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Displaying items by tag: Island News

#IslandNews - Nine offshore island communities are set to hold a press conference this coming Wednesday (19 November) over Government plans to terminate core funding for community development.

“The withdrawal of this funding will mean the collapse of a wide range of programmes, activities and initiatives on the islands," according to John Orpan, vice-chair of the West Cork Island Community Council.

That group is one of a number represents the nine non-Gaeltacht islands that would be impacted by the proposal, including Inishbofin, Inishturk, Clare Island, Bere Island, Sherkin Island, Dursey Island, Whiddy Island, Long Island and Heir Island.

Currently, five Island Community Development Companies covering these West Coast islands are managed by voluntary committees to provide services for their communities, funded with some €600,000 annually.

And locals fear that the termination of this core funding "will have disastrous short, medium and long-term effects" on the islands, which "are of added importance as a symbol of and link to the promotion of the Wild Atlantic Way" tourism initiative.

"The inhabited islands off the Irish coast are a unique reservoir of arts, culture, identity and heritage," said Michelle O'Mahoney of Clare Island. "They are home to living, breathing communities, and the Government has a duty to ensure that these communities remain viable and vibrant.”

Island representatives will air their position to the press and the Oireachtas at Buswells Hotel on Wednesday 19 November at 4pm.

Published in Island News
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#IslandNews - Could Star Wars be coming to the Skelligs? According to some reports, the 'Force' is with the Co Kerry islands - specifically Skellig Michael.

The Daily Edge has confirmed with the Office of Public Works that a film production is indeed scheduled to take place on the island, which houses one of Ireland's earliest monastic settlements.

But as yet it's still hearsay as to whether the filming will be for JJ Abrams' long-awaited seventh instalment of the Star Wars saga.

Published in Island News

#ScatteryIsland – Brian Ború's 10th century invasion of the monastic settlement of Scattery Island and the subsequent killing of the Viking King of Limerick and his two sons will be recreated in County Clare later this month.

The Scattery Island Festival on July 26th-27th also features guided walks, lectures, music and song, and marine activities celebrating the island's association with St. Senan, the Vikings, Brian Ború, the Spanish Armada and later as a defence outpost for the British.

Uninhabited since 1979, Scattery Island - also known as Inish Cathaigh - is located approximately one mile from Kilrush in the Shannon Estuary and is home to a monastery founded in the early 6th century by St. Senan. The island features the ruins of six churches and one of the highest Round Towers in Ireland at 120 ft. high.

The re-enactment of the raid on the island by Brian Ború and his the Dál Cais army is the main event of the upcoming Scattery Island Festival, which is part of the national Brian Boru Programme and coincides with the millennial anniversary of Ború's death at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014.

Academics and historians have for many years argued whether or not Ború broke sanctuary by killing on church land as he sought revenge for the murder by King Ivar of his older brother and King of Munster, Mahon. Most agree however, that the incident consolidated Brian's position as Mahon's successor and helped him in his quest to become High King of Ireland.

Dr. Catherine Swift, Course Director, Irish Studies Mary Immaculate College explained: "The Annals of Inisfallen state that Ímar, king of the foreigners, and his two sons, were killed on Inis Cathaig by Brian, son of Cennétig in 977AD. In an account given in the Annals of Loch Cé meanwhile, Brian sees a vision of St Senán condemning him for breaking sanctuary by killing on church land which is taken to be this incident. Whatever one's opinion is of the manner in which the Norse King was slain, it is clear that his death paved the way for Brian to enjoy unchallenged rule over his home Province of Munster."

Rita McCarthy of the Scattery Island Heritage & Tourism Group said the re-enactment will be the focal point of this year's Festival, the theme of which is 'Invade Scattery'.

Also taking place during the course of the weekend will be a Ceremony of Remembrance for past inhabitants of the island, a Curragh Race, Music and Song with Inis Cathaigh Comhaltas, guided tours of the island by the OPW, talks on Scattery Island's environment and history, a Treasure Hunt for children, and tours to the Napoleonic Battery.

Ms. McCarhy continued: "We are inviting former island inhabitants and anyone with a connection with Scattery or indeed, its rich history to join us on the weekend of July 26-27th. Last year's inaugural festival, held as part of the Gathering Ireland initiative, proved to be a huge success with more than 5,000 people travelling to the island. This has helped to raise the profile of what has for many years been one of Ireland's least known monastic settlements."

The Scattery Island Festival on July 26th-27th is part-funded under the Community Tourism Diaspora Fund, operated locally by Clare County Council, IPB and Failte Ireland. For more visit, see Facebook (Scattery Island/Kilrush Gathering), or contact Rita McCarthy of the Scattery Island Heritage and Tourism Group on 087-9731162 / [email protected]

Published in Island News

#DalkeyIslandFerry – The Dalkey Island passenger ferry boat service from Coliemore Harbour, Co. Dublin, was finally launched into service and coincidentally on the opening of the 5th Dalkey Book Festival last Thursday, writes Jehan Ashmore.

There had been no ferry service for the last three years which had been a concern of the local community who have campaigned for its restoration since the issue of 'health and safety' was raised by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council on the state of Coliemore Harbour and also those on the island.

Now that the commercial passenger-ferry boat which is licensed to take 5 persons, locals and visitors can look forward to taking the 4 minute hop across Dalkey Sound.

The service is operated by Ken Cunningham, whose family for many generations have been closely involved with the harbour and also of the local East coast skiff rowing club.

During last weekend the scene at Coliemore Harbour was under a 'blocking' high weather system with blue seas and equally skies. Tourists lined the plaza overlooking the harbour and also admiring the view was a festival guest, author Salman Rushdie, of Satanic Verses fame who was there for an interview and photocall.

Against this scenic publicity backdrop the seascape also provided the setting for a local artist's group and where a former wife of Rushdie, Padma Lakshmi took a keen interest with the painting students.

As previously reported on, a new slipway and quayside structure was completed on Dalkey Island and was officially launched earlier this month by An Cathaoirleach, of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

The opening of the upgraded island harbour facility costing €350,000 was a turning point of the PART 8 Programme in addition to works amounting to €63,500 also carried out at Coliemore Harbour, where issues concerning boating access and safety were also met. Though there were some delays to these works before the ferry eventually could start and that of a permit issued from DLRCC.

A campaign led by the Coliemore Harbour Action Committee pressed local councillors and that of DLRCC to reinstate that the 'traditional' ferry boat would remain running from the harbour as fears had been expressed of an alternative replacement service from Dun Loaghaire Harbour.

The Dalkey Island slipway upgrade incorporates a widened channel and dredging creating easier and safer access for berthing and a navigation marker post is sited at the end of the slipway.

To accommodate the tidal range, at the approach of the new structure is the 'stepped'-slipway section which runs into an upper quayside featuring a ladder and life-ring pole.

From here new steps lead to the existing footpath to the Martello Tower, the main man-made feature on the island which is designated a public park.

The island on the doorstep to Dublin and its tourism potential and the role of public engagement forms one of the main topics of the Dalkey Islands Conservation Plan: 2014-2024 which was launched by DLRCC earlier this month.

The other principle topics of the plan to recognise and manage island issues are: history & archaeology, natural heritage, geological heritage, archaeological and built heritage.

Published in Island News

#DalkeyIslandSlipOpens – Dalkey Island's newly constructed slipway harbour was officially opened today by An Cathaoirleach of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Cllr Carrie Smyth, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Speaking at the launch at Coliemore Harbour, An Cathaoirleach said: "I am delighted to be able to officially open the new slipway on Dalkey Island in what are my last few days as Cathaoirleach. Dalkey Island is a truly beautiful and important part of our county and I congratulate all of those who contributed to this project."

As previously reported on, the works of the slipway landing stage were carried out by Richard Nolan Civic Engineering and took almost a month to complete.

The upgrade which cost €350,000 was part of a PART 8 Programme which was implemented following a study undertaken in January 2010 that identified that the existing slipway on the island had fallen into a state of disrepair, restricting access at low tides.

According to Declan Nolan of the contractors, some of the work days involved extended 18 hours due to access delays caused by the vagaries of the sea.

During the main construction stage, this necessitated use of a self-propelled pontoon barge, the Kesmit that transported heavy plant machinery weighing more than 20 tonnes and building supplies that were loaded at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The new slipway is stepped at various heights for the tidal range and is overall higher than that of the previous structure. A widened channel and dredging has created easier and safer access for boats to berth.

Most importantly, the public can once again safely visit Dalkey Island which is designated as one of 16 parks within Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

Dalkey Island's strategic location between Dublin and Co. Wicklow provides an experience that is a unique place with significant seascapes of both Dublin and Killiney bays. In addition the 20-acre island's importance is varied in terms of ecological, archaeological, architectural and cultural heritage.

As for tourism potential, a new combined visitor ticket to the Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre and passage to the island by a licensed commercial ferryboat will be made available for the first time.

There has not been a ferryboat service for three years, though the reinstatement of such service is expected to return within the next fortnight.The delay is due to the final stages of the new slipway where safety features to improve boarding and disembarkation is currently underway.

Equally similar works at Coliemore Harbour are also in progress to address and improve safer and easier access for boarding and disembarkation.

It is understood that Tim Carey, Heritage Officer of the DLRCoCo who launched the Dalkey Islands Conservation Plan: 2014-2024 along with Cllr Carrie Smyth earlier this week, has already granted a permit for the ferryboat which too has been certified with a license from the Department of Transport.

Only when such safety feature works are completed on both the island and the mainland that the commercial ferryboat service will resume. The boat is licensed to take five passengers on each of the 4-minute hop crossings to the island.


Published in Island News

#heirisland – Now in its sixth year the Heir Island Regatta in West Cork is a fun day out for both the avid and more novice sailor. Run by volunteers all the proceeds go to the RNLI Lifeboats. 

Published in Island News
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The Bull Island Action Group (BIAG) has announced a renewed commitment by the Dublin Port Company to the environmental management of the Dublin Bay's Bull Island.

The Dublin Port Company has pledged to support the work of the BIAG in two key ways:-

1) By undertaking specialist cleaning contractors to remove litter and debris from the rock armour on the Dublin Port side of the Bull Wall twice yearly. This is a really significant investment of resources and labour and will add greatly to the visual amenity of the thousands of walkers, joggers, sea swimmers, cyclists and sightseers who exercise and take fresh air all year round on the Bull Wall. The first major cleanup of the rock armour in recent years has just been completed to coincide with Clean Coasts Week 2013.

2) By supplying the BIAG with cleaning equipment such as litter pickers, bin-bag hoops and other janitorial supplies as the need arises.

The Dublin Port Company joins the other stakeholders in the environmental management of the amenity –

· Dublin City Council: supplies the BIAG with equipment and provides a tractor and trailer to haul away the rubbish collected by our volunteers each month.

· Clean Coasts Ireland (An Taisce): provides the BIAG with support, public liability insurance, publicity and equipment.

· Volunteer Ireland via : provides opportunities to reach out to new and potential volunteers.

Published in Island News
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#IslandFerry – West Cork island ferry operator Cailin Óir Ferry Service which runs the Baltimore-Cape Clear route plans to operate a new service also from the island to Schull.

The development follows a decision to no longer operate from this year the service between Schull and Cape Clear which was run for many years by the Molloy Family using the Karycraft ferry.

Cailín Óir Ferry Service will operate the new service across Roaringwater Bay using relief vessel Dún Aengus. The ferry schedule is to run two days a week in June and increases to five days between 1 July to 25 August.

For more on this story and from this region, visit:


Published in Island News

#Ferries - Ferry fares for people travelling between Inis Mór in the Aran Islands and the mainland are set to almost double from tomorrow 1 February, as RTÉ News reports.

Island Ferries founder Paddy O'Brien has cited increased fuel costs for the sharp fare rise from €8 to €15 for return trips from the largest island in the group in Galway Bay.

Fares for residents of Inis Oírr and Inis Meáin are also rising by 25% after an increase in the annual subvention to provide ferry services to the islands sought by Island Ferries was not accepted by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

The department had failed to secure any tenders for a public service contract on the Aran Islands ferry service, the present contracts for which expire today.

Published in Ferry

#DALKEY ISLAND FERRY – Up to 500 helicopter flights over an 8-day timeframe could be operating across the 300m wide Dalkey Sound, following proposed plans to upgrade the island's slipway harbour were unveiled last week, reports Jehan Ashmore.

According to consultants that carried out a report for Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, the proposed upgrade of the slipway, under a PART 8 Scheme, could see a site near Sorrento Point on Coliemore Road, as the desired landing location to load helicopters heading for the island with machine plant, equipment and materials.

Under the proposed development of up to 12 weeks to complete, work would involve raising the existing slipway to create a stepped top surface, widening of the existing channel, a new raised pier section with transitional steps, a handrail, mooring rings and an access ladder.

The consultants Malachy Walsh & Partners and Shaffrey Associate Architects have however indicated that Dun Laoghaire may be an alternative helicopter embarkation point. Total construction costs of the project are estimated at approximately €228,000, however should Dun Laoghaire be opted instead, this would double lift costs compared to Dalkey, adding about 84% to the overall helicopter costs.

The use of helicopter transportation is not new to the island, as in the early 1990's works on the island harbour also saw flights running back and forth to the grounds of the Dalkey Island Hotel, now occupied by a luxury apartment complex.

The consultant's report also adds that Dalkey Island is designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA) for roosting the common, artic & roseate tern species in accordance with the requirements of the EU Habitats Directive 1992, however given the scale and the location of the slipway works, the report concludes that a full appropriate assessment screening would not be required for the Dalkey SPA because it is considered not to have a significant effect on this site.

As previously reported on the island has also been proposed as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) as part of six Natura 2000 sites within Irish waters.

Plans and particulars of the proposed slipway upgrade of the Dalkey Island PART 8 Scheme development including timescale of public consultation process, can be found in greater detail to include downloadable PDF documents, by following this LINK.

Published in Island News
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