#marine – in a wide-ranging speech on Saturday Simon Coveney T.D., Minister for Agriculture and the Marine promised an integrated marine plan - to be published within months - which will ensure that the development of Ireland's enormous offshore zone [more than ten times our land area] will take place in a planned, sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.
The announcement came at the weekend when Coveney addressed the Glandore Classic Boat Summer School.
The 9th Glandore Classic Boat Summer School had the theme 'Our Ocean Wealth'. It took place over two days of sunshine, which were a welcome bonus for those who attended. Even a few traditional boats turned up: Leo McDermott's Síle a Dó with her distinctive cream sails; Uilliam Ó Lorcáin's An tÍascaire and Tim Cooke's pretty lug-sail Ilur on display inside the pier.
The Summer School offered a varied programme of talks and lectures, book-readings and launches. The model exhibition, in the little stone Church above the pier, was a popular attraction. Among the models on show were a beautiful Towelsail Yawl made by Kevin O'Driscoll of Lisheen and a Long Island Mackerel Boat by Liam Hegarty. Also on show were Brian Harte's Kinsale Hooker, the Cork Harbour One-design Querida, the Bantry Long-boat Fionnbarra and Tim Severin's Brendan.
The weekend kicked off with a reading from the newly-published book: G.L. Watson, The Art and Science of Yacht Design, by Hal Sisk, in Hayes' Bar. Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries the Marine Simon Coveney performed the southern launch of the book on Saturday evening after his wide-ranging address to the Summer School when he reinforced many of the issues raised during the day on matters such as marine spatial planning, opportunities for sea-food exports, and the promise of an Integrated Marine Plan.
The speakers on Saturday's theme: "OUR OCEAN WEALTH" included Kieran Cotter, cox of the Baltimore life-boat, who told of his Life with the Sea and the many connections in West Cork and the wider world. Wesley Flannery speaking on Marine Spatial Planning gave many examples and case studies from abroad and called for a new agency to co-ordinate policy across the multiple unconnected agencies with responsibility for the marine. Jason Whooley, CEO of BIM, presented a clear and ambitious vision for Irish sea-food production in a future which would see demand inexorably grow with increased world population and advances in prosperity by developing countries. Dr. Andrew Wheeler of UCC showed fascinating footage of the recent discovery by the Celtic Explorer of the so-called "black smokers", hot vents in the volcanic mid-Atlantic ridge, at a depth of 3,000 metres.
On Saturday afternoon John O'Sullivan, Exploration Director of Providence Resources told of the recent confirmation of the large oil reserves – estimated at 1m. bbl. – in the Barryroe field and of the company's focus on pathfinder projects. Commodore Mark Mellett of the Irish Naval Service presented his compelling rationale for the work of the Navy, their promotion of a culture of innovation and their ground-breaking alliances with other agencies. Micheal Ó Cinnéide, director of the Environmental Protection Agency, took the audience on a fascinating tour of governance and decision-making processes as they affect the marine . Lord (David) Puttnam rounded off the afternoon's programme with a thought-provoking lecture on educational potential, pointing out that Ireland was losing ground educationally, particularly compared with Asian countries and that a new generation of teachers would have to be able to prepare students for an unknowable future.
Afloat's Tom McSweeney directed a lively and wide-ranging panel discussion at the end.
Sunday's programme catered for traditional boat enthusiasts with a reading from Seanchas Ó Chairbre by Maureen O'Donovan , Pat Nolan told the story of the 50-footer BIM trawlers, Holger Lonze's presentation on his sculptural work in bronze and a projected re-enactment of a Bronze Age tin voyage, an update on the Tradboats scanning project by Pat Tanner and Hal Sisk followed by the launch of the 'Virtual Museum' web-site [www.tradboats.ie] and a round-up of local boat-building projects in Oldcourt.
The organisers, Glandore Harbour Yacht Club wish to acknowledge their sponsors: CH Marine, Skibbereen & Cork, Providence Resources plc and Glenmar Shellfish, Union Hall as well as the local hostelries: The Glandore Inn, The Marine Hotel, Caseys Bar and Hayes' Bar.
A large and diverse audience enjoyed the lectures and presentations but probably enjoyed even more meeting kindred souls and old acquaintances in the welcoming and stimulating environment that these events in Glandore provide.