Displaying items by tag: Galway Bay
#GalwayBay - A new mackerel-themed maritime festival has been proposed for Galway Bay this autumn – as the latest industry figures show tourism in the region is heavily concentrated in the summer months.
The Connacht Tribune reports on the 'Mackerel Festival' idea suggested at a Galway Chamber meeting last week as a way to rejuvenate Salthill.
Along the lines of the recent Dublin Bay Prawn Festival, the event would liven up the seaside suburb's renowned Promenade with a celebration of its local mackerel catch, which brings in big numbers each September.
The event was one of a number of ideas, including reopening Salthill's tourist office, put forward at the meeting last Tuesday (21 April) that agreed to form a committee to advance the most promising plans.
And the news comes as the latest figures from Fáilte Ireland show that a third of all visitors to Galway in 2014 were 'shoehorned' into the two high summer months.
According to the Connacht Tribune, a combined total of 33% of Galway visitors arrived in July and August last year.
June and September are the next busiest months with 24% of all visits between them, as opposed to just 3% in January – underlining the highly seasonal nature of the region's tourism industry.
The new Galway Bay coastal walking route will comprise a series of "scenic pathways and footbridges spanning the shoreline" between the Salthill Promenade and the beach at Silverstand in Barna two miles to the west.
And the €7 million project also involved works to protect from coastal erosion, which will speed up the foreshore licence application process once the views of the pubic have been sought.
The Galway Advertiser has more on the story HERE.
As the Clare Champion reports, the new ferry routes – which will see boats sail between Galway and the villages of Ballyvaughan and Kinvara on alternate days – are operated by MacMara, a new coastal ecotourism business.
MacMara founder Michael McArdle was part of the Ballyvaughan Bay Hop project, which ran a fast ferry service between the Burren and Galway City to coincide with the Volvo Ocean Race finale.
That feasibility study fed into the new service, which fellow Bay Hop operator Gwen Ryan has been refocused from commuting to "leisure travellers and bringing people from Galway City to the Burren and South Galway."
It's also expected that the MacMara service will open more of the Galway Bay coast to the tourism opportunities afforded by the Wild Atlantic Way initiative.
The Clare Champion has much more on the story HERE.
#MarineScience - A subsea cable laid from the RV Celtic Explorer in Galway Bay this week marks a major milestone in the development of Ireland's national marine research and development infrastructure.
The four-kilometre cable and a frame to which sensors and monitoring equipment will be attached are part of the development of an ocean observatory in Galway Bay connecting the Galway Bay Ocean Energy Test Site to the shore at Spiddal, Co Galway.
The cable will supply power to the site and allow unlimited data transfer from the site for researchers testing innovative marine technology including renewable ocean energy devices.
The Marine Institute and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) have been working together to promote and develop Ireland's ocean energy potential, and this project – with partners SmartBay Ltd, UCC (MarEI - Marine Renewable Energy Ireland), and Dublin City University – is part of a programme to enhance the Galway Bay Ocean Energy Test Site.
A suite of sensors and environmental monitoring equipment will be installed on the cable end frame this summer, as well a floating 'sea station' which will give developers real-time data on how their devices are performing in the ocean.
"Ireland's sea area is around 10 times the size of our land area and with one of the best offshore renewable energy resources in the world, the opportunities to harness the power of the ocean are immense," says Marine Minister Simon Coveney.
"The new facilities at the Galway Bay Ocean Energy Test site will attract companies and researchers developing marine technology and renewable ocean energy equipment, and will position Ireland at the forefront of these emerging sectors by developing an expert indigenous supply chain that will expand as these sectors grow.
"The ocean observatory will also enhance our ability to monitor the ocean and better understand how it works, which is critical to tackling issues such as climate change."
Energy Minister Alex White adds that "offshore renewable energy has the potential to be a major component of Ireland's future energy mix and it is vital that we facilitate developments like this one in Galway Bay.
"Over time, the introduction of ocean energy into Ireland's renewables portfolio will enhance the security of Ireland's energy supply, deliver green growth, and add to the 47,000 jobs already supported by our energy sector.
"Government support for ocean research, development and demonstration has been increasing with €16.8 million added to my department's multi-annual ocean energy development budget between 2013 and 2016, bringing the total cumulative funding to over €26 million."
Instrument nodes and sensor packages to be installed at the Galway Bay Ocean Energy Test Site this summer will contribute to marine sectors including environmental monitoring, shipping, maritime security and education.
Extensive historical wave and weather data is also available for this site since 2008 and is available to potential device developers.
The new research infrastructure is expected to position Galway Bay as a unique world-class ocean energy test site.
The addition of a cabled ocean observatory means Ireland will also play an important role in the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance between Europe, the USA and Canada under the Galway Statement signed at the Marine Institute Galway in May 2013 – and under which the RV Celtic Explorer will undertake the first transatlantic mapping survey between Galway and Newfoundland this coming June.
The cable project is funded in part by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) under its Research Infrastructure Call 2012 which contributed €2.2m to the project. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine contributed an additional €600,000 to the project in 2014. The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources will fund additional infrastructure and the ongoing operations of the Galway Bay test site through the SEAI Ocean Energy Programme.
But as the Irish Examiner reports, Tanglewood in Currabinny is worth every penny – and might well be a bargain to those with multiple millions to splash out on superyachts.
The house and grounds are deserved as "in better order, and – dare to say, more ship-shape – than ever in its almost 100 years of proud standing."
Its most recent makeover 15 years ago saw the addition of a new upper east wing with double guest accommodation furnished in a nautical style care of local yacht designer Rob Jacob.
Outside the grounds include a Japanese-styled garden, and a private gate into the local Coillte woods.
Elsewhere in Cork, a modest two-bed seaside home in nearby Myrtleville could be yours for €350,000.
Ceann Mhara – Head of the Sea – is "a peach by a beach", combining its shoreside setting with a sunny aspect and proximity to popular local swimming hoe Poulgorm, which it sits right above.
And its value is expected to rocket as the summer months approach, so any interested parties should take a look while they can! The Irish Examiner has more HERE.
For those with more majestic tastes, however, there's Ardfry House in Oranmore, as the Connacht Tribune reports.
This 16,700sqft detached period house with outbuildings and an orchard on more than 28 acres is an attraction in and of itself – it was the setting of Hollywood spy thriller The Mackintosh Man in the 1970s – and its quality reflected in the €2 million guide price.
But also on its grounds are the remains of a ninth-century moated castle with the best part of a kilometre of sea frontage on a peninsula in Galway Bay, opposite the world famous golf resort.
As the Galway Advertiser reports, all 12 apartments in Gentian Villas overlook the bay from an elevated site adjacent of Galway Golf Club and just a short walk from Salthill's famed promenade - and a stroll again into the heart of the City of the Tribes.
And extensive renovations inside the twi-bed owner-occupied home on offer make its guide price of €195,000 a real bargain for the quality of life you'll get from living there. The Advertiser has more HERE.
Meanwhile, for those in need of a little more room, this terraced home outside Schull in West Cork could be just the ticket.
7 The Coastguard not only comes with much sought-after sea views, but also use of a shared slipway at the private development - perfect for boat owners in what's one of the region's most popular cruising and racing destinations.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the minister said last month that a decision would be made one way or the other before summer, while expressing that he was "cautious" about the fish farming industry.
But he would not be pressed for a specific date despite repeated prompts in the Dáil last week from former minister Eamon Ó Cuiv.
“I have put those who are considering this application under some pressure to try to get those recommendations onto my desk," said Minister Coveney, "but I am far more concerned about getting the decision right than I am about getting a decision made quickly on an application of that size and scale."
The minister also made reference to his approval of shellfish aquaculture schemes - with 278 decisions made since he took office – while he has not approved any new fish farming schemes in spite of a growing backlog of applications.
“When we get a system working, which we now have for shellfish, I will make decisions as soon as I have a scientific, sound basis to do so," he said.
The Connacht Tribune has more on the story HERE.
Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1's Countrywide on Saturday 7 February, the minister said he is "cautious" about the fish farming industry, noting that he has not approved any aquaculture projects since taking his cabinet post in 2011.
The Galway Bay salmon farm project, first applied for by Bord Iascaigh Mhara in 2012, has been especially contentious with local angling and environmental campaigners.
In recent days this controversy has flared up again with BIM being accused of silence over commercial interest in running what would be the biggest organic salmon farm in Europe should it be given the go-ahead.
However, Minister Coveney did say that there is "room for the industry to grow" and that his department has introduced a "very robust" and "environmentally responsible" licensing regime for future projects.
Following a community request to Galway City Council after the series of storms that slammed the Atlantic coast a year ago, remedial works were undertaken at the 'Nimmo's pier' at An tSeancéibh, not far from where the remains of an ancient 'drowned' forest were uncovered.
But these works – which involved an extension of the original pier designed by Alexander Nimmo as well as significant dredging in the harbour – have been described as "unsightly" and even "hazardous" for small craft.
That's according to local activist Seán Ó Coistealbha, who also says an important lugworm bed was "destroyed" by the dredging with no prior consultation.
However, the council claims its works were necessary to repair "very extensive" damage at the pier head "and make it safe for tSeancéibh users and the general public".
The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.
The fisheries board would only confirm than 21 investors and businesses have come forward with a view to running or funding the 500-hectare organic salmon farm off the Aran Islands, which would be the largest of its kind in Europe.
And that's raised the ire of Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages, one of the community groups opposed to the scheme, whose chairman Billy Smyth said: "They need to come clean and tell us who the 21 companies are."
He added: "This project would cost €70 million just to get started and there are very few salmon farm companies that would be in a position to finance that sort of capital investment."
As reported last month on Afloat.ie, Marine Minister Simon Coveney said a decision would be coming soon on whether he will give the go-ahead for the project.
The Connacht Tribune has more on the story HERE.