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Displaying items by tag: Inis Mor

The Aran island of Inis Mór is moving closer to energy autonomy, with the installation of almost 240 solar panels on 20 buildings on the island.

The scheme is part of a European renewable energy project currently being implemented by Údarás na Gaeltachta and Comharchumann Forbartha Árann.

The EU Horizon 2020 programme is funding the four-year research project known as ReAct (Renewable Energy for self-sustAinable Island CommuniTies).

The State’s Gaeltacht development agency Údarás na Gaeltachta is a partner in association with Comharchumann Forbartha Árann, along with 23 other partners in 11 European countries.

The REACT project began in 2019 to research energy sustainability on offshore islands.

Inis Mór, Árainn is one of three pilot islands participating in the project along with San Pietro (Italy) and La Graciosa (Spain).

Phase two on Inis Mór has been completed, according to Údaras na Gaeltachta, which means that almost 240 solar panels have been installed on four public buildings, 13 dwellings and two commercial units.

“Using innovative renewable energy technology, it is hoped that this project will lower emissions and energy costs on this Gaeltacht island,” the Gaeltacht authority says.

“It is envisaged that when this pilot scheme is completed that Inis Mór will have the potential to prove that the Island could have energy autonomy not to mention the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions,” it says.

The technology installed recognises how each individual building uses energy by linking technology, weather forecasts and electricity tariffs, it says.

“The system stores energy in batteries and calculates the optimum time for efficient energy usage, taking the weather and electricity tariffs into consideration,” it says.

It pays tribute to the “pioneering work” of the island’s energy co-op Comharchumann Fuinnimh Árann and the main co-op, Comharchumann Forbartha Árann Teo.

Údarás na Gaeltachta is the chief project coordinator in Ireland and is working closely with Comharchumann Forbartha Árainn Teo, NUI Galway, ESBN, SEAI, Spain’s Orduna and Mitsubishi.

The ReAct project is being implemented as part of the strategic project An Ghaeltacht Ghlas (The Green Gaeltacht) which forms a core part of Údarás na Gaeltachta’s Strategic Plan 2021 – 2025, it says.

“This project will demonstrate how renewable energy projects can address climate change, reduce energy costs using innovative technologies and find stable energy sources for small Gaeltacht communities,” Údarás na Gaeltachta’s chief executive officer Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh said.

He referred to the outcome of the recent COP 26 conference in Glasgow demonstrating “the need to act now, not later”.

Such a project could have environmental and economic benefits by linking renewable energy and storage systems with technologies to enable an integrated and digitalised smart grid which could benefit homes in Árainn and along the west coast, he said.

More information is on https://react2020.eu/

Published in Island News
Tagged under

Two Italian brothers rescued after they were knocked into the sea in the Aran Islands have returned to meet the coastguard crew who saved them.

In February 2019, Giovanni and Ricardo Zanon were struck by an unexpected wave at Poll na bPéist on Inis Mór, falling 20 metres off the cliff into the cold Atlantic.

Despite sustaining serious injury — Ricardo Zanon broke his tibia and pelvis in the fall — the brothers survived to tell the tale thanks to the swift actions of the crew of the Irish Coast Guard’s Shannon-based helicopter Rescue 115.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Rescue 115’s winchman Philip Wrenn won a prestigious award earlier this year for his role in the rescue.

The Zanon brothers and their parents returned to Inis Mór today (Wednesday 11 August) for the first time since the incident to give thanks to Wrenn and the rest of the crew.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Ricardo said of that fateful day: “I just remember a big, huge wave like a grey wall coming towards me and then it was completely dark and I thought I was going to die.”

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue

The Connacht Tribune reports that Inis Mór in the Aran Islands will receive some €165,000 for road resurfacing works.

Bóthar Cill Mhuirbhigh gets the largest share — €90,000 — of the allocation from the Department for Rural & Community Development.

Works on the island’s ‘Low Road’ will receive €45,000, while Bóthar Iar Airne gets €31,000.

Published in Island News
Tagged under

Galway Bay FM reports that residents on Inis Mór in the Aran Islands are appealing for tourists and other visitors to stay away for the next fortnight to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Comharchumann Forbartha Árann Teo issued a statement saying residents have overwhelmingly voted in favour of limiting travel to or from Inis Mór until Sunday 29 March.

In addition, islanders are asked to avoid travel to and from the mainland for the rest of this month’s containment period.

Galway Bay FM reports that almost €100,000 has been ring-fenced for the completion of coastal protection works on Inis Mór in the Aran Islands.

The works will focus on arresting erosion at the island’s coastal cemetery, which locals fear will bear the brunt of more extreme weather in the future.

The funding comes from a grant of more than €750,000 from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to complete improvement works on a number of the Ireland’s coastal islands.

Besides Inis Mór, the list includes Whiddy Island, Bear Island, Hare Island and Sherkin Island in Co Cork; Inis Bigil, Clare Island and Inishturk in Co Mayo; and Oileán an Bhráighe, Árainn Mhór and Gabhla in Co Donegal.

Published in Island News

#Skibbereen - TheJournal.ie reports that a 14-year-old boy is in critical condition after he was struck in the head by a boom while yachting off Skibbereen yesterday morning (Saturday 24 June).

The teenager was airlifted to Cork University Hospital by the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117, and the latest news from Independent.ie is that his condition was improving.

Elsewhere yesterday, Howth Coast Guard attended a 53-year-old man with serious head injuries sustained while kitesurfing off Sutton in North Co Dublin.

And Shannon’s Rescue 115 was called to Inis Mór in the Aran Islands for the medevac of a woman who suffered spinal injuries while taking part in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series event.

Published in News Update

#CliffDiving - World famous Olympic diver Greg Louganis will attend the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series event in the Aran Islands later this month as the competition’s new sports director, as Galway Bay FM reports.

The five-time world champion and four-time Olympic gold medallist will arrive on the island of Inis Mór ahead of the globe’s cliff diving elite, who make their return to Poll na Péist — also known as the Serpent’s Lair — on the first stop of this year’s world tour, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

All tickets for live spectators have been snapped up for the contest on Saturday 24 June, but the action will be livestreamed online via Red Bull TV.

Published in Island News

While everyone is very relieved and grateful that the crew of the Scottish-owned Ker 39 Inis Mor were saved after their boat sank at the Saltees at the weekend while on passage to Cork for the up-coming ICRA Nationals, there is still a sense of shock that a boat which was a successful veteran of three Round Ireland Races should have gone down so suddenly writes W M Nixon.

Inis Mor is best known in Irish sailing for her years campaigned by the Gouy family of France, who won an RORC Championship with her thanks to their overall win in the 2012 Round Ireland Race. She was always in the frame, as her other two circuits of Ireland notched her a second and a third. And her gallant owners further endeared themselves to the Irish sailing community through being entered for the Round Ireland Race as representing the Clifden Boat Club, as they have a property in Connemara.

Inis Mor was sold to top Scottish skipper Jonathan Anderson, whose own formidable track record at the sharp end of the fleet made the Anderson/Inis Mor equipe’s debut in Cork a keenly-anticipated event. Thus the news of this sinking, apparently caused by a failed toilet seacock with an ingress of water which was not obvious until it was too late to do anything to effectively seal it off, brings a sense of shock, and an added awareness that in a stripped-down racing boat, almost any equipment failure can have cumulative and potentially disastrous effects if not immediately dealt with.

Published in ICRA

#CliffDiving - The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series returns to Poll na Péist this summer, as the Offaly Express reports.

Also known at the Serpent’s Lair, the spectacular blowhole in the Aran Islands last hosted cliff diving’s top flight in June 2014.

Saturday 24 June will mark the third visit of the global tour to the islands since 2012, and is just one of six stops worldwide in the 2017 competition.

Reigning men’s and women’s champs Gary Hunt from the UK and Australia’s Rhiannan Iffland are expected to lead the cream of the sport to Inis Mór for the first stage of the new season before stops in Portugal, Italy, Texas, Bosnia and Chile.

The Offaly Express has more on the story HERE.

Published in Island News

#AranIslands - The deadlock over Inis Mór’s winter ferry service appears to be over, after the ferry operator agreed to continue absorbing the costs of the council-imposed passenger levy.

According to Galway Bay FM, Island Ferries Teo’s proposal to reduce the levy both retroactively to 2012 and from 2017 onwards has been approved by Galway County Council.

The operator had halted services to the largest of the Aran Islands at the end of November, citing “negative fiscal conditions” that it said were a consequence of the 80c passenger levy.

It’s now emerged that half of the company’s €500,000 debt to the council will be written off, not counting upwards of €450,000 in court costs.

Sailings were restored within days on a temporary basis as talks between the company, Galway County Council and the Department of the Gaeltacht resumed earlier this month.

It’s now expected that winter sailings to and from the island will continue beyond the revised 4 January end date.

Published in Ferry
Tagged under
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