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Displaying items by tag: Galway Bay

#GalwayBay - More than 500 submissions were lodged during last year’s public consultation on proposals to upgrade the marine energy test site in Galway Bay off Spiddal.

And according to the Connacht Tribune, many voiced serious concerns over the project’s potential impact on Galway Bay.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Marine Institute had applied to the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government for a foreshore lease for the site where prototype marine and renewable energy technology would be tested at reduced scale.

The consultation period, which closed on 17 June last, was accompanied by a public information evening on the project and its ambitions.

However, the Connacht Tribune reports that the response from local businesses and communities has been largely negative.

One fisherman expressed his fear that the lease area could be expanded into prawn grounds already reduced by the original lease for the site a decade ago.

Other concerns include the 35-year period of the lease, the scope and veracity of information provided, and the lack of an Environmental Impact Statement, as well as the impact on tourism on the Wild Atlantic Way in South Connemara.

The Connacht Tribune has more on the story HERE.

Published in Galway Harbour

Galway Docks, with the water level kept constant by an access lock to the sea, matches well with Eyre Square as a nautical version of the city’s most significant public space writes W M Nixon.

And with Christmas upon us, the charm of the docks is enhanced by an increasing number of boats in the marina rigging themselves with displays of festive lights. So much so, in fact, that Cormac Mac Donncha has dropped us a line and the above photo with the comment: “Despite efforts to outdo our neighbours on the marina, with a set of red lights running from the top of the 26m high mast aboard Atlantic Way Sailing’s Hanse 531, we have been outshone by the high wattage, flashing lights aboard the yachts of fellow marina users. While they may have lowered the tone of the display this year, we are considering an upgrade again next year to return us to our rightful position as most impressive vessel of the season…..”

Quite so. But take heed, you yotties of Galway. You face an escalating process which might become endless. At the height of the most extravagant years of the Celtic Tiger, some marinas saw the complete brightly-lit paraphernalia of Santa Claus with his team of reindeer, sleigh and all, heading skywards from the top of the mizzen mast to the mainmast head on certain ketch-rigged boats.

As for the fully-decorated Christmas tree with lights put skillfully above the electronic broccoli at the masthead, that’s old hat. It is still remembered from the early days of Howth Marina in 1983, and possibly even their first marina Christmas of 1982. Then, everyone was so thrilled skinny with the very fact of having a new marina that they seemed to spend half the festive season aboard their boats, despite it being before the clubhouse existed, with the approach to the marina bridge a muddy affair.

So we can be reasonably sure that at the first proper Irish coastal marina of them all, the Royal Cork’s at Crosshaven which opened in 1974, they were sending aloft fully-furnished Christmas trees with lights and every bell and whistle before the rest of us even knew what a proper marina berth was. After all, it’s what you’re expected to do when you’re the oldest yacht club in the world…..

But by all means let us see what other marinas are doing in the way of Christmas-lit boats. And do it soon - the bevy of Christmas storms being talked of may reduce the impact of the best of the show.

Published in Galway Harbour

Irish company, Sea Power, is preparing to test their prototype wave energy device at the Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site in the coming weeks. Following successful completion of testing at small scale, the company, which received grant support from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), is now progressing to quarter scale testing in open sea conditions for the first time.

The Sea Power device has been in development for eight years and will soon make the short journey from Foynes in Limerick, where it was built, to the Galway Bay test site. Wave energy devices, such as Sea Power, will ultimately harness the extraordinary power of the waves off Ireland’s coast, to generate electricity.

SEAI and the Marine Institute are working together to develop Ireland’s ocean energy testing infrastructure which includes tank testing facilities at Lir National Ocean Test Facility in Cork, the consented quarter scale test site in Galway Bay and the planned full scale Atlantic Marine Energy Test Site off the Mayo coast.

Commenting SEAI Chief Executive Jim Gannon said: “It’s very encouraging to see innovative Irish technologies progress through the country’s testing facilities. Ocean energy is an emerging sector for Ireland, offering huge potential in job creation and energy security. With some of the most energy rich ocean resources in the world, located off our West coast, Ireland has the potential to become a market leader in this sector. Developing our sustainable energy resources allows us to move away from our reliance on imported fossil fuels, which cost our economy billions of euro a year.”

Peter Heffernan, Marine Institute CEO said: “Sea Power Ltd is a great example of an indigenous Irish company developing novel technology to harness the power of the ocean. Having brought their device through various small scale prototypes, it is exciting to see this new technology being prepared for testing in the sea at quarter scale. We look forward to working with our partners SEAI and Seapower to make a significant contribution in the evolution of ocean energy as an environmentally friendly and cost effective source of power for Ireland.”

Ireland already boasts other successes in ocean energy technologies with Irish companies such as Ocean Energy having progressed to developing a full scale prototype of their OE Buoy device following successful testing in Galway Bay. OpenHydro, based in Greenore Co. Louth recently deployed two 2MW tidal turbines in Northern France.

Published in Power From the Sea

#FishFarm - Could proposals for the Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site provide a back door for fish farming in the bay?

That’s the concern of local campaigners after a Statutory Instrument was enacted earlier this month that changes the licensing laws for salmon farming for research purposes, as the Connacht Tribune reports.

The new law allows for salmon farms under 50 tonnes to operate without an Environmental Impact Assessment – one of the issues before the withdrawl last year of controversial plans for what would have been one of the largest aquaculture projects in Europe off the Aran Islands.

According to Billy Smyth, chair of campaign group Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages, the move confirms suspicions that the Marine Institute test site off Spiddal could be used for fish farming.

“Let the Marine Institute just ask the Norwegians for the results of their research and save money,” he said.

The public consultation on the foreshore lease application for upgrades to the present test site closed earlier this month.

But contributions are still being sought on a new strategy for coastal communities with fishing and fish farming interests under the FLAG West scheme, following a series of public meetings in Co Galway last week. Galway Bay FM has more HERE.

Published in Fishing

The death in hospital of a lone fisherman after a tragic accident in Galway Bay on Wednesday moved Pierce Purcell of Galway Bay Sailing Club to post these thoughts yesterday to his fellow GBSC members, and he has forwarded them to Afloat.ie. We join with him and his friends and colleagues in heartfelt condolences to the family of Patsy Kelly

“Hearing the news of a lost fisherman on the late news last night, I drove to Renville Quay this morning afraid to press buttons on my phone to our harbour friends or the Ballinacourty fisherman many of us knew so well, for the obvious fear of what I might be told.

To my relief there were three well-known fishermen on the pier chatting in light rain. But on approaching Stephen Walsh who could not hold back the tears, I learnt the sad news that the lost fisherman was Patsy Kelly from Ballinacourty close to the club.

Patsy was an absolute gentleman, a full time fisherman yet interested in sailing and sailors. He built the hooker MacDuach before selling her to Dr Michael Brogan of Kinvara, the chair of Crinnu na mbad festival.

He was particularly safety conscious, and was recovered by the RNLI wearing his lifejacket. He was a serious fisherman who loved and respected the Bay, and was very well respected by all who shared his fishing grounds, which are our playgrounds.

Recently I had asked him to give a talk to the club this winter on “Fishing locally, the history of Island Eddy, and the Bay we use”. Although he was a shy man, he knew and cared enough about the topic to give the idea of such a talk some serious thought.

Our deepest sympathy to his wife Anne who spent many years windsurfing at Renville, and his son, to be married next week.

God Bless you, Patsy”

Published in Fishing

#GalwayBay - A fisherman who was recovered from Galway Bay after a major search and rescue effort yesterday afternoon later died in hospital, as The Irish Times reports.

The alarm was raised after the man's 6m potting boat was found empty, with its engine still running, at Tawin Island off Oranmore around 3.30pm yesterday (Wednesday 7 September).

RNLI lifeboats from the Aran Islands and Galway Bay launched in tandem with the Irish Coast Guard's Shannon-based SAR helicopter and Casla Bay rescue boat for the three-hour operation that concluded when the missing man, who was wearing a lifejacket and showing signs of life, was recovered near the Blackrock buoy off Salthill.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

#SeaPower - Fears over loss of access to generations-old seaweed harvesting grounds and millennia-old archaeological finds have been expressed by locals in the consultation on the new Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site, which closes next Friday 9 September.

According to The Irish Times, community activists in Spiddal have accused the State agency responsible of a "lack of transparency" over its intentions for a long-term lease over the foreshore site on the Connemara coast that's already home to the new SmartBay observatory.

Locals have also expressed concerns that the new facility would be used for power generation and not just for testing of quarter-scale prototypes, that it would cover an area some "30 times the size of Croke Park", and that the main test wind turbine would reach a height of 35 metres.

"We run a regatta in Spiddal every year of Galway hookers and it is right on the line of the regatta," said an organiser of the public meeting held in Spiddal last Monday 22 August. "There was no environment impact statement; there was no consultation with the likes of us."

The Galway Advertiser has more on the story HERE.

Published in Power From the Sea

#SeaPower - The public consultation period for the Marine Institute’s foreshore lease application to upgrade the Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site has been extended once more, until 5pm on Friday 9 September.

This latest extension follows the public meeting on Thursday 21 July in the Connemara Coast Hotel, during which some participants requested more time to allow informed submissions on the lease application.

It also comes after complaints from Galway West TD Catherine Connolly over a lack of response from Local Government Minister Simon Coveney over the issue, as the Galway Advertiser reports.

The meeting was the third public meeting held as part of the consultation on the foreshore lease application to upgrade test and demonstration facilities at the Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site.

The Marine Institute applied in April to the then Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government for a foreshore lease for the site where prototype marine renewable energy technology can be tested at reduced scale to determine viability in an ocean environment.

All relevant documents remain on viewing until the new deadline.

Some 25 submissions have been received as of the previous deadline of 2 August, according to Galway Bay FM.

Published in Galway Harbour

#GalwayBaySwim - Hello Deer Media was on hand to capture on video the tremendous effort on display at last weekend's Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim.



As previously reported on Afloat.ie, more than 100 swimmers crossed Galway Bay from Auginish to Salthill on Saturday 23 July for the 11th annual open sea swim in aid of Cancer Care West.

Published in Sea Swim

#GalwayBaySwim - More than 100 swimmers crossed from Auginish to Salthill in the 11th annual Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim at the weekend, as Galway Bay FM reports.

First across the bay on Saturday 23 July in his wetsuit was Stewart Moore with a time of 2h36m, followed by Dylan Barrett (1st male togs, 2h38m), John Burgess (2nd male wetsuit, 2h58m) and Aimee Walsh (1st female togs, 3h03m).

Full results can be found at the Galway Bay Swim website, while photos of the swimmers and winners are on Facebook.

The 13km open sea swim in aid of Cancer Care West saw tougher conditions than usual with a lot of jellyfish in the water.

"But there were no injuries and everyone thankfully finished and enjoyed the swim," said Fiona Thornton, daughter of Frances Thornton to whom the event is dedicated.

A documentary on the now annual fixture was screened in Galway earlier this year, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Sea Swim
Page 3 of 21

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