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Displaying items by tag: History

Following the success of last year’s inaugural maritime conference at UCC, the School of History is to hold the second annual Irish Maritime History Conference next weekend, October 16/17, exploring Ireland’s rich sea-going past and culture. Topics will include piracy, naval warfare, smuggling, fishing communities, shipwrecks, boat building and World War One on the Irish Sea.

There is a strong line-up of speakers from around the country and overseas, making for what should be a most interesting event.

Sessions will be from 1-3 pm on Friday, October 16, another from 3-7 pm and a full day on Saturday from 9-6 pm. Admission is free and no registration is required. Based on last year,.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Tagged under

#CoastalNotes - The history of Strangford Lough stretching back some 10,000 years is the subject of a 'spiritual motorcycle journey' by local writer Peter Moore, as the News Letter reports.

Moore, a motorbike enthusiast and archaeology graduate, hopes his new book, Valhalla and Fjörd, will inspire others to "further explore the area and enjoy the stories" relating to the "wonderful history in and around" the scenic lough.

“At the start of this journey I was unaware of just how much history there was to uncover around Strangford Lough and the fascinating stories of those that lived here over the past 10,000 years," he says of his project, which he hopes to be the first in a series of books.

Moore's journey took him on his restored Triumph motorcycle via old monastic sites, ruined abbeys and churches and other unmarked settlements around the shores of the Co Down inlet, which takes its name from the Norse for 'strong ford' after its powerful tidal currents.

The News Letter has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#GalwayBay - The discovery of deer antlers and horse bones dating back some 1,500 years at a beach on Galway Bay may reveal much about early Christian society in the region.

According to The Irish Times, the important find was made by Brian O'Carra and Mike Williams at an inter-tidal zone west of Galway city, and indicate a possible pagan ritual custom.

O'Carra and Williams have also been studying the remains of a 'drowned' forest west of Spiddal that flourished before the sea level rose a millennium ago, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

But this latest find suggests that "significant environmental changes" began 500 years before then, as the "still water conditions" that preserved the bones and antlers mark a stark difference to the "high energy" coastal environment of today.

Elsewhere, a find of a more morbid kind has prompted a Garda investigation after the discovery of a human skull on Sutton's Burrow Beach on Sunday 30 November.

As RTÉ News reports, it's believed that the skull had been in the sea for some time. The Dublin city morgue is conducting further examinations.

Published in Galway Harbour
Tagged under

#BelfastLough - The Carrickfergus Times has unearthed a dramatic rescue story from Belfast Lough's long maritime heritage.

As the Larne Times reported 61 years ago, Jack Smith has set off in his new motorboat from Belfast headed to Coleraine when its engine broke down in the middle of the lough, stranding the vessel in rough conditions.

Lacking today's modern gadgets to signal for help, all that Smith could do was wave with his white handkerchief and hope that someone on shore would recognise his plight.

Did anyone come to his aid? The Carrickfergus Times has the rest of the story HERE.

Published in Belfast Lough
Tagged under

#DIVING - The Sub-Aqua Club at NUI Galway and the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology welcomes diving expert Edward Bourke to the NUI Galway campus on 18 October to give a talk on historical wreck diving in Ireland.

The talk will take a look at some of the exploits of wreck and salvage dives in Ireland over the years, exploring the nation of the Irish coast as a hotbed of pioneering subaquatic activity, driven mostly by the recovery of shipborne cannons - not only because of their expense, but also to prevent their falling into the hands of insurgents.

Bourke will give his talk at the Siobhán McKenna Theatre in the Arts Millennium Building at 7pm on Thursday 10 October. The evening will be of interest to local historians and divers alike. And as much of the activity was on the west coast, there is some local maritime interest, too.

Edward Bourke is a microbiologist, maritime historian and diver with Viking Sub Aqua in Dublin for 30 years and has dived in Australia, South Africa, Spain, Croatia, France and UK as well as Ireland. He has published three volumes on Shipwrecks of the Irish Coast, cataloguing some 6,000 wrecks in Irish waters, as well as a book of Irish shipwreck photos and a volume on the wreck of the Tayleur at Lambay Island. A scientist with Diageo, Bourke's most recent publication is a history of Guinness.

Published in Diving

#TITANIC - Philip Hammond's Requiem for the Lost Souls of the Titanic will be staged at St Anne's Cathedral on the centenary of the tragedy, BBC News reports.

The Belfast composer has spent over three years working on the "haunting" music that will pay tribute to the more than 1,500 people who lost their lives when the TItanic sank in 1912.

His requiem uses phrases from variations of the 'Nearer My God to Thee' and takes influence from Irish folk songs from the 1792 Belfast Harp Festival.

Accompanying the music will be lyrics from the original Latin Requiem Mass sung by the Belfast Philharmonic Society, Anuna, the Schola Cantorum of St Peter's Cathedral, Belfast, and Cappella Caeciliana.

The cathedral itself will also be part of the story, with seating arranged to imitate that on a ill-fated ship.

"It is part of history and it is part of who we are," said Hammond of the Titanic story.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Belfast Lough
The wonders of Ireland's marine life came to the LifeTime Lab in Cork on Monday with the launch of a fortnight of school visits in tandem with the Explorers marine education programme for primary schools.
The programme aims to empower primary teachers to include marine themes in their classes via specially devised lesson plans and support services adapted to the curriculum, including in-service cources on seashore ecology, marine history, arts and crafts, and mathematics.
“The Explorers Programme focuses on Ireland’s two greatest natural resources – our vast undersea territory and our young people,” said Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of programme partner the Marine Institute. “If Ireland is to develop a thriving marine sector in tomorrow’s world, then it will be the young people of today who will make it happen.”
The programme - which has already been rolled out to some 40 primary schools in the west of Ireland from Mayo to Clare, and in six schools in and around the capital - is a collaborative effort between the Marine Institute, Forfas Discover Primary Science, the Galway Atlantaquaria and Galway, Mayo and Clare Education Centres in the west, and the Bray Sea Life Centre and Blackrock Education Centre in the Dublin area.
Manager of LifeTime Lab Mervyn Horgan said his team was "delighted to be involved" in the pilot series of workshops.
"We are always looking for new and innovative ways of engaging in science education and raising the awareness of marine science in Cork classrooms can only bring long term benefits,” he added.
For more details visit the Explorers website at www.explorers.ie.

The wonders of Ireland's marine life came to the LifeTime Lab in Cork on Monday with the launch of a fortnight of school visits in tandem with the Explorers marine education programme for primary schools.

The programme aims to empower primary teachers to include marine themes in their classes via specially devised lesson plans and support services adapted to the curriculum, including in-service cources on seashore ecology, marine history, arts and crafts, and mathematics.

“The Explorers Programme focuses on Ireland’s two greatest natural resources – our vast undersea territory and our young people,” said Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of programme partner the Marine Institute. “If Ireland is to develop a thriving marine sector in tomorrow’s world, then it will be the young people of today who will make it happen.” 

The programme - which has already been rolled out to some 40 primary schools in the west of Ireland from Mayo to Clare, and in six schools in and around the capital - is a collaborative effort between the Marine Institute, Forfas Discover Primary Science, the Galway Atlantaquaria and Galway, Mayo and Clare Education Centres in the west, and the Bray Sea Life Centre and Blackrock Education Centre in the Dublin area.

Manager of LifeTime Lab Mervyn Horgan said his team was "delighted to be involved" in the pilot series of workshops.

"We are always looking for new and innovative ways of engaging in science education and raising the awareness of marine science in Cork classrooms can only bring long term benefits,” he added.

For more details visit the Explorers website at www.explorers.ie.

Published in Marine Science
Lesser Spotted Ulster's Joe Mahon was on hand to launch the first comprehensive free visitor's guide to the Lagan Canal recently, the Ulster Star reports.
The new guide provides information on the canal's storied history and its abundance of wildlife from Belfast to Lough Neagh.
Lagan Canal Restoration Trust manager Cathy Burns said: “For the first time this guide offers visitors details of all there is to see and do along the canal.
"We hope that it encourages many more visitors and local people to take the opportunity to get out and experience the hidden gem that is the Lagan Canal."
A Guide to the Lagan Canal, Past, Present and Future is available to download online at lagancanaltrust.org

Lesser Spotted Ulster's Joe Mahon was on hand to launch the first comprehensive free visitor's guide to the inland waterway's Lagan Canal recently, the Ulster Star reports.

The new guide provides information on the canal's storied history and its abundance of wildlife from Belfast to Lough Neagh.

Lagan Canal Restoration Trust manager Cathy Burns said: “For the first time this guide offers visitors details of all there is to see and do along the canal.

"We hope that it encourages many more visitors and local people to take the opportunity to get out and experience the hidden gem that is the Lagan Canal."

A Guide to the Lagan Canal, Past, Present and Future is available to download online at lagancanaltrust.org.

Published in Inland Waterways
The annual 'Follow The Fleet' Schools Eassy Competition is open to all schools that are registered to take part in the Follow the Fleet project. The 2010/2011 competition is running an essay competition centred around three key themes: Maritime History, Maritime Trading In Ireland –Life of a Container and Maritime Technology and the Master Mariner.

Schools can register details by logging on the webite where a username and password will be provided. All details with essay guidelines, entry forms and competition details and rules are available on www.imdo.ie/followthefleet/news.asp

Published in Ports & Shipping
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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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