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Displaying items by tag: Dragon

After two decades of printing hard copy yearbooks, the International Dragon Association has launched its first-ever digital edition. 

The bumper edition has 54 pages of entertaining and informative reading about one of the leading racing keelboats.

Despite many predictions over the years of the boat’s decline in the face of new technology, it has not just survived but prospered, and now numbers 1400 active registered Dragons.

The class will stage its 2024 Gold Cup in Kinsale following the cancellation of the 2020 Cup in the West Cork port due to COVID.

The new yearbook can be accessed from the Home Page of the International Dragon website here. It can be read on a tablet, phone or computer.

Published in Dragon
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Just as Ireland's one-design keelboat classes were gearing up for the last blast of the season this weekend, anticipated COVID-19 restriction hikes are threatening the staging of the annual regatta at Dromineer in County Tipperary.

Flying Fifteens, Dragons, Squibs and SB20s are all scheduled to compete.

Organisers of the traditional end of season freshwater regatta at Lough Derg Yacht Club (9-11th October) will be watching out for COVID-19 level announcements today. The much-anticipated hike in restrictions aired on Sunday night (NPHET advice for a countrywide Level Five lockdown) would bring the curtain down on the popular autumn event that typically sees boats travelling from Northern Ireland, Dublin, Cork and other ports for the three-day event.

Some of Dublin's One Design keelboat classes are hoping that current Level 3 restrictions due to expire this Friday will allow travelling out of the county for the last sail of the season. All Dublin club racing has been cancelled over the last three weeks due to the county-wide restrictions.

Lough Derg Yacht Club has posted a Notice of Race with the rider that the 'Club reserves the right to cancel this event with short notice and all fees will be refunded' if it cannot go ahead.

In Kinsale, Squibs were hauled out at the weekend in anticipation of the Squib Inland Championships that are being held as part of the Lough Derg event.

Published in Inland Waterways

After some disappointing cancellations for the Dragon class this season at Kinsale Yacht Club, local Dragon racing made a welcome return to the West Cork harbour at the weekend.

As regular readers will know both the International Dragon Gold Gup planned for this month at Kinsale and then its replacement Cantor Fitzgerald Dragon Week were both cancelled in the wake of COVID-19 restrictions.

However, a busy weekend on the water for KYC, saw local racing resume as well as KYC cruiser racing in the first race of the Mary P September Series, as Afloat reported earlier.

Afloat's Bob Bateman captured the Kinsale Dragon action in the slideshow below

Published in Dragon
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Kinsale Yacht Club has announced that the Cantor Fitzgerald Dragon Week, which was scheduled to take place in lieu of the earlier Gold Cup event has now also been cancelled.

Speaking of the announcement, Matthias Hellstern, Rear Commodore of Kinsale Yacht Club stated "It's a real shame that we have to cancel another Dragon event in Kinsale, however, we looked closely at the new Government restrictions and felt that we really couldn't work within the guidelines and still provide an exceptional event, which Kinsale is noted for. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Cantor Fitzgerald for their support and of our decision. We very much look forward to working with them again in the near future".

Daniel Murphy of Cantor Fitzgerald added "As a Dragon sailor, I am really disappointed that Dragon Week is cancelled. I know Kinsale Yacht Club had put so much plans in place for the week and its volunteers had once again come to the fore, to ensure its success. However, given where we are with regard to this Covid-19 pandemic, we fully support Kinsale Yacht Club's decision".

Published in Dragon
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Cameron Good's Dragon 'Little Fella' was the overall winner of Kinsale Yacht Club's one day Dragon keelboat Regatta on Saturday (August 1).

Good, who also won KYC's Pery Knox Gore 2020 Trophy in late July, sailed with Henry Kingston and Simon Good.

The Race officer for the one-day event was former KYC Commodore, Dave O'Sullivan. The event is part of the build-up for next month's Cantor Fitzgerald sponsored Dragon Week at the club. As Afloat reported previously, interest is building for the event that will include racing for National Championship honours.

Published in Dragon
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Following the recent announcement of the Cantor Fitzgerald Dragon Week, enquires and interest has steadily been making their way back to the Kinsale fleet in West Cork.

Kinsale Yacht Club is hopeful that the “green list” will allow UK travel by September as several UK teams have indicated their intention to travel.

Kinsale Yacht Club dragon sailors should have seven boats competing with long time Dragon campaigner Cameron Good along with his crew on “Little Fella” will be hoping to lift the National title, the one championship that has eluded this team over their illustrious career

Other Kinsale hopefuls will be the Goggin/ Murphy team on “Serafina” along with “TBD” made up of experienced campaigners James Matthews, Dave Good and Fergal O’Hanlon.

Glandore Harbour has indicated that five teams are hopeful of making the short journey down the coast and no doubt multiple national championship winners “Phanton” from Dublin will be in Kinsale to defend their crown. The class rumour mill has also been in overdrive recently with suggestions that Royal St. George's Michael Cotter together with Belfast Lough's Simon Brien and Davy Gomes are to sail the Dragon, “Whisper” for the week!

The “Cantor Fitzgerald Dragon Week” will run in the following format:

  • South Coat Championships - Saturday 5th – Monday 7th September
  • Lay Day – Tuesday 8th September
  • National Championships – Wednesday 9th – Saturday 12th September
Published in Dragon
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Much of the rest of the sailing world may be whirling in coronavirus confusion, but in serene and elegant Glandore in West Cork. the strong local division of classic and modern International Dragons went smoothly into their 14-race Dragon Derby at the weekend. And last Saturday’s racing had a very special flavour, as it marked the 90th birthday of international super-sailor Don Street, who must have done more sailing his time in a greater variety of boats – inshore, offshore and oceanic – than possibly all of his fellow-members of Glandore Harbour Yacht Club combined.

a youthful crew appears from  below decks……but as start time approaches, a youthful crew appears from below decks

Don’s classic Dragon Gypsy – IRL 15 – is of much the same vintage as himself, and is undoubtedly the oldest actively raced Dragon in Ireland, one of a very elite group of seniors worldwide - as is her owner-skipper. It says much for the profound qualities of the 91-year-old Dragon design that Don Street and his colleagues in Glandore should put so much enthusiasm in keeping this very special division of the class actively alive. Happy birthday, Don……

Glandore Dragons closing in on the markGlandore Dragons closing in on the mark

A very special birthday party in Glandore – at 90, Don Street (second left) enjoys his post-race parties as much as ever.A very special birthday party in Glandore – at 90, Don Street (second left) enjoys his post-race parties as much as ever.

Published in Historic Boats
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Kinsale Yacht Club has announced Cantor Fitzgerald is the headline sponsor for Dragon Week 2020 which will be held in Kinsale from the 5th to 12th of September 2020

After the unfortunate cancellation of September's Gold Cup, the Kinsale fleet got together and the idea of Dragon Week was born.

“We had huge interest in the Gold Cup this year and were expecting over 80 entries”, commented Kinsale Dragon stalwart Cameron Good. “However we know that there are many very keen Dragon sailors out there looking to get sailing and the idea with Dragon Week was to maintain the enthusiasm within the Irish fleet. We are using the same dates as the Gold Cup and will run a weeklong series, incorporating the South Coast and National Championships, but with an open invitation to sailors from any nation to come and race if they can”.

The “Cantor Fitzgerald Dragon Week” will run in the following format:

  • South Coat Championships - Saturday 5th – Monday 7th September
  • Lay Day – Tuesday 8th September
  • National Championships – Wednesday 9th – Saturday 12th September

Reacting to the announcement that Cantor Fitzgerald were to headline sponsor this unique event, Daniel Murphy, Head of Cantor Fitzgerald’s Cork office stated that “With the disappointment associated with the cancellation of the Gold Cup, we were immediately attracted to the proactive nature of how Kinsale Yacht Club went about redesigning the calendar by being creative and coming up with the concept of Dragon Week.

Cantor Fitzgerald Ireland is part of leading global financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald. With a proud history of stockbroking and servicing our private clients and financial advisors in Ireland since 1995, we provide a full suite of investment services, primarily in personalised share dealing, pensions, wealth management, fund management, debt capital markets and corporate finance. We are proud to be working in tandem with the Irish Dragon fleet and Kinsale Yacht Club in these exceptional times and look forward to a great week.”

Published in Kinsale
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During a “COVID 19” garage clean out recently, a box of unclaimed prizes was found for the Irish Dragon keelboat class.

These, according to the inscriptions thereon, were to be awarded at the prize-giving for the East Coast Dragon Championships 1985 to the 3rd, 5th and 6th places overall. Apparently, as 1st, 2nd and 4th were presented, there was no one there to receive the others. In fact, no one has any idea how they came to be.

After some debate, it was decided to try and find who the recipients might have been.

By delving through the Dragon Class records, the Dublin Bay Dragon Fleet Captain’s Report Season 1985 revealed the following relevant information:- “Congratulations to the East Coast Dragon Championships winner Conor Doyle and his crew in Alphida and runner-up Alan Crosbie and his crew in Isolde. Other placings were 3rd John Kidney (Hikari), 4th Gerry Owens (Titan), 5th Peter & Susan Gray (Andromeda) and 6th Dan O’Connor (Leprechaun).

It was then decided to arrange a belated prize giving, albeit 35 years late, for the rediscovered prizes. This took place in accordance with COVID 19 protocol on Thursday 25th June.

Prizes were presented by the owner of the garage in question, former Dragon ace Michael Cotter.

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Kinsale Yacht Club have today confirmed that the 2020 Dragon Gold Cup, due to be sailed from the 5 to 11 September, has been cancelled.

“Clearly the global COVID-19 crisis has already impacted many events and our thoughts and prayers are with those personally affected by the crisis.” commented Regatta Director Tony Kingston whilst adding “We had sought consultation with all of our stakeholders, including the International Dragon Association, Irish Sailing and of course our wonderful sponsors. With up to 500 visitors expected to travel to Kinsale from all corners of the world, we needed to be sure that our borders will be open without quarantine restrictions and unfortunately, we simply do not have the clarity we need at this stage to be able to pursue our goal of running a world-class event”.

"We simply do not have the clarity we need"

Headline Sponsor for the Gold Cup, Ciaran Fitzgerald of the Blue Haven Collection added “The Blue Haven Collection were honoured to be headline sponsor for the Gold Cup and was excited to welcome everyone to Kinsale this September. We were supported by Heineken Ireland and the Kinsale Good Food Circle and had looked forward to showing everyone why Kinsale is the Gourmet Capital of Ireland. As a hotel located in the heart of our town, I have seen first-hand how difficult local businesses have found this lockdown, but Kinsale has overcome many battles over the years, will come back stronger than ever and we would be delighted to welcome the Dragon Class to Kinsale at any stage in the future”.

Speaking of the announcement, Kinsale Yacht Club’s Commodore Michael Walsh said “We are obviously disappointed to have to cancel this prestigious event. We believe it is the correct decision based on the information we currently have, and people’s health is to the forefront of our minds. Kinsale Yacht Club was privileged to be selected to host the Gold Cup for 2020 building on the success of the 2012 event, an event I personally participated in. I have seen first-hand the hard work that Tony and his entire team have put in behind the scenes and whilst it saddens us all to cancel, we would be hopeful of hosting another major Dragon event at Kinsale Yacht club in the near future”.

Chairman of the International Dragon Association, Jens Rathsack, concluded by saying “On behalf of all Dragon sailors who were eagerly anticipating a return to Kinsale - one of the class’s best-loved venues - we would like to thank Kinsale Yacht Club’s Gold Cup 2020 organising team for their herculean efforts to make the event possible. Sadly, the likely restrictions on international travel have made it impossible to proceed, but we will return to this beautiful venue again soon and when we do I am quite certain that we will enjoy another superb regatta with famous Irish hospitality!”

The Kinsale Dragon class are now working towards “Irish Dragon Week” which would be a South Coast and National Championships combined into the same week scheduled for the Gold Cup, however news of the viability of this event will be announced in July.

Kinsale Yacht club and the organising committee would like to take this opportunity to thank our Gold Cup 2020 sponsors:

  • Blue Haven Collection – Headline Sponsor
  • Heineken Ireland - Drinks Partner
  • Cork County Council & Pure Cork
  • Brendan O’Regan of Zenith Technologies
  • Kinsale Good Food Circle
  • Dubarry Ireland
  • Brewin Dolphin
  • Glebe Country House
  • Trident Hotel
  • Actons Hotel
  • Perryville House

Full refunds of all entry fees will be processed over the coming weeks

Published in Kinsale
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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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