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Displaying items by tag: Galway Harbour

A French yawl built from a late 18th-century replica will be on display in Galway as part of a “Mini Brittany Fest” which runs from May 7th to 14th.

Mayor of Lorient Fabrice Loher will lead a delegation to Galway to coincide with the festival and to mark 47 years of twinning between the two cities.

Crew members of the French yawl or “yole” will discuss maritime skills with schools and groups throughout next week, and it will take part in a sailing display with the Claddagh Galway Hooker fleet on Saturday, May 14th, weather permitting.

Crew members of the French yawl or “yole” will discuss maritime skills with schools and groupsCrew members of the French yawl or “yole” will discuss maritime skills with schools and groups

Lorient is Brittany’s primary fishing harbour, and the delegation will meet with Údarás na Gaeltachta for an overview of economic development in the Gaeltacht.

It will also visit Ros-a-Mhíl fishing and ferry port, and meet representatives of the Port of Galway, the Portershed, Aerogen, the Atlantic Technological University and iHub, and NUI Galway.

This follows a trip to Lorient in March to discuss “shared interests”, led by Mayor of Galway Cllr Colette Connolly, along with representatives from Galway Chamber, NUI Galway, and the Portershed, French honorary consul Catherine Gagneux and Marian Ni Chonghaile from the Galway-Lorient committee.

The first France-Ireland twinning conference on Sunday, May 8th, will gather committees from France and Ireland in the Connacht Hotel in Galway.

Its aim is “to focus on helping and motivating committees through talks and collaborative workshops”.

French yawl or “yole

The Mini Brittany Fest from May 7th will include sean nós workshops, traditional music sessions, performances by Breton dancers from Lorient (le Cercle Celtique Brizeux), outdoor Breton games, a pop art exhibition of Breton rural life and pop art workshop with Hangar’t using photos from the Old Ireland in Colour books.

French Ambassador HE Vincent Guerend said that “through the promotion of sharing and cultural exchanges, twinnings are also an instrument of peace, encouraging the development of individual friendships between citizens of France and Ireland”.

“On May 9th, we will celebrate Europe Day,” he said.

“In the context of the French Presidency of the EU and at the beginning of the EU50 initiative, celebrating 50 years of Ireland’s EU membership and reflecting on the importance of our European identity, heritage and home, I would like to rejoice and welcome the ties that bind our two countries, France being now Ireland’s closest EU neighbour,” the ambassador added.

Visits to the French yawl can be booked through French honorary consul Catherine Gagneux on email [email protected]

Published in Galway Harbour
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Galway hosts of May's Round Britain and Ireland Race stopover in the city have welcomed a site visit by race organisers, the Royal Western Yacht Club from Plymouth.

Race director Adrian Gray held detailed discussions over planning for the event at Galway Harbour this week. Each competing boat will stop for a break of 48 hours at each port before continuing the 2,000-mile voyage.

Gray and Galway Bay Sailing Club Commodore Johnny Shorten and the organising team of Nigel Moss, Fergal Lyons and Olga Scully met with the Harbourmaster of the Port of Galway, Captain Brian Sheridan, about event logisitics.

As Afloat previously reported, the historical race, now celebrating its 56th year, will involve approximately 40 boats, many two-handed, sailing a gruelling course from Plymouth to Galway to Lerwick in the Shetland Islands to Blythe, on the East coast of England, and back to Plymouth.

 

Published in Galway Harbour

Tributes have been paid among the west coast’s sailing community to former RTÉ western editor Jim Fahy who died late last week at the age of 75.

The journalist’s association with Galway Bay Sailing Club (GBSC) since its foundations were recalled at the weekend by Pierce Purcell.

“The early days were noted for the lunchtime gatherings at the Lenihan family ‘Tavern’ on Eyre Square,” Purcell said.

“It was here that so many of those younger members got to know each other, learn about people who had sailed from the docks and on the Corrib,” he said.

“Dickie Byrne who was an early contributor to The Galway Advertiser with the column “There Ye Are Again”, and had some interest in sailing, introduced the local face of the RTÉ to us,” Purcell recalled.

“Jim became a lunchtime contributor to the interests of the enthusiast sailors whose club was developing at a rake of knots, expanding its dinghy and cruiser racing calendar and organising boat shows,” he said.

“By the time Tavern closed and the club group moved down town, John Killeen had recruited Jim to join a few adventures afloat including the “Spirit of Galway” campaign in the Round Ireland Sailing race which listed Government minister Bobby Molloy amongst the crew,” Purcell said.

Bobby Molloy was needed back in Dublin by Taoiseach Charlie Haughey for an important Dail vote and had to jump ship off Westport. Our man Jim was on the spot to inform the nation and GBSC’s involvement in the race in an age before mobile phones,” he said.

“Jim Fahy clocked up more miles cruising with his wife Christina than most members have ever done sailing, with on average 1500 miles a season over the last fifteen years researching places to visit and often imparting local history to the interested crew,” Purcell added.

“Jim became an important member of the Volvo Ocean Race communications team in 2009 and 2012, impressing the Volvo teams with the hourly updates from a small dockside office which was put together on a shoestring,” he said.

Jim Fahy, who began his journalistic career with The Tuam Herald newspaper, was RTÉ’s longest-serving regional correspondent when he retired in 2011.

He reported on national and international events, ranging from his "Looking West" series of interviews to issues affecting Irish emigrants in Britain to famine in Somalia and the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in New York in September 2001.

President Michael D Higgins had described him as "one of Ireland's finest broadcasters, a fact attested to by the over 40 national and international awards which he won over the course of his outstanding career".

"For generations of people he was a familiar voice, indelibly associated with the reporting of events across the west of Ireland during his 38 years as RTÉ’s first western news correspondent,” the president said.

"It will be as RTÉ's voice of the west of Ireland that Jim will be most fondly remembered," he said.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that his "distinct voice and eye for a story uncovered every facet of life in the west of Ireland, as well as major international events like 9/11".

Purcell said that “Jim’s many sailing friends extend their deepest sympathy to Jim’s wife Christina , his son Shane and daughter Aideen”.

Published in Galway Harbour

The RNLI Aran lifeboat and Port of Galway came to the aid of a French fishing vessel yesterday which lost its anchor during Storm Barra.

The 28-metre Ferreira Martinez was one of three French vessels sheltering from the storm in the North Sound, lying between the Aran island of Inis Mór and Leitir Mealláin in south Connemara.

The vessel, which is registered in Bayonne, broke down and was taken under tow by one of the other fishing vessels, Playa du Tuya. Initially, it was planned to tow it to Bantry in west Cork but the Irish Coast Guard nominated Galway as a port of refuge.

Port of Galway harbourmaster Capt Brian Sheridan (who shot the above video of the safe arrival into Galway Port) said that the RNLI Aran lifeboat launched and stood by during the tow into Galway.

The port took over operations from the Aran lifeboat when the tow was off Salthill, and guided both French vessels into the docks last night.

The 28-metre Ferreira Martinez was one of three French vessels sheltering from the storm between the Aran island of Inis Mór and Leitir Mealláin in south ConnemaraThe 28-metre Ferreira Martinez was one of three French vessels sheltering from the storm between the Aran island of Inis Mór and Leitir Mealláin in south Connemara

Published in Fishing
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The imaginative use of the 1926-vintage 56ft Trading Ketch Ilen’s mainmast as a brightly-illuminated Christmas Tree for Galway Docks was switched on as recently as Sunday evening. Yet within 30 hours, the entire setup was being severely tested for many hours by the huge winds of Storm Barra.

Gary MacMahon, Director of the Ilen Marine School, commented today (Wednesday): “We take this opportunity to express again our gratitude for a magnificent winter berth in the Port of Galway, and for the welcoming and helpful Harbour Master Captain Brian Sheridan”.

But while the berth itself was exceptionally snug, there was no mistaking the power and speed of the wind howling overhead, and it speaks volumes for the seamanlike skills and high standards inculcated by the Ilen Marine School that not only did the highly-visible seasonal lights and their equipment come through unscathed, but they had been so well installed that at no time at the height of the storm was it felt necessary to disconnect from the grid.

Mark Sutton of Ishka Spring Water Limerick, sponsors of Ilen’s Christmas Lights, with Gary Mac Mahon (Director, Ilen Marine School) and Captain Brian Sheridan, Harbour Master of the Port of Galway, at Sunday night’s switch-on ceremony.Mark Sutton of Ishka Spring Water Limerick, sponsors of Ilen’s Christmas Lights, with Gary Mac Mahon (Director, Ilen Marine School) and Captain Brian Sheridan, Harbour Master of the Port of Galway, at Sunday night’s switch-on ceremony

Published in Galway Harbour
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An investigation into the death of a Galway fisherman who became entangled in gear off Salthill last year has found the weather deteriorated “significantly” after the vessel which he fished with his father left the harbour.

Tom Oliver (37), a relative of the Olivers who rescued two paddleboarders in Galway Bay in August 2020, died after he was dragged over the stern of the six-metre fishing vessel Myia on November 2nd 2020.

His father Martin, who was almost 62, was found dead at home the following morning.

After the incident, the then Mayor of Galway Mike Cubbard paid tribute to the two men as “salt of the earth” and “the best of friends”.

Cubbard noted that it was only a few weeks since he had recognised the role of their relatives, Patrick and Morgan Oliver, in rescuing paddleboarders Sara Feeney and Ellen Glynn after 15 hours at sea.

Several generations of the Oliver family have been associated with the RNLI lifeboat service, and members of the RNLI and the fishing communities along the coast and on the Aran Islands were among hundreds who attended the funeral of the father and son.

The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) report into the incident said that “violent movements” generated by the worsening sea conditions while feeding out shrimp pots may have been a contributory factor.

The use of a mobile phone to generate a distress call, instead of a Mayday call over VHF radio, “added some delay, however short, in the alert of the emergency services”, the report found.

The report said a Mayday call over VHF radio would have been picked up immediately by Valentia Coast Guard, leading to immediate activation of the lifeboat crew pagers.

It said that activation of a personal locator beacon, which can be fitted to a PFD or lifejacket, would also have triggered an instant distress call.

It said the casualty was not wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) or lifejacket while operating on an open deck in hazardous conditions.

“Wearing a suitably specified and fitted PFD would have greatly improved his chances of survival,” the report stated.

The report noted that the crew were very experienced at potting in the Galway Bay area, and had been working on the twin-hulled vessel FV Myia for ten years, fishing lobster in summer and shrimp during the winter.

The report said that the weather “deteriorated considerably between the time the vessel left the harbour at midday on November 2nd, 2020, and the time of the incident.

“As seen in the Met Éireann weather report at the time of the incident there were near gale force winds, heavy rainfall, and rough seas,” it said.

“ These conditions were extremely challenging for a vessel of this size and construction and would have led to violent movements,” it said.

It noted that there are no manufacturers recommendations on the operational limitations of this type of vessel, and the manufacturing company is no longer in existence.

The report recalled that at approximately 1.30 pm, the men were resetting a train of pots when Tom Oliver got entangled in rope attached to the train of pots.

“ The weight of the train of pots combined with the forward motion of the vessel quickly pulled him overboard and under the water,” it said.

The Galway RNLI lifeboat operations manager was contacted by mobile phone, and he requested activation of pagers for an immediate launch of the inshore lifeboat.

It arrived quickly on the scene, and the lifeboat crew found the casualty caught in ropes and unconscious in the water.

The lifeboat crew got the casualty on board and immediately began cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It requested an ambulance, which met it at the lifeboat station.

Tom Oliver was brought to Galway University Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The lifeboat then launched again to escort the fishing vessel Myia back to the harbour.

The MCIB recommends that the Minister for Transport should issue marine notices reminding fishing crew of the obligation to wear a PFD while working on open decks, and of the dangers associated with snagging in gear while setting trains of pots.

It also recommends that the minister issue marine notices to encourage use of VHF radio for distress calls, to point out the limitations of mobile phones for this purpose, and to advise fishers to know the limitations of vessels and to be aware always of weather forecasts before going to sea.

Published in MCIB

There’s rarely a weekend when there isn’t some activity in and around Galway’s Claddagh basin. Earlier last month, the Galway Hooker Sailing Club and Port of Galway Sea Scouts launched the 96-year old gleoiteog, Loveen, which was refurbished during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Late last month, Badóirí an Chladaigh flew a Brazilian flag from bad mór Naomh Cronán in tribute to Paulo Sergio Soares de Paixo, one of their volunteers who died at the age of 52 after taking ill far from home.

One man who knows everything there is to know about the Claddagh is Tommy Holohan. On a recent low tide walk out from Nimmo’s pier, he took Wavelengths to see the remains of a ship named the Nordlyset, a 1,600 ton steel barque carrying a cargo of deal in November 1914 which was wrecked off Mutton island.

Tommy Holohan (front) and Ger Jackson, examining the remains of the Nordlyset , a 1600 ton steel barque carrying a cargo of deal in November 1914 which was wrecked off Mutton island. Both Tommy and Ger believe the anchor, buried somewhere deep in the sand off Galway's Swamp, should be retrieved as part of the city's maritime history.(Above and below) Tommy Holohan (front) and Ger Jackson, examining the remains of the Nordlyset , a 1600 ton steel barque carrying a cargo of deal in November 1914 which was wrecked off Mutton island. Both Tommy and Ger believe the anchor, buried somewhere deep in the sand off Galway's Swamp, should be retrieved as part of the city's maritime history. Photos Joe O'Shaughnessy

Tommy Holohan and Ger Jackson, examining the remains of the Nordlyset , a 1600 ton steel barque carrying a cargo of deal in November 1914 which was wrecked off Mutton island. Both Tommy and Ger believe the anchor, buried somewhere deep in the sand off Galway's Swamp, should be retrieved as part of the city's maritime history.

Holohan and his friend Ger Jackson believe the anchor is buried somewhere nearby deep in the sand, and that it should be retrieved as part of Galway’s maritime history. There’s also a James Joyce connection to shipwrecks and Galway pilots, as Tommy explained to Wavelengths below

Photo Gallery of The Shipwreck of the Nordlyset By Joe O'Shaughnessy  

Published in Wavelength Podcast
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When Brazilian Paulo Sergio Soares da Paixão became involved with traditional boats in Galway, little did he expect that his ashes would be scattered by fellow crew members at sea.

Musicians and members of Galway group Badoirí an Chladaigh took to the wateron Sunday to bid farewell to their Brazilian colleague after he died last week at the age of 52.

Known in Galway as “Paolo Sergio”, the dancer and choreographer came to Ireland to study gastronomy.

He signed up as a volunteer with Badóirí an Chladaigh, and “everyone he touched just loved him”, according to Peter Connolly of the Galway hooker restoration group.

Brazilian choreographer Paulo Sergio Soares da Paixão whose ashes were scattered by Badoirí an Chladaigh in Galway Bay1.jpgBrazilian choreographer Paulo Sergio Soares da Paixão whose ashes were scattered by Badoirí an Chladaigh in Galway Bay1.jpg

“Paulo was very involved in our outdoor classes for schools, and there was nothing that he couldn’t do,” Connolly said.

When he became ill, he spent a number of months in University Hospital Galway and had two operations in Beaumont hospital in Dublin.

After his cremation last week, arrangements were made to scatter his ashes off Galway’s Mutton island.

The half decker Réalt Feasa and fishing boat Aisling Geal took advantage of a brief weather window on Sunday morning (Oct 31) to steam out to the island.

Paulo’s sister Mariza Soares da Paixao Milo and his cousin, Sergio Severiano Gomes Oliveira, were on board as the wind caught his ashes, a wreath was laid, and prayers were said in his memory.

A group of musicians then played a number of pieces on board the hooker Naomh Cronán, which was moored in full sail in the Claddagh basin and flying a Brazilian flag from its mast.

Relatives and friends of Paulo Sergio Soares da Paixão from left, his sister Maria Soares da Paixao Milo, Esther Niland, Sergio Gomes Oliveira and David Doyle.jpgRelatives and friends of Paulo Sergio Soares da Paixão from left, his sister Maria Soares da Paixao Milo, Esther Niland, Sergio Gomes Oliveira and David Doyle

Mayor of Galway Colette Connolly paid her respects to the family.

Clearly moved by the tribute, Sergio called how his cousin was born in Salvador and how he had studied choreography.

He became a professor of dance at the University of Para in Belem, where he was based for 25 years, and directed works that were staged in theatres in Belem.

“Paulo spent at the University of Para, very far from his home in Salvador, he had a house and car, he returned home to see family and friends, but over time he wanted a little more, something different,”Sergio said.

“He wanted to know the world, and people in a different way, he wanted a reality different from the reality of being Brazilian,” Sergio said.

“He planned to move from Brazil and discover something new...so he came to Ireland to change his way of life and study gastronomy here,”he said.

“Paulo first stayed in Dublin and then decided to move to Galway as it is a small city and a pretty city that gave him more opportunities, and he met many people of many different origins,”Sergio said.

“ He captivated people around him, and he was made welcome here,”he said.

Esther Niland, who offered Paulo lodgings in the West, along with David Doyle and Danny Bailey of Badóirí an Chladaigh said this was “what he would have wanted”.

“I was an immigrant for 20 years myself, many of us have been there, and we felt it was so sad that Paolo died so far from his home,”Peter Connolly added.

“He was a pure gentle giant,” Doyle said.

Published in Galway Harbour

Where else in the world would you hear yourself being addressed as Loveen but in Galway - and that's the name of a 96-year-old gleoiteog which is being blessed today (Oct 16) in the Claddagh Basin.

The historic vessel which was built by the Reaneys of Galway’s Spanish Arch was bought from the late Nicky Dolan in 2011 with the support of the former mayor and Labour councillor Niall MacNelis.

It was presented to the Port of Galway Sea Scouts, to help continue the culture and tradition of hooker sailing into the next generation

It has been restored, plank by plank, by expert boatbuilders Coilín Hernon, Ciarán Oliver and a large team from the Galway Hooker Sailing Association (GHSA).

The association, which has over 100 volunteers, began the project in 2019 and continued with careful restrictions through last year’s Covid-19 pandemic.

The Lovely Anne, a late 19th-century gleoiteog, already restored by the GHSA, will join a flotilla today to welcome the Loveen on to the water.

The Port of Galway Sea Scouts and the GHSA are hosting this afternoon’s celebration at Nimmo’s Pier on the Claddagh basin from 2 pm to 4 pm.

Free ticket admission can be obtained on this link here

Published in Historic Boats

Galway RNLI towed a 20-foot half-decker that got into difficulty off Barna to safety last evening.

The pleasure/fishing vessel experienced mechanical issues after it left Galway docks and started drifting.

The crew contacted the Irish Coastguard which then tasked the Galway lifeboat shortly before 7 pm.

Galway Lifeboat volunteer crew Brian Niland (Helmsman), Martin Oliver, Lisa McDonagh and James Rattigan located the vessel with three crew on board.

RNLI deputy launch authority Seán Óg Leydon said that the crew "thankfully had the means to contact the Coastguard directly " for help before the situation escalated.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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