineteen rivers will be open to angling on a 'catch & release' basis and 4 rivers which were previously closed, Castletown, Suir, Glenamoy and Eske will open with an identified surplus number of fish for harvest."

In all the Salmon Standing Scientific Committee assessed 141 rivers and have advised that:-
· 51 rivers are open (a surplus of fish has been identified in these rivers) i.e. 1 more than in 2010
· 30 rivers have been classified as open for "Catch and Release" only i.e. 19 more than 2010 (see list below) and
· 60 rivers are closed (no surplus of fish available for harvest) i.e. 20 less than 2010.

With the exception of a proposed change to the number of blue (angling) tags applicable to a one day salmon licence holder, the draft Tagging Scheme Regulations for 2011 are in essence unchanged from the Regulations which were introduced following the establishment of Inland Fisheries Ireland in July, 2010.

A number of minor amendments to the Regulations have also been recommended by Inland Fisheries Ireland, which will provide for more effective administration of the tagging scheme regulations in 2011.

Summary of main changes to the management of the wild salmon fishery in 2011

20 Rivers which were closed in 2010 will open for angling on a "catch & release" basis in 2011:-

Glyde (Dundalk fishery district)
Slaney (Wexford fishery district) (note; river is closed until 12 May 2011)
Bride (Lismore fishery district)
Glengariff, Adrigole (Cork fishery district)
Kealincha, Lough Fada, Blackwater, Behy, Owenascaul, Milltown, Feohanagh
(Kerry fishery district)
Grange (Sligo fishery district)
Oily, Owenwee (yellow river) (Ballyshannon fishery district|)
Bracky, Glenna, Tullaghobegley, Ray, Glenagannon (Letterkenny fishery district).

4 Rivers which were "catch & release" in 2010 and will open for harvest in 2011 Castletown (Dundalk fishery district)
Suir (Waterford fishery district)
Glenamoy (Bangor fishery district)
Eske (Ballyshannon fishery district).

3 Rivers which were open in 2010 will be limited to "catch & release" in 2011
Sheen (Kerry fishery district)
Screebe (Connemara fishery district)
Srahmore (Bangor fishery district).

The Minister is giving statutory notice of his intention to make the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme (No. 2) Regulations, 2010 to provide for the management of the wild salmon and sea trout fishery by Inland Fisheries Ireland in 2011 following the 30 day public consultation.

Any person may submit objections to the draft regulations at any time during the period of 30 days commencing on 20 November 2010 either in writing to the Department or by e-mail to [email protected]

Details of the conservation proposals for 2011 and the draft regulations are available on the Department's website http://www.dcenr.gov.ie/Natural/Inland+Fisheries+Division/Consultation+Process+Wild+Salmon+and+Sea+Trout+Tagging+Scheme+Regulations+for+2011+fishing+season.htm

Published in Angling

Minister for Natural Resources Conor Lenihan heralded the establishment of Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) today as an “historic development in the way we protect, conserve and develop our nationally important inland fisheries resource”. The IFI replaces 17 bodies formerly involved in the management of the resource and is fully operational as of today. 

 

The establishment of IFI is an important milestone in delivering a new approach in the management of the inland fisheries sector. The Minister stressed his determination as Minister to effect change where this is needed. He said “We need a structure and organisation fit for purpose in the 21st Century. IFI will build on the achievements of the past, but with the strategic focus and organisation necessary to deal with the challenges facing the sector in the future in the context of the reform of the public sector as a whole”

 

The replacement of the Central and seven Regional Fisheries Boards, the National Salmon Commission and the eight Fisheries Co-operative Societies with IFI is in keeping with the Government programme for the rationalisation of State bodies.

The Minister observed “By contrast with the previous situation, where there were over 150 board members overseeing the management of the sector, in establishing IFI, I have put in place a small focused nine member board, which will be better able to adopt a much needed high level approach to strategic issues. It will also provide effective and efficient stewardship of IFI.” 

Minister Lenihan emphasised “There are no additional Exchequer costs associated with the establishment of IFI. On the contrary, I am eliminating multiple agencies, creating a tight focused board, and in line with the McCarthy report recommendation, IFI will be charged with delivering its tasks with an already reduced budget.”

With in excess of 70,000 km of rivers and streams and 144,480 hectares of lakes, over 400 staff are currently employed by the fisheries boards in managing and protecting this resource. The staffing needs of the new structure will be met through existing resources and, in keeping with the Government’s commitment to optimise the use of resources, there will be no increase in the overall staff numbers in the inland fisheries service.

The Minister said “From the outset IFI will have a clear focus on efficiency and value for money and an obligation to identify areas where there is potential for additional savings. This will be achieved though the better use of existing resources and opportunities to eliminate duplication by reason of the replacement of the 8 Boards previously involved in the management of our fisheries resource with a single national authority.”

The Minister stated that it would be difficult to quantify at this early juncture the anticipated savings for the establishment of the national authority at present as they will occur over time but it is expected that costs will be reduced and savings will be delivered. The budget for the sector for 2010 has already been reduced by over €2 million. 

There has been a significant change in the approach in which the national fisheries resource is managed. This recognises the complex interplay of habitats and species, and ecological biodiversity and the further changes that are expected. The establishment of IFI will enhance the State’s ability to respond quickly and effectively to these challenges. 

The Minister stated “I am determined that every opportunity must be availed of to effect economies and attain efficiencies from within the system to deliver further value for money against the significant Exchequer investment in this resource. That said I am also equally determined to safeguard the inland fisheries resource in the face of the very significant challenges it faces.” 

The Minister again expressed his appreciation for the dedication and commitment to our inland fisheries resources shown by all of those who served on the former Fisheries Boards and said he was confident that they will continue to contribute to the management and development of the sector in the future in the national interest.


Published in Angling
Page 25 of 25

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

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