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Displaying items by tag: Galway

A former Italian honorary consul has expressed disappointment at damage to a monument marking explorer Christopher Columbus’s links to Galway.

A Labour city councillor, Niall MacNelis, has also condemned the spraying of black paint on the monument, and says he has reported the matter to the Garda Siochána.

Adriano Cavalleri was honorary consul to Galway when the monument was unveiled in 1992 to mark the 500th anniversary of Columbus’s voyage to the Americas.

Mr Cavalleri explained it was intended to celebrate the navigation skills of Columbus and his crew, and the fact that he is believed to have docked in Galway port in 1477.

Late Italian historian and Columbus biographer Paolo Emilio Taviani had established that Columbus had called to the port and received chart information, Mr Cavalleri said.

“We wished to celebrate these maritime skills, and the link between Galway and Genoa where Columbus was from,” Mr Cavalleri said.

The Columbus monument was donated by the city of Genoa, and its installation close to the Spanish Arch was supported by the Italian Cultural Institute.

Earlier this week, People Before Profit called on Galway City Council to remove monuments which “glorified slavery and racism”, including the Columbus monument.

It also criticised a plaque in Tuam honouring Major Richard (Dick) Dowling who served with the Confederate Army in the US.

Cllr MacNelis said that conflating Columbus’s visit to Galway in 1477 with slavery did “no service to the Black Lives Matter campaign”.

“If this is the approach, where do we stop – does this mean we don’t remember the Galway soldiers who lost their lives while fighting abroad,” Cllr MacNelis said.

Published in Galway Harbour

The traditional first day of spring in Ireland also saw the return of Nimmo, a bottlenose dolphin who’s become a regular visitor to Galway city.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) says this is the sixth consecutive year for this particular dolphin, who has stayed for anywhere between four and eight months since 2016.

As reported this time last year on Afloat.ie, Nimmo’s predilection for Galway Harbour is a sign that the area has become an important feeding habitat.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for people in Galway to observe a wild dolphin close to a city centre and often within clear view of the shoreline,” says IWDG sightings officer Pádraig Whooley.

He also calls on local citizen scientists and marine wildlife watchers to submit their own sightings over the coming months.

Published in Marine Wildlife

Giant “fire sculptures”, a community dinner, jazz lunch and a walk to Omey island are among activities planned for Conamara Sea Week’s programme based in and around the Quaker village of Letterfrack.

Ecologist Gordon D’Arcy is participating in a schools programme, and students from primary to third level have created images for the “After the Light” parade tonight, Wed October 23rd, from 7pm.

The award-winning festival, which has been running since 1984, is focused on the community, with a strong environmental focus.

“Myth, magic and a hint of madness” is promised for the mid-week parade, involving students from five primary schools, local crèches, Youthreach, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) Letterfrack, the Galway Roscommon Education and Training Board and the Brothers of Charity.

An “active age club” lunch and music at Rosleague Manor takes place on Thursday, October 24th, and that same evening a community dinner in Veldon’s Seafarer will offer food made by award-winning chef Jonathan Keane of the Lodge at Ashford.

Artist Mo West will open a sea week “small works” art exhibition at Connemara National Park on Saturday (Oct 26), and John O’Halloran will lead a walk on Sunday to Omey island, meeting at Claddaghduff church at 10.30am.

The programme, including music of all genres, continues until bank holiday Monday, and further information is available by phoning 085 1154629 or check the website here

Published in Maritime Festivals
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#Rowing: Irish crews added four more wins to their haul over the weekend at the World Masters Regatta at Lake Velence in Hungary. The wins came on Saturday. Denis Crowley featured in a composite eight, which beat strong British opposition, and in a four – bringing his personal tally to eight wins. Brendan Smyth and Patrick Fowler of Commercial won in the double and Milo and Pat Murray of Cappoquin won the in the pair. A mixed eight finished second on Sunday.

World Masters Regatta, Lake Velence, Hungary (Selected Results; Irish interest; Winners)

Saturday

Men

Eight  (E – avg 55 or more): Galway, Belfast BC, Neptune, Clonmel, Commercial, Shannon (G Murphy, A McCallion, K McDonald, D Crowley, F O’Toole, O McGrath, G O’Neill, C Hunter, M McGlynn) 3:04.90

Four (D – avg 50 or more): Commercial, Neptune (B Smyth, F O’Toole, G Murphy, D Crowley) 3:24.72.

Pair (F – avg 60 or more): Cappoquin (P Murray, M Murray) 6:12.10.

Sculling, Double (C – avg 43 or more): Commercial (B Smyth, F Fowler) 3:28.39.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Denis Crowley of Commercial brought his tally of wins to a remarkable six after three days at the World Masters Regatta in Budapest. In just one day, the 57-year-old won in the coxless four and twice in the single sculls – in the C class (43 years or more) and the E class for 55 or more. The decision to form composite crews again paid off for the Irish, with wins in the C eight and the D coxed four, along with Crowley’s haul.

World Masters Regatta, Budapest, (Selected Results, Irish interest, winners)

Friday

Men

Eight

(C – 43 or more): Heat Four: Commercial, Cork, Neptune, Clonmel, Shannon, Galway, Castleconnell (B Crean, B Smyth, R Carroll, O McGrath, G O’Neill, P Fowler, B O’Shaughnessy, K McDonald; cox: M McGlynn) 3:09.75.

Four

(E – 55 or more) Heat Five: Commercial, Neptune, Belfast BC, Galway (D Crowley, G Murphy, C Hunter, A McCallion)

Four, coxed

(D – 50 or more) Heat 3: Galway, Neptune, Castleconnell, Clonmel (G O’Neill, O McGrath, B O’Shaughnessy, T Dunn; cox: M McGlynn) 3:35.89.

Sculling, Single

(C - 43 or more) Heat 19: Commercial (D Crowley) 3:49.92.

(E – 55 or more) Heat 8: Commercial (Crowley)

Published in Rowing

Irish authorities have detained a cargo ship close to Kinvara in south Galway bay after its hull sprang a leak while loading cargo for the Bahamas writes Lorna Siggins

The 30m ship Evora has been detained by the Marine Survey Office (MSO) under port-state control regulations which prevent the vessel from going to sea.

Concerns about the four crew employed for the voyage also prompted a visit to the vessel yesterday by the International Transport Federation’s (ITF) Irish branch.

ITF representative Michael Whelan said he had met the crew – three Cubans and a Colombian – and was assessing the situation in relation to pay, conditions, and accommodation for the crew while the vessel is damaged.

“The situation is ongoing, and I have been in contact with the vessel owner,” Mr Whelan said.

The cargo ship had been due to steam to the Bahamas with a large quantity of cement when the ship’s hull was damaged during loading at Tarrea pier, outside Kinvara.

Local residents feared that fuel from the ship might leak, causing pollution which would have a serious impact on south Galway’s shellfish industry, including its oyster beds.

The pier is outside the remit of the Galway harbourmaster and is the responsibility of Galway County Council.

It is understood residents found it difficult to get a response from the local authority, and Galway harbourmaster Capt Brian Sheridan then intervened to assist.

The Department of Transport, under which the Marine Survey Office operates, said it could not comment on the details of the detention.

It said that any queries should be directed to the ship’s flag state – as in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, where the vessel is registered.

The vessel, built in France 50 years ago, was formerly owned in Co Galway but was sold to a new owner within the past 12 months. The owner confirmed that the vessel had been detained, but did not comment further.

A spokesman for the Evora said that the vessel was "detained due to flooding of the engine room" and that "no harmful substances were released" to surrounding waters.

The spokesman said there were "no further comments".

Published in Galway Harbour
Tagged under

#Rowing: A composite of five crews – Galway, Neptune, Commercial, Clonmel and Cork – won in the men’s eight for 50 and over at the World Masters Regatta in Budapest. It was one of a sequence of wins for the Irish at the huge event.

 Brendan Smyth and Patrick Fowler, rowing for Commercial, won the Pair in the A class, while Denis Crowley and Tony Corcoran won in single sculls.

 Two C fours (43 or more) won and an E coxed four (55 or more) also took the honours.   

World Masters Regatta, Budapest, (Selected Results, Irish interest, winners)

Wednesday

Men

Four, coxed E (55 or more) – Heat Four: 1 Belfast BC, Commercial, Galway, Leichhardt RC (C Hunter, A McCallion, M Heavey, G Canning; cox: JM Marks) 8:05.40

Thursday

Men

Eight (D – 50 or more) – Heat Two: Galway, Neptune, Commercial, Clonmel, Cork (B Crean, B Smyth, R Caroll, O McGrath, G O’Neill, P Fowler, D Crowley, G Murphy; cox: M McGlynn) 3:05.06.

Four (C – 43 or more): Heat Three: Commercial, Galway, Clonmel, Neptune (R Carroll, O McGrath, P Fowler, G O’Neill) 3:15.28. Heat Six: Commercial/Neptune (D Smyth, F O’Toole, G Murphy, D Crowley) 3:15.54.

Pair (A – 27 or more): Heat Three: Commercial (P Fowler, B Smyth) 3:32.68

Sculling, Single – (D – 50 or more) – Heat 15: Commercial (D Crowley) 3:55.15.

(H – 70 or more) – Heat Eight: 1 T Corcoran 4:27.08.

Published in Rowing

PhD student Catherine Jordan will bring her research on phytoplankton blooms to the third annual Soapbox Science even in Galway tomorrow afternoon (Saturday 29 June).

She will be among 12 female scientists standing on their soapboxes to talk about their groundbreaking research in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine at the city’s Spanish Arch from noon to 3pm.

Jordan, a PhD candidate through the Marine Institute’s Cullen Fellowship Programme and NUI Galway, will discuss her research on using satellite technology to observe and identify phytoplankton blooms in North-East Atlantic waters.

“When conditions are right, phytoplankton appear in high numbers and produce green and dark red hues in the water and are known as ‘algal blooms’,” she explains.

“As these blooms can sometimes be visible from space, satellites provide a useful tool in monitoring the location and extent of these blooms.

“In most cases phytoplankton blooms are of benefit to the ecosystem, but a small proportion of phytoplankton species produce toxins which may affect other marine life.

“Satellites may be able to assist in providing early wide-scale warnings of the presence of algal blooms, by using ocean colour sensors. A lot of my research focuses on measuring optical properties of light by using different instruments and methods, as well as validating satellite measurements.”

Jordan recently joined the Marine Institute’s annual ocean climate research survey on the RV Celtic Explorer to collect plankton samples and hyperspectral radiometer data as part of her PhD research.

Speaking about the Soapbox Science even, Jordan said: “I am very passionate about my field of science and also promoting how women can work on marine research vessels and spend weeks at sea.

“It is very important to engage the public in learning about marine science in interactive ways in order to explain very complex matters. Soapbox Science is an excellent platform for promoting women in science and encouraging the public to discuss topics they may not have encountered before.”

Soapbox Science Galway began two years ago, and talks this year will cover a diverse range of topics such as enhancing farming using insects, the marvels of human milk, the internet as a force for good, and statistical thinking for real-life questions.

The event will also be held in Dublin and Cork, as well as in several countries around the world including the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Sweden, Germany, Brazil and South Africa.

For the full list of participants and more information about Soapbox Science visit soapboxscience.org

Published in Marine Science

#Rowing: The hosts won the men's senior eights title at Trinity Regatta today. The Trinity/Lady Elizabeth crew had a length and a quarter to spare over Blue Star, a British crew which featured Scott Durant, an Olympic gold medallist, along with former Ireland internationals Cormac Folan and Niall Kenny.

 The men's senior singles went to Michael Maher after a disqualification. The race featured a clash between the two Commercial men, after which Niall Beggan was disqualified.

 The women's novice eight gave DULBC a chance to show their mettle. They raced Neptune in the final and won well. Bann's women's junior 18 eight looked strong and crossed the line ahead of Graiguenamanagh - but Bann were disqualified for not staying the right side of a buoy.

 Brian Colsh of Sligo continued his good run by taking the men's junior 18 single, while Galway beat Blackrock in the men's junior 16 eights final.

Published in Rowing

One Galway fishmonger stocking up ahead of the perennially busy Good Friday trade got more than he bargained for with his catch of the week.

Stefan Griesbach from Gannet Fishmongers and Eatmorefish.ie came across a fish a lot more unusual than the average cod and whiting in the 2kg meagre (Argyrosomus regius) — also known as the croaker fish — a relative of the stone bass which is a farmed fish popular on many Irish restaurant menus.

Common in the waters in south-west of France or west of Africa, the meagre, despite its name, is not so small by nature.

Indeed, the 2kg specimen Stefan spotted in Rossaveal on Monday (14 April) is just a fraction of its cousins that can reach up to two metres in length and weigh more than 200kg.

Meagre is a renowned game fish but also prized for its meaty fillets, which was the big attraction for Stefan when he found it in a mixed box of fish, having been caught by the MFV Killoran south of the Aran Islands on its first trip.

However, before taking the knife to this unique Easter treat, Stefan got in touch with Dr Declan Quigley of the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority to find out just how rare his purchase really was.

And he was surprised to learn that records show only two other meagre/croaker catches in Irish waters, at Passage West, Co Cork in 1840 and Annagassan, Co Louth in 1896 — both in the Victorian era of the 19th century.

Now the special catch is up for auction in aid of the RNLI. Bidding starts at €75 for the auction which closes midday on Thursday 18 April so be sure to act fast.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under
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Irish Coast Guard

The Irish Coast Guard is Ireland's 4th 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.

Introduction

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 around 2000 times (40 times to assist mountain rescues and 200 times to carry out aeromedical HEMS missions on behalf of the HSE), Coast Guard volunteer units will respond 1000 times and RNLI and community lifeboats will be tasked by our Coordination Centres about 950 times
  • evacuate medical patients off our Islands to hospital on 100 occasions
  • assist other nations' Coast Guards about 200 times
  • make around 6,000 maritime safety broadcasts to shipping, fishing and leisure craft users
  • carry out a safety on the water campaign that targets primary schools and leisure craft users, including at sea and beach patrols
  • investigate approximately 50 maritime pollution reports

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

List of Coast Guard Units in Ireland

  • 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

The roles of the Irish Coast Guard

The main roles of the Irish Coast Guard are 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.

Each year the Irish Coast Guard co-ordinates the response to thousands of incidents at sea and on the cliffs and beaches of Ireland. It does this through its Marine Rescue Centres which are currently based in:

  • Dublin
  • Malin Head (Co Donegal)
  • Valentia Island (Co Kerry).

Each centre is responsible for search and rescue operations.

The Dublin National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) provides marine search and rescue response services and co-ordinates the response to marine casualty incidents within the Irish Pollution Responsibility Zone/EEZ.

The Marine Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) Valentia and MRSC Malin Head are 24/7 centres co-ordinating search and rescue response in their areas of responsibility.

The Marine Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) Valentia is the contact point for routine operational matters in the area between Ballycotton and Clifden.

MRSC Malin Head is the contact point for routine operational matters in the area between Clifden and Lough Foyle.

MRCC Dublin is the contact point for routine operational matters in the area between Carlingford Lough and Ballycotton.

Each MRCC/MRSC broadcasts maritime safety information on VHF and, in some cases, MF radio in accordance with published schedules.

Maritime safety information that is broadcast by the three Marine Rescue Sub-centres includes:

  • navigational warnings as issued by the UK Hydrographic Office
  • gale warnings, shipping forecasts, local inshore forecasts, strong wind warnings and small craft warnings as issued by the Irish Meteorological Office.

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.

The Coast Guard can contract specialised aerial surveillance or dispersant spraying aircraft at short notice internationally.

Helicopter tasks include:

  • the location of marine and aviation incident survivors by homing onto aviation and marine radio distress transmissions, by guidance from other agencies, and by visual, electronic and electro-optical search
  • the evacuation of survivors from the sea, and medical evacuees from all manner of vessels including high-sided passenger and cargo vessels and from the islands
  • the evacuation of personnel from ships facing potential disaster
  • search and or rescue in mountainous areas, caves, rivers, lakes and waterways
  • the transport of offshore fire-fighters (MFRTs) or ambulance teams (MARTs) and their equipment following a request for assistance
  • the provision of safety cover for other search and rescue units including other Marine Emergency Service helicopters
  • pollution, casualty and salvage inspections and surveillance and the transport of associated personnel and equipment
  • inter-agency training in all relevant aspects of the primary role
  • onshore emergency medical service, including evacuation and air ambulance tasks
  • relief of the islands and of areas suffering from flooding or deep snow

The secondary roles of the helicopter are:

  • the exercise of the primary search, rescue and evacuation roles in adjacent search and rescue regions
  • assistance to onshore emergency services, such as in the evacuation of high-rise buildings
  • public safety awareness displays and demonstrations
  • providing helicopter expertise for seminars and training courses

The Irish Coast Guard provides aeronautical assets for search and rescue in the mountains of Ireland. Requests for Irish Coast Guard assets are made to the Marine Rescue Centres.

Requests are accepted from An Garda Síochána and nominated persons in Mountain Rescue Teams.

Information courtesy of Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (July 2019)

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