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Displaying items by tag: Accessibility

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has launched an ‘all abilities’ accessible angling facility in West Cork to enable wheelchair users to fish safely and conveniently.

The bespoke €106,000 fishing platform at Shepperton Lake, 3km from Skibbereen, provides access to wheelchair users and those with reduced mobility to a section of the popular angling destination.

Up to four wheelchair anglers at a time can be accommodated at the outdoor facility which consists of a long boardwalk and a large accessible steel stand, a new picnic area and parking for six vehicles.

The initiative was co-funded by IFI and the Department of Rural and Community Development.

Speaking at the opening of the new platform, John Twomey, disheries inspector with IFI said: “The demand for accessible and safe infrastructure for wheelchair users — and those with reduced mobility — at Shepperton Lake was obvious, and we are looking forward to seeing many anglers enjoy our brand new facility.

Deirdre Harrington with John Twomey of IFI on the new accessible angling platformDeirdre Harrington with John Twomey of IFI on the new accessible angling platform

“We’re delighted to have had the opportunity to work with the Irish Wheelchair Association on this project and are very pleased the amenity has been constructed. We can’t wait for the new stand to open tomorrow, and for it to be used by people of all abilities.”

On Friday (31 March) IFI hosted members of the Irish Wheelchair Association in Clonakilty, Co Cork for the official opening of the new amenity, following an extensive programme of works to transform the site to support inclusive angling.

Sinéad Burke, service support officer for the Irish Wheelchair Association said: “Our service users are thrilled with the new fishing podium at Shepperton Lake and will be able to enjoy a long season of fishing from now on.

“Getting out in nature and having access to a tailor-made resource like this will be extremely beneficial to the wellbeing of our service users. We would like to thank the incredible team of IFI who went above and beyond to enhance the fishing experience of our service users. We feel very grateful to work in partnership with the team from IFI.”

IFI has collaborated with the Irish Wheelchair Association in Clonakilty for the past seven years and in that period angling day trips to Shepperton Lake have increased in popularity among the latter’s members, the organisations say.

Published in Angling

A public meeting to demand a public pool and improved accessibility at the newly reopened Dun Laoghaire Baths will take place this Thursday 23 February from 7pm at the National Maritime Museum.

It follows complaints highlighted last month over access issues at the multi-million-euro amenity, which opened in December after years of stop-start redevelopment works.

Access to the amphitheatre level of the baths is currently only by steps or by temporary ramps, which have been described as “wall-like” by advocacy group Access for All.

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has promised upgrades to accessibility in the second phase of development, but there is as yet no confirmed timeframe for these works.

There is also no ETA for the inclusion of a public seawater pool at the site, with the local authority suggesting it could be part of “a future phase of development”.

Wheelchair users have highlighted accessibility issues at the newly reopened Dun Laoghaire Baths — with the current temporary ramps deemed as too steep.

As The Journal reports, one accessibility advocate described the ramps to the lower-level amphitheatre as “disgraceful”.

“They knew very well that they were building these, as I like to call them, wall-like ramps, because you may as well build walls, they are so steep,” Sean O’Kelly of Access for All said.

A spokesperson for Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council acknowledged that the site “isn’t currently as accessible for all as we would like it to be” and promised that upgrades would come in the second phase.

However, the tendering process for this phase has yet to be opened. The local authority says it expects to have contractors on site later this year — a situation Access For All decries as “not good enough”.

The Journal has more on the story HERE.

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) recently published new accessibility guidelines designed as a support to all those involved in providing maritime passenger transport services.

This includes passenger vessel owners and operators, port operators and local authorities, as well as Government departments with a statutory remit in relation to maritime passenger transport services.

The advice given covers all aspects of a journey, including:

  • Advice on providing accessible information for planning the journey
  • Improving access on board vessels
  • Making shore-side facilities accessible
  • Disability awareness training for staff
  • Improving communications with passengers

The full guidelines are available from the Government website as a PDF to read or download HERE.

Published in Ferry

#Angling - Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten has officially launched new angling developments at the Golden Mile in Athlone, Co Westmeath and at Lough Acalla in Co Galway.

These works were completed under the National Strategy for Angling Development (NSAD) and greatly enhance the angling infrastructure in both counties, according to Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).

The wheelchair-accessible angling structures at Lough Acalla comprise floating fishing stands and a connecting bridge to provide for all-year-round fishing.

Total investment in Athlone amounted to €73,000 to build up access causeways, remove old wooden structures and design, manufacture and fit the three floating angling stands.

IFI worked with the local angling clubs, the relevant statutory agencies and contractors in the design and construction of these new floating platforms.

The works form part of a wider development at the Burgess Park and Meadows area, involving Athlone Municipal District, Waterways Ireland, National Parks and Wildlife Service, ESB Fisheries and Athlone Midlands and District Anglers.

At the Lough Acalla development, two large old wooden angling stands were removed and replaced with a fixed concrete catwalk and floating galvanised angling stand.

A new path was also constructed from a set down area in the existing carpark, providing wheelchair accessibility to the entire structure.

IFI worked with anglers and landowners throughout the project to deliver this key piece of infrastructure at this important trout fishery.

Together with other development works at Emlaghroyan, the total development in this River Suck project was €87,000.

Speaking in Athlone after the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Minister Naughten said: “These much needed new developments will add considerably to the angling infrastructure in the upper and mid-Shannon regions, ensuring accessibility for all anglers.

“This investment will play a key role in boosting tourism to the Lakelands region and ensure our valuable natural resources are protected.”

Published in Angling

#MarineNotice - A recent Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) raises importance of maintenance as highlighted in the MCIB report into the scuttling of fishing vessel Jeanette Roberta in Glandore Harbour in late 2011.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the prawn boat was returning to port on 11 December 2011 when the skipper had difficulty switching the helm from auto-pilot to manual due to a known issue with "sticky solenoids". The boat subsequently veered off course without warning and was holed on rocks on Adam's Island.

The official report into the incident castigated the owner/skipper for continuing to sail the vessel with persistent navigation issues - and Marine Notice No 04 of 2013 reminds all fishing vessel operators to ensure that deficiencies with their vessels are rectified without delay.

It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that a vessel is maintained and operated at all times in accordance with the requirements of the agreed Code of Practice. Owners of all vessels also have a legal obligation to operate their vessels in accordance with the law.

Meanwhile, the latest Marine Notice is directed at passenger vessel owners and operators - encouraging them to continue voluntary efforts to improve accessibility on their vessels.

A new questionnaire has been made available to inform the DTTAS about the extent of accessibility improvements introduced to maritime passenger transport services in the State.

Full details are included in Marine Notice No 05 of 2013, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in News Update

Royal Irish Yacht Club - Frequently Asked Questions

The Royal Irish Yacht Club is situated in a central location in Dun Laoghaire Harbour with excellent access and visiting sailors can be sure of a special welcome. The clubhouse is located in the prime middle ground of the harbour in front of the town marina and it is Dun Laoghaire's oldest yacht club. 

What's a brief history of the Royal Irish Yacht Club?

The yacht club was founded in 1831, with the Marquess of Anglesey, who commanded the cavalry at the Battle of Waterloo being its first Commodore. 

John Skipton Mulvany designed the clubhouse, which still retains a number of original architectural features since being opened in 1851.

It was granted an ensign by the Admiralty of a white ensign with the Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Ireland beneath the Union Jack in canton.

Many prominent names feature among the past members of the Club. The first Duke of Wellington was elected in 1833, followed by other illustrious men including the eccentric Admiral Sir Charles Napier, Sir Dominic Corrigan the distinguished physician, Sir Thomas Lipton, novelist, George A. Birmingham, yachtsman and author, Conor O'Brien, and famous naval historian and author, Patrick O Brian. 

In the club's constitution, it was unique among yacht clubs in that it required yacht owners to provide the club's commodore with information about the coast and any deep-sea fisheries they encountered on all of their voyages.

In 1846, the club was granted permission to use the Royal prefix by Queen Victoria. The club built a new clubhouse in 1851. Despite the Republic of Ireland breaking away from the United Kingdom, the Royal Irish Yacht Club elected to retain its Royal title.

In 1848, a yachting trophy called "Her Majesty's Plate" was established by Queen Victoria to be contested at Kingstown where the Royal Irish Yacht Club is based. The Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland at the time, George Villiers, 4th Earl of Clarendon suggested it should be contested by the Royal Irish Yacht Club and the Royal St. George Yacht Club in an annual regatta, a suggestion that was approved by both clubs with the Royal St. George hosting the first competitive regatta.

The RIYC celebrated its 185th Anniversary in 2016 with the staging of several special events in addition to being well represented afloat, both nationally and internationally. It was the year the club was also awarded Irish Yacht Club of the Year as Afloat's W M Nixon details here.

The building is now a listed structure and retains to this day all its original architectural features combined with state of the art facilities for sailors both ashore and afloat.

What is the Royal Irish Yacht Club's emblem?

The Club's emblem shows a harp with the figure of Nice, the Greek winged goddess of victory, surmounted by a crown. This emblem has remained unchanged since the foundation of the Club; a symbol of continuity and respect for the history and tradition of the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

What is the Royal Irish Yacht Club's ensign?

The RIYC's original white ensign was granted by Royal Warrant in 1831. Though the Royal Irish Yacht Club later changed the ensign to remove the St George's Cross and replace the Union Jack with the tricolour of the Republic of Ireland, the original ensign may still be used by British members of the Royal Irish Yacht Club

Who is the Commodore of the Royal Irish Yacht Club?

The current Commodore is Jerry Dowling, and the Vice-Commodore is Tim Carpenter.

The RIYC Flag Officers are: 

What reciprocal club arrangements does the Royal Irish Yacht Club have?  

As one of Ireland's leading club's, the Royal Irish Yacht Club has significant reciprocal arrangements with yacht clubs across Ireland and the UK, Europe, USA and Canada and the rest of the World. If you are visiting from another Club, please have with a letter of introduction from your Club or introduce yourself to the Club Secretary or to a member of management staff, who will show you the Club's facilities.

What car parking does the Royal Irish Yacht Club have at its Dun Laoghaire clubhouse?

The RIYC has car parking outside of its clubhouse for the use of its members. Paid public car parking is available next door to the club at the marina car park. There is also paid parking on offer within the harbour area at the Coatl Harbour (a 5-minute walk) and at an underground car park adjacent to the Royal St. George Yacht Club (a 3-minute walk). Look for parking signs. Clamping is in operation in the harbour area.

What facilities does the Royal Irish Yacht Clubhouse offer? 

The Royal Irish Yacht Club offers a relaxed, warm and welcoming atmosphere in one of the best situated and appointed clubhouses in these islands. Its prestige in yachting circles is high and its annual regatta remains one of the most attractive events in the sailing calendar. It offers both casual and formal dining with an extensive wine list and full bar facilities. The Club caters for parties, informal events, educational seminars, themed dinners and all occasions. The RIYC has a number of venues within the Club each of which provides a different ambience to match particular needs.

What are the Royal Irish Yacht Club's Boathouse facilities?

The RIYC boathouse team run the launch service to the club's swinging moorings, provide lifting for dry-sailed boats, lift and scrub boats, as well as maintaining the fabric of the deck, pontoon infrastructure, and swinging moorings. They also maintain the club crane, the only such mobile crane of the Dun Laoghaire Yacht Clubs.

What facilities are offered for junior sailing at the Royal Irish Yacht Club?

One of the missions of the Royal Irish Yacht Club is to promote sailing as a passion for life by encouraging children and young adults to learn how to sail through its summer courses and class-specific training throughout the year. 

RIYC has an active junior section. Its summer sailing courses are very popular and the club regularly has over 50 children attending courses in any week. The aim is for those children to develop lifelong friendships through sailing with other children in the club, and across the other clubs in the bay.
 
Many RIYC children go on to compete for the club at regional and national championships and some have gone on to represent Ireland at international competitions and the Olympic Regatta itself.
 
In supporting its young sailors and the wider sailing community, the RIYC regularly hosts junior sailing events including national and regional championships in classes such as the Optmist, Feva and 29er.
 
Competition is not everything though and as the club website states:  "Many of our junior sailors have gone on the become sailing instructors and enjoy teaching both in Ireland and abroad.  Ultimately, we take most pleasure from the number of junior sailors who become adult sailors and enjoy a lifetime of sailing with the club".