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Displaying items by tag: Carlingford Lough

A documentary on the lives of people in coastal communities connected by the Carlingford Lough ferry will have its premiere in a special outdoor drive-in screening this Thursday (19 August).

Four Seasons in a Day is one of six documentaries in the Borderline series focused on border regions around Europe and the people who live there.

Already an award winner, Annabel Verbeke’s film — which was broadcast on RTÉ One last Tuesday — explores the complexities of Brexit through the eyes of locals and visitors alike via the ferry that links Greenore in Co Louth with Greencastle in Co Down.

The film will have its premiere screening on the island of Ireland in a special event at the Carlingford Lough Ferry terminal in Greencastle this Thursday evening at 8pm.

Tickets priced at €27.55 per car are available from the Eventbrite page HERE. The film can also be streamed by viewers in Ireland on the RTÉ Player.

Published in Ferry

Photos that emerged last month of cuts on the back of Carlingford Lough’s resident dolphin have prompted an investigation, as Independent.ie reports.

Finn the dolphin has become a popular sight off Carlingford and Greenore on Co Louth’s Cooley Peninsula since taking residence in the area more than a year ago.

But concerns for his welfare were raised last month after photos surfaced on the Facebook page for Carlingford Lough and The Cooley Peninsula showing what appeared to be a deep gash on his back below his dorsal fin.

While more recent images of the dolphin show that his wounds are healing, the general public have been urged to keep their distance from the animal.

A spokesperson for the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) said: “We have not had a chance to fully investigate the reported injuries.

“However, we are aware, as is the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, An Garda Síochána and Louth County Council and an investigation is ongoing.”

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s Pádraig Whooley told Echo Live that curious dolphin-watchers should “stay out of the water and enjoy the spectacle from the shore”.

He added: “The more people engage with this animal, the more people turn him into a local pet [and] the more we are encouraging this aberrant behaviour. It is not natural for a…dolphin to seek out human company.”

Published in Marine Wildlife

The coastal ferry service across Carlingford Lough is set to recommence next weekend with the easing of lockdown.

As The Irish News reports, the service, between Greenore in Co.Louth and Greencastle in Co.Down, has not been operational since last March.

Since its launch, the service has been a valuable transport link between the Republic and the north, for commuters and the tourism industry.

Operated by Frazer Ferries Group the company's second cross-border service, the Lough Foyle Ferry, which operates between Greencastle in Co Donegal and Magilligan Point in Derry, is expected to reopen later this month.

Commercial director Irene Hamilton,, said: "We’re absolutely delighted to be opening our service on Carlingford Lough.

More on this development here.

Published in Ferry
Tagged under

It's 7000 km from the Caribbean island of Grenada to London and somewhat farther if you travel via Den Helder in the Netherlands, Carlingford Lough, the County Down village of Killowen and Bangor in North Wales. And this is how the Chocolate Maker NearyNógs on the edge of the Mourne Mountains forged close ties with Fortnum & Mason of Piccadilly in London, one of the oldest and most luxurious department stores on the planet, to help produce a 99% emission-free sailboat chocolate.

It is thus named because to transport the 25kg blocks of chocolate in a sustainable way as possible, the company looked back to its early 18th century roots and combined some old methods with modern green thinking to enable the 99% emission-free chocolate to be carried that 7,000 km. The chocolate's epic journey begins in the Grenada Chocolate Company's solar-powered factor in the West Indies, where the Trinitario cocoa beans are processed using zero emissions.

The Tres Hombres Tall ShipThe 30-metre engineless brigantine, the Tres Hombres Photo: courtesy Fair transport

So the first stage across the Atlantic used a 30m engineless brigantine, the Tres Hombres to carry the 350kg of chocolate, in 25kg blocks The ship is owned by Fair Transport. This company carries sustainable and organic cargo between South, Central and North America and Europe. Tres Hombres has become a shining example of the existing possibilities for alternative shipping methods, and she is the ambassador for sail-powered cargo shipping worldwide. Its destination was Den Helder in the Netherlands from where the chocolate began its second voyage on the T/S Britta, with Silvery Light Sailing under Capt Chris Wren, to Carlingford Lough on the east coast of Ireland where it moored close to Killowen on the northern shore.

But that was only part of the story. How to get the chocolate to NearyNógs? Now a team of volunteers heeded the call to transport the chocolate to the Neary family factory. The name NearyNógs comes from children's stories written by Johnnie Neary. Neary is the family name, and Nógs comes from the Irish Gaelic word Tír na nÓg, which means the land of the youth. This passionate team of volunteers used a Boyne Currachs Heritage Group's traditional open-ended clinker-built Drontheim rowing boat. After several trips ashore with the 48 boxes of chocolate, it was a bumpy 9 km by horse and cart to NearyNógs. There the chocolate was broken down into slates, tempered and packaged in recyclable, biodegradable packaging before the final leg of its adventure to Piccadilly.

Danish built ketch the Klevia The Danish built ketch the Klevia Photo: courtesy Anglesey Traditional Sail

The crew of the TS BrittaThe crew of the TS Britta

That final leg began with return horse and cart, and Drontheim trips to another boat, the Danish built ketch the Klevia skippered by Scott Metcalf, which transported the cargo to Port Penrhyn, in Bangor, North Wales. And to complete the virtual emission-free the final leg of this sustainable journey was entirely on land, using Fortnum & Mason zero-emission electric vans to Piccadilly.

Shane Neary, Neary Nógs chats to Gerry Brennan, Silvery Light SailingThe rowers (and the ship's dog) get ready to deliver another load of Chocolate slabs bound for NearyNógs Photo: Columba O’Hare

The mission was made possible with the help of the local charity Silvery Light Sailing and a hard-working rowing crew at Killowen. Silvery Light Chairman Gerry Brennan was delighted to help in the arrangements. "As a Newry based sailing charity, we were pleased to be asked help local Mournes business NearyNógs organise the emission-free transportation of their chocolate using traditional sailing ships. Being a part of the story of the journey from the Caribbean to the shelves of Piccadilly is beyond our normal outreach. Still, it was great to help promote the maritime potential and scenic beauty of Carlingford Lough and the Mournes."

Shane Neary, Neary Nógs chats to Gerry Brennan, Silvery Light SailingShane Neary, (right) of NearyNógs chats to Gerry Brennan, Silvery Light Sailing Photo: Columba O'Hare

Published in Tall Ships

Ireland has a new resident dolphin, as a solitary bottlenose seems to have made its home in Carlingford Lough — and locals have voted to name it ‘Finn’.

Nearly 3,000 people took part in the Facebook poll in which Finn (the Anglicisation of Fionn) won out over ‘Bobby’ in a landslide.

“As we don't know if the dolphin is male or female, Finn works well as it is a popular name for both boys and girls,” the Carlingford Lough and the Cooley Peninsula Facebook page said.

“But if we can call our famous legend Finn or Fionn, we are sure the dolphin won’t mind.”

The Dundalk Democrat reports that Finn has been recently sighted ‘belly flopping’ near the port of Greenore — but marine wildlife experts warn that this may be a sign of distress.

Particularly in light of reports that a snorkeller was seen swimming close to the dolphin, all water users are to be reminded that it is a wild animal and advised to keep their distance.

Published in Marine Wildlife

In an effort to restore even a hint of tourism activity while the Covid-19 restrictions are gradually eased across Ireland, Carlingford Lough Ferry is launching special 'Lighthouse' cruises out to entrance of the scenic lough, writes Jehan Ashmore

The car-ferry Frazer Aisling Gabrielle had been operating the 15 minute cross border Co.Louth (Greenore)/Down (Greencastle) service but due to the escalating Covid19 situation in March, sailings were suspended until further notice.

Operator, Frazer Ferries hope to resume the service in the summer. In the meantime, Frazer Aisling Gabrielle is instead to offer ‘walk on’ passenger cruises onboard the 45m long ferry. The cruises departing from Greenore terminal in Co. Louth is to take place on Saturday, 20 June.

These special and rare 1 hour cruises will involve the ferry been within 400m of the impressive Haulbowline Lighthouse. (See Shine a Light for Healthcare Heroes) The structure to aid mariners jutts dramatically out of the sea and marks the entrance to the stunning scenery of Carlingford Lough.

Those intending taking a cruise are advised to book as soon as possible, due to demand noting passenger numbers are strictly limited in line with the current public safety guidelines.

Onboard will be a fascinating audio tour that will offer insights into glacial fjord with panoramic views sweepong between the Cooley peninsula and as they say the Mourne Mountains that sweep down to the sea!

The Lighthouse themed cruises are especially designed to allow guests to travel in safety and comfort on board the 45m long ferry which with the abscence of cars will provide platforms to take in the views. In order to do, safe social distancing and standing areas will be clearly marked on the upper and lower decks.

In light of current Covid Safety guidelines and for passengers safety, Frazer Ferries request those with families of young children, book tickets for the lower viewing deck area which offers greater space and allows for additional movement, whilst adhering to the required social distancing during the cruise.

According to the operator this Friday afternoon, there are still some tickets available HERE for the cruises. Scroll down the page for additional information on parking in Greenore.

The first sailing on Saturday, 20 June is at 11.30 returning at 1pm and the second sailing is at 2.30 returning at 4pm.

Sailing time is approx 70 mins and the rest of time allows for boarding - departure - arrival and disembarkation.

Whatever cruise is booked, it is strongly advisable to arrive at the terminal 20 minutes prior to the departure for check-in.

Published in Ferry

The Loughs Agency’s elicence website is now back online and anglers can purchase licences for the Foyle and Carlingford areas.

Anglers are individually responsible for compliance with their government’s advice and guidance. Anglers should keep up to date with the latest advice from the Public Health Agency (PHA) in Northern Ireland and the Health Service Executive (HSE) in Ireland.

Loughs Agency offices remain closed and the normal licence distributor network is also still under lockdown conditions. Therefore, anyone wishing to purchase a licence should do so through the elicence website.

For anglers requesting carcass tags when they purchase a licence online, these will be posted to your address. Anglers should take this into account when purchasing.

For anglers purchasing a Loughs Agency endorsement licence, please ensure you have already purchased a full season licence or concession licence from DAERA or a full season or district licence from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI). Loughs Agency carryout checks with our colleagues in DAERA and IFI to validate licence purchases.

If you require a Loughs Agency permit for Foyle, Finn or Greenbraes, please contact the Loughs Agency on +44 (0) 2871 342100 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm).

Illegal fishing or pollution concerns can be reported through the Loughs Agency’s Waterwatch reporting tool online or through the 24-hour response line on +44 (0) 2871 342100.

If you require any further assistance, call the Loughs Agency at the above number during normal weekday office hours or email [email protected]

Published in Angling

Last week the Loughs Agency visited local primary schools in the Foyle and Carlingford areas as part of the Salmon Ambassadors programme.

The programme, which forms part of the legacy of 2019’s International Year of the Salmon, will see the agency working with eight schools (six in Foyle and two in the Carlingford catchmen) to connect pupils with their local river habitats, and use the lifecycle of the salmon to teach them about the broader themes of biodiversity and ecology.

Loughs Agency education officer Michael Cosgrove said: “Through the Salmon Ambassadors we hope to create an informed generation that will value salmon as they should be valued and most importantly, value the environment we share with the ‘King of the Fish’.”

In their journey to becoming a Salmon Ambassador, pupils will learn about issues effecting the Atlantic salmon from local to global level and reflect upon how modern lifestyles have an impact on local wildlife.

Through a range of activities in class and on the banks of local rivers, pupils will be encouraged to take ownership of wild places and wild things so that they can be better conserved for future generations.

Allan Bogle, community engagement officer, said: “Wach school will also look after around 100 salmonid eggs until they hatch. This a participative education programme which is really hands-on so that each pupil can connect with the salmon and their local river.”

Over the next few months, 163 pupils will undertake a range of activities as they research the migration routes, threats and life cycle of the salmon, before presenting their findings and results at a salmon conference in June.

The Loughs Agency has organised two morning seminars around the theme of maritime heritage in the Foyle and Carlingford areas later this month.

The first will take place at Greencastle Golf Club next Friday 22 November from 9.30am to 12.30pm, while Carlingford Marina will host its seminar the following Friday 29 November at the same times.

Both events will include contributions from Patrick Fitzgerald, a professional historian with a long career in researching genealogy and uncovering the story of migration through the centuries, who will take attendees on a journey of migration through the Foyle and Carlingford loughs.

The Greencastle seminar will also hear from Gerald Crawford, former secretary of the Foyle Fisheries Commission, who will tell the story of commercial salmon fishing across two decades Fishing for Salmon in the Foyle.

Retired mariner Seamus Bovaird will be presenting on paddle steamers on Lough Foyle, while Edward Montgomery, secretary of The Honourable The Irish Society, will speak about the society and the Foyle fisheries, and Wes Forsythe, a career archaeologist with an interest in the Foyle area, will presenting on ;Salt and the Sea;.

In Carlingford, Brendan McSherry, Louth County Council’s heritage officer with a passionate awareness of Carlingford Lough, its shores, hinterland and communities, will present on Carlingford Lough, a barrier or a highway?

Kirstin Lemon, geologist by profession with a broader intent to inform communities about their geology and the influence on their culture, will speak about ‘Mountains, Myths and Maritime: a UNESCO Global Geopark in Mourne Gullion Strangford’.

Finally, Liam Campbell, a researcher with an intense interest in exploring the development of cultures within distinct catchments, will present on the ‘Culture of the Catchment – Source to Sea’.

Admission is free free of charge for both events, however tickets must be obtained through Eventbrite to ensure a place at the Foyle and Carlingford seminars respectively.

In other heritage news, the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has published its report on the public and sectoral meetings held earlier this year on Heritage Ireland 2030, Ireland’s national heritage plan.

Among the issues raised at the sessions in Kilkenny and Galway in February were a lack of joined-up thinking across Government departments with relation to heritage issues, and a recognition of the need to understand heritage in a holistic sense encompassing everything from regional traditions to built heritage and wildlife.

Earlier this month, 19 young people graduated on the Loughs Agency’s Carlingford Ambassador Programme, an expansion of its successful Foyle Ambassadors scheme.

Supported through funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Ireland, in partnership with Co-operation Ireland, the Carlingford Ambassadors programme is designed to discover the social, economic and environmental importance of the Carlingford Lough catchment, from source to sea.

At the same time, it provides young people with opportunities to engage and build relationships across the region and political divide.

This was done through a range of adventure activities such as fishing and canoeing and as well as environmental projects including clean-ups, shore surveys and personal development sessions.

Shanna Rice, co-ordinator of the programme at the Loughs Agency, said: “During the summer these 19 young people truly became ambassadors of Carlingford, recognising its importance as a natural resource.

“Ambassadors not only built lasting connections with the catchment, they also developed lasting friendships with each other. The experiences they have gained will provide them with skills for life through fun, friendship and adventure.”

Loughs Agency designated officer Sharon McMahon added: “The Ambassadors programme encourages young people to get involved in the conservation and protection of the natural environment, and as the decision makers of the future and future custodians of the natural environment, it is extremely important that they understand the issues effecting this valuable resource today.

“The programme encourages young people to look after their communities, their relationships with their fellow citizens and the natural environment. It provides opportunities for them to enjoy and understand the recreational facility that the great outdoors provides, so that future generations may also enjoy it.

“And just maybe, due to the intervention of young people such as the Foyle Ambassadors, we can make a lasting difference on this wonderful resource to help make it better, more resilient and sustainable.”

Since 2014, nearly 200 young people between the ages of 13 and 17 have participated in this programme in the Foyle and Carlingford areas. And the Loughs Agency says it is keen to continue delivering the programme .

Peter Sheridan, chief executive of Co-operation Ireland, said its involvement in the programme “is a great source of pride for the organisation and we were delighted to be able to support its expansion in 2019 into Carlingford Lough”.

He continued: “I am confident the success we have seen with the Foyle Ambassadors programme over the last five years will be repeated in Carlingford Lough and look forward to continuing our partnership with the Loughs Agency.”

The Ambassador programme has the potential to reach many more young people throughout the Foyle and Carlingford areas, the Loughs Agency says. If you are interested in the programme, register your interest via email to [email protected]

Published in Coastal Notes
Page 1 of 4

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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