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Displaying items by tag: Bundoran

A woman rescued after falling from a cliff at Mullaghmore Head yesterday afternoon (Thursday 13 August) was “very lucky that she was spotted”.

The casualty was found unconscious at the bottom of the cliff on the Co Sligo headland by concerned passers-by who alerted the Irish Coast Guard.

Bundoran’s RNLI lifeboat volunteers and the Sligo-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 118 were both called out to the scene.

And the woman was treated by helicopter and ambulance crew before being airlifted to Sligo University Hospital.

Bundoran lifeboat crew member Rory O’Connor commented: “The casualty was very lucky that she was spotted and that the alert was raised so quickly.

“We would remind anyone that if they see anyone in trouble on the coast to ring 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The volunteer crew of Bundoran RNLI was called out on Sunday afternoon to reports of bodyboarders in trouble at Rossnowlagh Beach.

Just after 2:05pm, the crew was alerted to the situation by Malin Head Coast Guard who had received an emergency call. Within minutes the crew had assembled at the lifeboat station and launched the “William Henry Liddington” Atlantic 85 lifeboat heading for Rossnowlagh,

In good weather conditions, the lifeboat arrived on scene around 2:25 pm and was informed by a lifeguard on duty that the two bodyboarders had made it safely ashore.

Commenting on their return to Bundoran, volunteer crew member Michael Patton said ‘during this period of good weather we would always advise people to visit a lifeguarded beach and to obey the instructions of the lifeguards. We would also remind people that if they see someone in trouble on the coast do not hesitate to ring 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat was requested to launch on Monday afternoon to a horse that had bolted into the water off Murvagh beach in County Donegal.

The call was made by lifeguards on duty at the beach to Malin Head Coast Guard just after 5:40 pm on Monday (29th June) and the lifeboat was requested to launch.

On arrival at Murvagh, the lifeboat crew came across the horse over one mile from the shore and gradually coaxed it back to the shore where its owner was waiting.

After almost one hour the horse was eventually reunited with its owner.

Helm Killian O’Kelly speaking on return to the station said “this was another callout with a good outcome. Animals are as prone as people to get in trouble in the water and we were glad to be able to help out on this occasion. Remember if you see someone in difficulty on the coast call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Bundoran RNLI’s lifeboat was called to an incident at Rossnowlagh Beach yesterday morning (Sunday 17 May) after a man reportedly collapsed near the water.

Shore crew were also dispatched by road to offer assistance to the ambulance crew on the beach.

They cleared a landing site for the Sligo-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 118, which airlifted the casualty to Sligo University Hospital.

Lifeboat helm Brian Gillespie said later: “This was a great example of inter-agency co-operation between the RNLI, Irish Coast Guard and National Ambulance Service.

“We would like to thank the passer-by who initially raised the alarm and we wish the gentleman a speedy recovery.”

The RNLI remind the public that if you see anyone in trouble on the coast, ring 999 or 112 immediately and ask for the coastguard.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Country music stars Robert Mizzell and Kieran McAree are set to perform at the annual Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat Dance next Friday 31 January.

The dance, held this year at the Allingham Arms Hotel in Bundoran, is the flagship fundraising event of the volunteer crew and has been a staple of the annual event calendar for more than 40 years.

Award-winning country music singer Robert Mizzell, originally from Louisiana and now based in Ireland, will perform on the night and is looking forward to playing the event.

“Since I’ve moved to Ireland I’ve become very aware of the amazing work the volunteers of the RNLI do so selflessly,” he said. “It is my great pleasure to be invited back to play at their annual dance this year. I look forward to seeing many of the supporters of this great charity on the night.”

Event director Cormac McGurren is reminding supporters that not only is it a great night of music, but there are some great prizes in the monster raffle, too.

“Local businesses have once again been so generous in donating prizes for us for the raffle and we would like to thank traders in Bundoran and Ballyshannon for their great support. A special thanks to Mr Oilman who is donating €250 worth of oil for our door prize on the night, too.”

The dance will take place on Friday 31st January with Kieran McAree on stage from 9pm and Robert Mizzell on stage from 11pm.

Proceeds from the dance will fund ongoing training of the volunteer crew based at Bundoran Lifeboat Station, who are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, serving the entire Donegal Bay area for marine emergencies.

Tickets are just €15 and are on sale now from all crew members, the Allingham Arms, Bundoran Tourist Office, BMG Hardware Bundoran, O’Neill’s Next Door Off Licence Ballyshannon and on the door on the night.

More information on the lifeboat service in Bundoran can be found on the station’s Facebook page.

robert mizzell and kieran mcaree to play annual bundoran lifeboat dance2

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The community lifesaving team at Bundoran RNLI well remember Christmas back in 1998, when two surfers were rescued off the coast of Tullaghan, Co Leitrim.

The rescue was acknowledged by the RNLI with a written letter of commendation from the charity’s then chief of operations.

On 28 December 1998, a surfer raised the alarm that two others could not get ashore. Helm Daimon Fergus takes up the story:

“Tony McGowan, our lifeboat operations manager, contacted the Irish Coast Guard in Malin Head and had our volunteer crew paged. Tony Cummins was at the helm along with Damien McNamara and myself.

“Our lifeboat, an Atlantic 75, was launched and underway within seven minutes. There was a south easterly Force 5 offshore wind and a swell of 22ft at the time.

“The main challenge was the swell which was breaking over the breakwater and into the channel from the boathouse. I remember Tony had to time the swells and judge the right moment to clear the channel.”

Once clear, the lifeboat ran before a quartering sea and reached the casualties at 4.22pm.

“We had been guided to the exact location by a shore party sent from the lifeboat station,” Daimon says. “We swiftly managed to recover the two casualties and one surf board just to the north of the surf line.

“As we came back and approached the station, Tony once again had to time our return carefully because of the breaking swells in the approach channel. I won’t forget the fact that the first surfer squeezed my hand so tight that he bent the thick silver ring on my right hand into my finger and the ring had to be cut off when we got back to the station.”

In commending the crew, the RNLI’s letter to the station read: “Although this service was short in duration, all those involved are to be commended for the alacrity of the launch, the contribution of the shore party, as well as the seamanship exhibited by Tony Cummins.”

One of the rescued surfers was Mark Ponsonby from Letterkenny, who says he will be eternally grateful for the speedy launch of the lifeboat that day.

“It’s been over 20 years now since my brother and myself were rescued by the RNLI in the sea at Bundoran. I often wonder what would have happened to us or become of us if it wasn’t for the timely interaction and rescue by the RNLI services that day.

“In a matter of minutes, they had answered the emergency call and had launched the boat. The Irish Coast Guard helicopter was also tasked to come to our aid.

“The conditions we found ourselves in were extreme and treacherous and the timing was critical for that rescue as the light was fading fast, yet the RNLI volunteers didn’t hesitate to get to us as fast as possible. My family will forever be grateful to the RNLI on that day and will never forget what they did for my brother and me that day.”

Now, as the current volunteer lifeboat crew prepare for Christmas 2019, they too will be ready and willing to respond should their pagers go off.

For Daimon, who has been a volunteer for 25 years, Christmas is no different to any other time of year: “We’ll still be on call ready to save lives and delay our own Christmas celebrations. We couldn’t do what we do without the support of the public.

“The RNLI has experienced a shortfall in funds, but we are rescuing more people than ever before. We are facing the Perfect Storm and are calling on people to make a donation this Christmas to ensure we can continue saving lives at sea.”

To support the RNLI’s Perfect Storm appeal this Christmas, helping to ensure the charity’s brave volunteers can continue saving lives at sea, visit RNLI.org/ThePerfectStorm

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Four people have been rescued from an island off the Sligo coast after their vessel washed up on rocks.

Bundoran RNLI’s volunteer crew launched to the incident at Inishmurray Island yesterday afternoon (Sunday 3 November) along with the Irish Coast Guard’s Sligo-based helicopter Rescue 118, which airlifted the casualties to hospital

The RNLI says the lifeboat made efforts to recover their boat from the rocks but due to a three-metre swell, it was decided to leave it in place.

Later, volunteer helm Rory O’Connor said: “The four casualties were lucky on this occasion and we are thankful that they alerted the coastguard when they did. This was another callout with a good outcome.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A diving group stranded off the Donegal coast when their dive boat broke down were rescued by the Bundoran RNLI lifeboat crew yesterday afternoon (Sunday 20 October)

Receiving the call from Malin Head Coast Guard shortly before 1pm, the lifeboat crew, who had just returned from exercise, set out for the scene at the Bullockmore west cardinal marker just west of St John’s Point.

Arriving around 1.15pm, they found that the main dive boat had broken down and was unable to recover six divers who were in the water.

To assist with the operation, Killybegs Coast Guard’s boat was also tasked to the scene as was the Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 from Strandhill.

Four divers were recovered onto the Bundoran lifeboat, with two others recovered to the Killybegs boat and subsequently transferred to a passing fishing boat who had responded to the coastguard’s initial call for assistance in the area.

In total eight divers were accounted for and safely transported back to Killybegs.

Commenting on the callout, his first as a qualified helmsman, Rory O’Connor said: “We are delighted that there was a successful conclusion to this shout.

“Thankfully once the dive boat realised that there was a problem they contacted the coastguard immediately and got ourselves, Killybegs Coast Guard Delta and Rescue 118 launched. We would always encourage all boats to check in with the coastguard before setting out.”

The incident came on the same day as two SCUBA divers were rescued in Dublin Bay after being separated from their boat, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Diving
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Two recently recruited volunteer lifeboat crew at Bundoran RNLI have had a key part of their training funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation, according to the lifesaving charity.

Brothers Oisin and Nathan Cassidy, from Kinlough in Co Leitrim, recently travelled to the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset, to complete its Crew Emergency Procedures course.

Oisin and Nathan were inspired to join up as volunteer crew by their father James, who has been a helm with Bundoran RNLI for 18 years.

The course sees new lifeboat volunteers being trained in a variety of scenarios, such as how to deal with fires aboard lifeboats, and how to ‘abandon ship’ in the event of an emergency — complete with a four-metre jump into water.

Others include team survival swimming, coping in a liferaft in simulated darkness, how to right a capsized inshore lifeboat, and the importance of lifejackets.

It also includes sessions on the correct use of flares, fire extinguishers and throw bags.

More than 3,000 RNLI volunteer crew members have received training funded by some €2.8 million

“It was inevitable that myself and Oisin would join the RNLI,” said Nathan. “Since an early age we’ve been around the lifeboat station with Dad and have seen the great work that he and all the other volunteers do week in, week out.

“We are both very proud to be part of crew at Bundoran RNLI and look forward to help save lives at sea in the Bundoran and Donegal Bay area.”

Nathan and Oisin’s training took place in the Sea Survival Centre at the RNLI College, where they was joined by other RNLI volunteer crew from around Ireland and the UK.

The training is funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation, a charitable foundation that helps to protect life and property by supporting engineering-related education, public engagement and the application of research.

More than 3,000 RNLI volunteer crew members have received training funded by some €2.8 million from the foundation since 2008.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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This weekend’s Bundoran RNLI Soapbox Race will no longer be going ahead on Sunday 2 June due to poor weather forecast for the region.

In a statement, the organisers said: “It is with regret that we have decided to cancel this Sunday’s soapbox race event.

“Following consultation with weather charts and Met Éireann, the forecast is not favourable to run an event outdoors. For the comfort and safety of our volunteers, participants and spectators the organising committee has made the difficult decision to cancel the event.

“We are sorry to cause any disappointment, particularly to those who have already built soapboxes. We would like to thank those who had volunteered their time to help out at the event.

“Our annual flag day street collection will go ahead on Sunday and we thank you in advance for your generosity and continuing support of Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Irish Coast Guard

The Irish Coast Guard is Ireland's fourth 'Blue Light' service (along with An Garda Síochána, the Ambulance Service and the Fire Service). It provides a nationwide maritime emergency organisation as well as a variety of services to shipping and other government agencies.

The purpose of the Irish Coast Guard is to promote safety and security standards, and by doing so, prevent as far as possible, the loss of life at sea, and on inland waters, mountains and caves, and to provide effective emergency response services and to safeguard the quality of the marine environment.

The Irish Coast Guard has responsibility for Ireland's system of marine communications, surveillance and emergency management in Ireland's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and certain inland waterways.

It is responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue and counter-pollution and ship casualty operations. It also has responsibility for vessel traffic monitoring.

Operations in respect of maritime security, illegal drug trafficking, illegal migration and fisheries enforcement are co-ordinated by other bodies within the Irish Government.

On average, each year, the Irish Coast Guard is expected to:

  • handle 3,000 marine emergencies
  • assist 4,500 people and save about 200 lives
  • task Coast Guard helicopters on missions

The Coast Guard has been around in some form in Ireland since 1908.

Coast Guard helicopters

The Irish Coast Guard has contracted five medium-lift Sikorsky Search and Rescue helicopters deployed at bases in Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo.

The helicopters are designated wheels up from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours and 45 minutes at night. One aircraft is fitted and its crew trained for under slung cargo operations up to 3000kgs and is available on short notice based at Waterford.

These aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains of Ireland (32 counties).

They can also be used for assistance in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and aerial surveillance during daylight hours, lifting and passenger operations and other operations as authorised by the Coast Guard within appropriate regulations.

Irish Coastguard FAQs

The Irish Coast Guard provides nationwide maritime emergency response, while also promoting safety and security standards. It aims to prevent the loss of life at sea, on inland waters, on mountains and in caves; and to safeguard the quality of the marine environment.

The main role of the Irish Coast Guard is to rescue people from danger at sea or on land, to organise immediate medical transport and to assist boats and ships within the country's jurisdiction. It has three marine rescue centres in Dublin, Malin Head, Co Donegal, and Valentia Island, Co Kerry. The Dublin National Maritime Operations centre provides marine search and rescue responses and coordinates the response to marine casualty incidents with the Irish exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Yes, effectively, it is the fourth "blue light" service. The Marine Rescue Sub-Centre (MRSC) Valentia is the contact point for the coastal area between Ballycotton, Co Cork and Clifden, Co Galway. At the same time, the MRSC Malin Head covers the area between Clifden and Lough Foyle. Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) Dublin covers Carlingford Lough, Co Louth to Ballycotton, Co Cork. Each MRCC/MRSC also broadcasts maritime safety information on VHF and MF radio, including navigational and gale warnings, shipping forecasts, local inshore forecasts, strong wind warnings and small craft warnings.

The Irish Coast Guard handles about 3,000 marine emergencies annually, and assists 4,500 people - saving an estimated 200 lives, according to the Department of Transport. In 2016, Irish Coast Guard helicopters completed 1,000 missions in a single year for the first time.

Yes, Irish Coast Guard helicopters evacuate medical patients from offshore islands to hospital on average about 100 times a year. In September 2017, the Department of Health announced that search and rescue pilots who work 24-hour duties would not be expected to perform any inter-hospital patient transfers. The Air Corps flies the Emergency Aeromedical Service, established in 2012 and using an AW139 twin-engine helicopter. Known by its call sign "Air Corps 112", it airlifted its 3,000th patient in autumn 2020.

The Irish Coast Guard works closely with the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which is responsible for the Northern Irish coast.

The Irish Coast Guard is a State-funded service, with both paid management personnel and volunteers, and is under the auspices of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. It is allocated approximately 74 million euro annually in funding, some 85 per cent of which pays for a helicopter contract that costs 60 million euro annually. The overall funding figure is "variable", an Oireachtas committee was told in 2019. Other significant expenditure items include volunteer training exercises, equipment, maintenance, renewal, and information technology.

The Irish Coast Guard has four search and rescue helicopter bases at Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo, run on a contract worth 50 million euro annually with an additional 10 million euro in costs by CHC Ireland. It provides five medium-lift Sikorsky S-92 helicopters and trained crew. The 44 Irish Coast Guard coastal units with 1,000 volunteers are classed as onshore search units, with 23 of the 44 units having rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) and 17 units having cliff rescue capability. The Irish Coast Guard has 60 buildings in total around the coast, and units have search vehicles fitted with blue lights, all-terrain vehicles or quads, first aid equipment, generators and area lighting, search equipment, marine radios, pyrotechnics and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Community Rescue Boats Ireland also provide lifeboats and crews to assist in search and rescue. The Irish Coast Guard works closely with the Garda Siochána, National Ambulance Service, Naval Service and Air Corps, Civil Defence, while fishing vessels, ships and other craft at sea offer assistance in search operations.

The helicopters are designated as airborne from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours, and 45 minutes at night. The aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, on inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains and cover the 32 counties. They can also assist in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and can transport offshore firefighters and ambulance teams. The Irish Coast Guard volunteers units are expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time of departing from the station house in ten minutes from notification during daylight and 20 minutes at night. They are also expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time to the scene of the incident in less than 60 minutes from notification by day and 75 minutes at night, subject to geographical limitations.

Units are managed by an officer-in-charge (three stripes on the uniform) and a deputy officer in charge (two stripes). Each team is trained in search skills, first aid, setting up helicopter landing sites and a range of maritime skills, while certain units are also trained in cliff rescue.

Volunteers receive an allowance for time spent on exercises and call-outs. What is the difference between the Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI? The RNLI is a registered charity which has been saving lives at sea since 1824, and runs a 24/7 volunteer lifeboat service around the British and Irish coasts. It is a declared asset of the British Maritime and Coast Guard Agency and the Irish Coast Guard. Community Rescue Boats Ireland is a community rescue network of volunteers under the auspices of Water Safety Ireland.

No, it does not charge for rescue and nor do the RNLI or Community Rescue Boats Ireland.

The marine rescue centres maintain 19 VHF voice and DSC radio sites around the Irish coastline and a digital paging system. There are two VHF repeater test sites, four MF radio sites and two NAVTEX transmitter sites. Does Ireland have a national search and rescue plan? The first national search and rescue plan was published in July, 2019. It establishes the national framework for the overall development, deployment and improvement of search and rescue services within the Irish Search and Rescue Region and to meet domestic and international commitments. The purpose of the national search and rescue plan is to promote a planned and nationally coordinated search and rescue response to persons in distress at sea, in the air or on land.

Yes, the Irish Coast Guard is responsible for responding to spills of oil and other hazardous substances with the Irish pollution responsibility zone, along with providing an effective response to marine casualties and monitoring or intervening in marine salvage operations. It provides and maintains a 24-hour marine pollution notification at the three marine rescue centres. It coordinates exercises and tests of national and local pollution response plans.

The first Irish Coast Guard volunteer to die on duty was Caitriona Lucas, a highly trained member of the Doolin Coast Guard unit, while assisting in a search for a missing man by the Kilkee unit in September 2016. Six months later, four Irish Coast Guard helicopter crew – Dara Fitzpatrick, Mark Duffy, Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith -died when their Sikorsky S-92 struck Blackrock island off the Mayo coast on March 14, 2017. The Dublin-based Rescue 116 crew were providing "top cover" or communications for a medical emergency off the west coast and had been approaching Blacksod to refuel. Up until the five fatalities, the Irish Coast Guard recorded that more than a million "man hours" had been spent on more than 30,000 rescue missions since 1991.

Several investigations were initiated into each incident. The Marine Casualty Investigation Board was critical of the Irish Coast Guard in its final report into the death of Caitriona Lucas, while a separate Health and Safety Authority investigation has been completed, but not published. The Air Accident Investigation Unit final report into the Rescue 116 helicopter crash has not yet been published.

The Irish Coast Guard in its present form dates back to 1991, when the Irish Marine Emergency Service was formed after a campaign initiated by Dr Joan McGinley to improve air/sea rescue services on the west Irish coast. Before Irish independence, the British Admiralty was responsible for a Coast Guard (formerly the Water Guard or Preventative Boat Service) dating back to 1809. The West Coast Search and Rescue Action Committee was initiated with a public meeting in Killybegs, Co Donegal, in 1988 and the group was so effective that a Government report was commissioned, which recommended setting up a new division of the Department of the Marine to run the Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (MRCC), then based at Shannon, along with the existing coast radio service, and coast and cliff rescue. A medium-range helicopter base was established at Shannon within two years. Initially, the base was served by the Air Corps.

The first director of what was then IMES was Capt Liam Kirwan, who had spent 20 years at sea and latterly worked with the Marine Survey Office. Capt Kirwan transformed a poorly funded voluntary coast and cliff rescue service into a trained network of cliff and sea rescue units – largely voluntary, but with paid management. The MRCC was relocated from Shannon to an IMES headquarters at the then Department of the Marine (now Department of Transport) in Leeson Lane, Dublin. The coast radio stations at Valentia, Co Kerry, and Malin Head, Co Donegal, became marine rescue-sub-centres.

The current director is Chris Reynolds, who has been in place since August 2007 and was formerly with the Naval Service. He has been seconded to the head of mission with the EUCAP Somalia - which has a mandate to enhance Somalia's maritime civilian law enforcement capacity – since January 2019.

  • Achill, Co. Mayo
  • Ardmore, Co. Waterford
  • Arklow, Co. Wicklow
  • Ballybunion, Co. Kerry
  • Ballycotton, Co. Cork
  • Ballyglass, Co. Mayo
  • Bonmahon, Co. Waterford
  • Bunbeg, Co. Donegal
  • Carnsore, Co. Wexford
  • Castlefreake, Co. Cork
  • Castletownbere, Co. Cork
  • Cleggan, Co. Galway
  • Clogherhead, Co. Louth
  • Costelloe Bay, Co. Galway
  • Courtown, Co. Wexford
  • Crosshaven, Co. Cork
  • Curracloe, Co. Wexford
  • Dingle, Co. Kerry
  • Doolin, Co. Clare
  • Drogheda, Co. Louth
  • Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
  • Dunmore East, Co. Waterford
  • Fethard, Co. Wexford
  • Glandore, Co. Cork
  • Glenderry, Co. Kerry
  • Goleen, Co. Cork
  • Greencastle, Co. Donegal
  • Greenore, Co. Louth
  • Greystones, Co. Wicklow
  • Guileen, Co. Cork
  • Howth, Co. Dublin
  • Kilkee, Co. Clare
  • Killala, Co. Mayo
  • Killybegs, Co. Donegal
  • Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford
  • Knightstown, Co. Kerry
  • Mulroy, Co. Donegal
  • North Aran, Co. Galway
  • Old Head Of Kinsale, Co. Cork
  • Oysterhaven, Co. Cork
  • Rosslare, Co. Wexford
  • Seven Heads, Co. Cork
  • Skerries, Co. Dublin Summercove, Co. Cork
  • Toe Head, Co. Cork
  • Tory Island, Co. Donegal
  • Tramore, Co. Waterford
  • Waterville, Co. Kerry
  • Westport, Co. Mayo
  • Wicklow
  • Youghal, Co. Cork

Sources: Department of Transport © Afloat 2020

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