Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Galway

Over 34,000 homes and businesses are reported to have suffered power outages due to Storm Kathleen, as southerly to south-westerly gale force winds swept across the western seaboard.

In Galway, the sea breached the Salthill promenade, flooding the Toft carpark and the Seapoint area close to the Atlantaquaria.

Galway City Council crews were on standby, the Salthill promenade road was closed, and fears of further damage were allayed when the southerly winds veered south-west before high tide.

Ferries, flights and trains have all been disrupted, and status Orange weather warnings issued by Met Éireann remained in effect on Saturday evening in counties Kerry, Cork, Galway and Mayo.

ESB Networks said it expected further power outages, and crews were responding where safe to do so.

In Belfast, the Titanic Belfast centre was closed when the roof was damaged by high winds.

Belfast Harbour Police set up cordons around the building and visitors were escorted out via a side door.

Titanic Belfast said in a statement that it had taken the precautionary measure to close the building to the public for the remainder of the weekend.

Published in Weather
Tagged under

Crews from the Aran Islands and Galway RNLI stations took part in a joint training exercise on inner Galway Bay this past Saturday (27 January).

The training was an opportunity for the crews from the two flanking stations to work together on a number of boat-handling and seamanship exercises to prepare for future joint search and rescue missions.

Brian Niland, helm with Galway RNLI who led the exercise for the Galway crew said: “We were delighted to welcome the Aran Islands RNLI crewm onboard the all-weather Severn class lifeboat David Kirkaldy, to Galway for a training exercise off Salthill.

“It was impressive to see the larger Aran Islands lifeboat and see how the two lifeboats can work side by side.

“The training was a great learning experience for both crews and will help us when we are requested to launch together, to help those in danger in the water. Our volunteer lifeboat crews spend many hours training so we can meet the dangers and challenges we face at sea.”

Galway RNLI crew on board the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Binny leaving Galway Port with the Aran Islands RNLI crew on board the all-weather Severn lifeboat David Kirkaldy | Credit: RNLI/Aoife MorrissyGalway RNLI crew on board the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Binny leaving Galway Port with the Aran Islands RNLI crew on board the all-weather Severn lifeboat David Kirkaldy | Credit: RNLI/Aoife Morrissy

Aran Islands RNLI coxswain Aonghus Ó hIarnáin said: “Saturday’s training exercise was a good chance to meet the Galway crew and show what the lifeboat from each station is capable of.

“The type of lifeboat a station has depends on geographical features, the kind of rescues the station is involved in and the cover provided by neighbouring lifeboat stations.

“Our Severn class lifeboat is designed for the offshore long jobs we face in the toughest weather, while the Galway Atlantic class lifeboat is one of the fastest in the fleet and is ideal for rescues close to shore, near cliffs and rocks which may be inaccessible to our all-weather lifeboat. Working together we are able to carry out search and rescue throughout Galway Bay.

“Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, RNLI lifeboat crews are ready to answer the call to rescue. If you see someone in trouble at the coast call 112 or 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Members of the public are being invited to suggest names for the new Salmon Weir Bridge in Galway city, as the Connacht Tribune reports.

Built over the course of a year, the cycling and pedestrian bridge across the River Corrib was opened last summer and is the first such span of the waterway in over three decades.

The application form is available from the Galway City Council website and submissions will be open until 6pm on Sunday 11 February.

Published in Galway Harbour

A community-based initiative hosted on County Galway’s offshore communities has been named winner at the National Age Friendly Awards 2023 held last evening (Thursday) in Clayton Whites Hotel, Co. Wexford.

The ‘Healthy Islands’ project picked up the Age Friendly Active & Healthy Ageing Award in recognition of its efforts to promote health and well-being, to improve communication and enhance knowledge of available services amongst residents of The Aran Islands (Inis Meáin, Inis Mór and Inis Oírr) and Inisbofin.

The project featured free activities and resources for more than 200 participating residents to promote health and wellbeing across all the islands, including pulse and blood pressure checks, healthy cooking demonstrations workshops, a community fun-run, yoga, relationship and sexual health education, citizen information advice, and exercise and fitness tips.

The initiative, which was rolled out in April, was coordinated by Healthy Galway County under Galway Rural Development’s Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme (SICAP) and supported by statutory, community and voluntary organisations, including Galway Rural Development, Galway Sports Partnership, Comharchumann Forbartha Arann Teo Inis Mór, Comhlacht Forbartha Inis Meáin, Inishbofin Development Company CL and Comhar Caomhán Teoranta Inis Oírr.

Commenting on the award win, Councillor Liam Carroll, Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council said, “This wonderful initiative is worthy of the national recognition it has received. It successfully broke through the barriers to services and information that islanders can face due to their remote location. The collaborative approach to delivering the project is a template for future similar projects that seek to ensure everyone can enjoy good physical and mental health, and where wellbeing is valued and supported at every level of society.”

Liam Conneally, Chief Executive of Galway County Council praised the various community and economic development groups on the islands for playing a vital role in the success of the project which, he said, presented a suitable template for similar initiatives in the future.

“Galway County Council is delighted to have supported Healthy islands and congratulates everyone involved in achieving this award success,” he added.

Alan Farrell, Director of Services, Galway County Council, commented, “The local buy-in and commitment of multiple agencies to bringing this project to fruition resulted in island dwellers across the life span being able to access a range of supports, information and services locally and build a better understanding of health and wellbeing initiatives that could be drawn on as needed. Another key benefit was that a range of organisations were able to improve their understanding of older islanders’ needs.”

Dr. Anne Cassidy, Senior Manager of Galway Rural Development’s SICAP team said, “This award win is testament to the high levels of participation amongst residents and the many community, voluntary and statutory organisations across the islands and the wider county. Healthy Islands has had a meaningful impact on the lives of older people and the wider community of the four islands. We look forward to seeing a further building on the relationships established through this project and increasing local access to services in the months and years ahead.”

Mary Cronin of Galway County Older People's Council praised the project’s community-centred focus, adding “Healthy Islands was predominantly aimed at the older population, but it also proved beneficial to other age groups, particularly those looking after a parent or relation, as it has helped them to better cater for the people they are linking in with and sharing the services and information.”

Andrew McBride, Healthy County Galway Coordinator said the project will have positive long-term consequences for islanders and service organisations.

“Due to their small population and geographical isolation, most organisations do not visit the islands resulting in low levels of awareness of services and interaction between providers and islanders,” he explained. “By travelling there, organisations now have a better understanding of these contexts, the needs and how these might be met. Likewise, islanders who face journeys of up to two hours to Galway City to avail of some key services were able to engage with service providers. The new relationships that have been formed will lead to future projects being identified to address the health and wellbeing needs of each individual island as all four islands have different needs and wants.”

Organisations that participated in Healthy Islands included Galway County Council, Croí, Healthy Ireland at Galway Library, Galway Sports Partnership, the Galway Public Participation Network (PPN), Age Friendly Homes, Sexual Health West, the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Mental Health Ireland, Chime, Alone, the Irish Wheelchair Association, the HSE Health Promotion and Improvement unit, Jigsaw, Parkrun Ireland, West Be Well, Domestic Violence Response Galway, and the local Public Health Nurse and Gardaí.

Published in Island News
Tagged under

James Corballis and Aaron O’Reilly, two trainee crew members with Galway RNLI, have completed their training programme and passed their final assessments which means that they can progress to fully fledged crew.

Lifeboat training covers a range of skill sets such as seamanship and boat handling, navigation and search and rescue. Trainee crew must complete 15 training modules and 49 different assessments of activities in the lifeboat station and on the water to ensure that the lifeboat and crew aboard are ready to handle a wide range of situations when saving lives at sea.

James Corballis is originally from Kilkenny and has been living in Galway for the past 15 years. “The RNLI has been a big part of my family growing up and from where I live in Galway I could see the lifeboat launching at all hours day and night. It was something that I always I hoped I would do and in 2020 I was able to join the RNLI,” he said.

“I’m delighted to have now completed my trainee plan, completed and passed the final assessments which means I can now move on to be ‘substantive’ crew and take on more responsibilities when we head out to sea when the pager goes off.“”

Aaron O’Reilly grew up on the water and has always been involved in sailing and powerboating. He said: “I’ve been involved in water-based sports all my life and I know how important it is to have assistance if you need it, if there is an accident or medical emergency out on Galway Bay.

“I joined the RNLI so I could give back to the community and now that I have passed all my assessments, I’ll be able to play a greater part in providing a 24-hour rescue service for the people who need our assistance.”

Frankie Leonard, lifeboat training coordinator with Galway RNLI said: “James and Aaron started volunteering with the RNLI in late 2020 and once they completed their training as shore crew, moved on to the training plan that would enable them to become crew on the lifeboat.

“It is a real credit to both of them that they were able to complete the training modules, put the skills learned into practice on shore and on the boat and prepare for and pass their assessments while also dealing with the challenges we all faced during the pandemic.

“We are delighted to have two crew with their expertise and enthusiasm on board. Crew training is a continuous process and the learning never stops.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

In recognition of their dedication and commitment of time, energy and skills, seven members of the Galway RNLI crew were presented with long-service awards for achieving 50, 100, 150 and 200 services.

Each time the crew members respond to their pagers and head out to sea on a rescue counts as a service. The seven crew had amassed a total of 900 services between them, including 200 services by David Oliver — who has been with the Galway RNLI crew since the station opened in 1995.

Mike Swan, lifeboat operations manager with Galway RNLI said: “Every year we recognise the dedication of our volunteer crew by presenting long-service awards. This year we have a number of crew who achieved significant milestones including Lisa McDonagh with 50 services; Shane Folan and Olivia Byrne with 100 services; Declan Killilea, Brian Niland and David Badger with 150 services; [and] David Oliver with a record 200 services.

“Our lifeboat volunteers have all kinds of backgrounds and jobs. At a moment’s notice, they readily exchange work, comfort or sleep for cold, wet and fatigue. They spend many hours of their own time training together so they can meet the dangers and challenges they face on search and rescue missions at sea.

“The awards are not just to celebrate the achievements of the crew who are willing to drop everything at the sound of their pager, but also their families and friends who play a key role in supporting our crew to spend time saving lives at sea and being there for them when they get home after what may sometimes be a very challenging day or night on the water.”

Swan continued: “Our volunteer lifeboat crew is on call 24/7, 365 days a year. The average time from the call from the coastguard requesting the lifeboat and crew to launch, to the boat and crew being on the water is approximately 10 minutes, day or night.

“The area covered by the Galway RNLI Lifeboat and crew is the section of Galway Bay east of a line between Black Head in Co Clare and Spiddal, Co Galway and includes Barna, Salthill, Galway city and the mouth of the River Corrib, Oranmore, Kinvara, Newquay and Ballyvaughan.

“Last year our crew and lifeboat launched 33 times and came to the aid of 31 people. This is only possible due to the dedication of our crew who go to sea and the wider group of volunteers who provide shore support and fundraising support which in turn relies on the generosity of our community in Galway further afield.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

The impact of the current marine heatwave on Ireland’s coastline is being recorded by international researchers who are taking a “snapshot” of the European coast where land and sea meet.

As The Irish Independent reports, the Traversing European Coastlines (TREC) involves both land and sea-based researchers undertaking simultaneous sampling.

The 36-metre schooner Tara is currently in Galway, working with a mobile laboratory for land work.

The 36-metre schooner Tara in Galway PortThe 36-metre schooner Tara in Galway Port

Scientists can analyse samples even as they voyage across 46 different European regions extending from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia.

The baseline information on coastal ecology gathered will serve as an invaluable reference point to measure coastal climate change impacts.

Over 150 research teams from over 70 institutions in 29 European countries are involved, and the TREC project is being co-ordinated by the European Molecular Biology Laboratory( EMBL), working with local partners such as the Marine Institute in Galway.

The schooner, which is based in Lorient, France, is ice-strengthened to work in polar regions.

It is financed through a mixture of private and public funds with French designer Agnes B one of the main sponsors.

It has an “excellent chef”, but also everyone on board “gets to clean the toilets”, chief scientist Emmanuel Boss told the newspaper.

Chief scientist Emmanuel Boss(left) and captain Martin Hertau on board the French research schooner Tara in Galway docksChief scientist Emmanuel Boss(left) and captain Martin Hertau on board the French research schooner Tara in Galway Docks

“It doesn’t matter if you are chief scientist or captain of the boat – everyone has to do their chores as part of a roster,” he said.

“This makes for “far better relations” and no hierarchy, Boss said – “the relationship between crew and scientists is tighter than on any other boat I have been on,”he said.

The Marine Institute’s director of marine environment and food safety Joe Silke said the research being conducted “addresses crucial issues such as pollution, biodiversity loss, and invasive species, expanding on, and directly relevant to the Marine Institute’s work in Ireland's coastal habitats”.

The schooner, Tara, is open to the public today (Sunday, September 10th) in Galway docks from 10am to 6pm.

There is also a travelling exhibition, a reality game-based workshop and public workshops in the Galway City Museum and other venues next week.

Read The Irish Independent here

Published in Marine Science
Tagged under

In recognition of the long career of RNLI coxswain John O’Donnell and the close relationship with the Aran Islands RNLI, last week the Galway RNLI crew presented a framed picture of the lifeboats from both stations to O’Donnell to mark his retirement.

Mike Swan, Galway RNLI lifeboat operations manager who made the presentation said: “The ties between the Galway and Aran Islands lifeboat stations go right back to the late ’90s when the Galway station was first operational.

“At that time some of the Aran RNLI crew were studying in Galway and living in the city during the week and as it wasn’t always possible for them to get back to Aran for their training exercises, they joined our crew for training.

“I’ve known John since before he joined the RNLI in 2003 and then when he became the coxswain for the Aran Islands lifeboat and I took up the role of lifeboat operations manager for Galway, our roles meant that over the years we were at meetings together with the coastguard and other emergency services, along with events and training at the RNLI bases in Dublin and Poole, England.”

Swan added: “The crews at both lifeboat stations have been on many joint rescues over the years. Although there is an imaginary line from Spiddal in Galway to Black Head in Co Clare that divides the area of Galway Bay that each station is responsible for, in reality — when there is a long rescue that requires all available resources or a search for a missing boat that has no last known location — the boundary becomes irrelevant and we work together as one crew.

“There have been many difficult nights on the water and challenging situations but when we look back on the 21 years that John was involved in the Aran Islands lifeboat, it is the friendships and camaraderie that we will remember.

“I was delighted to present a photo of our two lifeboats to John on behalf of the entire crew in Galway. In the photo you can see the Aran Islands all-weather lifeboat David Kirkaldy out on the bay with the Galway inshore lifeboat, Binny in the foreground.

“We wish John every happiness on his retirement from the RNLI and even though he will be as busy as ever, he won’t have to think about the pager going off at all hours any more.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A group of young kayakers in Galway were treated to a scarce sight at the weekend when an angelshark surprised them for a brief swim-around.

Kayaking instructors Ronan Breathnach and Colm O’Loan from Galway Bay Sailing Club had the presence of mind to dip their camera into the water and capture footage of this rarely encountered fish in the waters off Rinville on Sunday (28 May).

“What a great day out for the group of 12 budding marine scientists of the future,” said the Marine Institute, who confirmed the sighting of one of the critically endangered marine wildlife species which is also one of the rarest sharks in Europe.

Angelsharks were once abundant over large areas of the Northeast Atlantic but pressure from commercial fishing—particularly bottom trawling—has been blamed for a significant decline in their numbers over the last century.

Published in Marine Wildlife

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan was on hand in Galway on Friday (26 May) to officially open the new span adjacent to the Salmon Weir Bridge over the River Corrib.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the first sod was turned on the €3 million active travel project in April 2022.

The cycling and pedestrian bridge is the first new crossing of the Corrib in over 30 years and aims to take pressure off the existing narrow road bridge, which dates from 1818.

Galway Bay FM spoke to some of the first members of the public to use the new bridge and gauged their responses HERE.

Published in Galway Harbour
Page 1 of 34

Irish Sailing Club of the Year Award

This unique and informal competition was inaugurated in 1979, with Mitsubishi Motors becoming main sponsors in 1986. The purpose of the award is to highlight and honour the voluntary effort which goes into creating and maintaining the unrivalled success of Ireland's yacht and sailing clubs. 

In making their assessment, the adjudicators take many factors into consideration. In addition to the obvious one of sailing success at local, national and international level, considerable attention is also paid to the satisfaction which members in every branch of sailing and boating feel with the way their club is run, and how effectively it meets their specific needs, while also encouraging sailing development and training.

The successful staging of events, whether local, national or international, is also a factor in making the assessment, and the adjudicators place particular emphasis on the level of effective voluntary input which the membership is ready and willing to give in support of their club's activities.

The importance of a dynamic and fruitful interaction with the local community is emphasised, and also with the relevant governmental and sporting bodies, both at local and national level. The adjudicators expect to find a genuine sense of continuity in club life and administration. Thus although the award is held in a specific year in celebration of achievements in the previous year, it is intended that it should reflect an ongoing story of success and well-planned programmes for future implementation. 

Over the years, the adjudication system has been continually refined in order to be able to make realistic comparisons between clubs of varying types and size. With the competition's expansion to include class associations and specialist national watersports bodies, the "Club of the Year" competition continues to keep pace with developing trends, while at the same time reflecting the fact that Ireland's leading sailing clubs are themselves national and global pace-setters

Irish Sailing Club of the Year Award FAQs

The purpose of the award is to highlight and honour the voluntary effort which goes into creating and maintaining the unrivalled success of Ireland's yacht and sailing clubs.

A ship's wheel engraved with the names of all the past winners.

The Sailing Club of the Year competition began in 1979.

PR consultant Sean O’Shea (a member of Clontarf Y & BC) had the idea of a trophy which would somehow honour the ordinary sailing club members, volunteers and sailing participants, who may not have personally won prizes, to feel a sense of identity and reward and special pride in their club. Initially some sort of direct inter-club contest was envisaged, but sailing journalist W M Nixon suggested that a way could be found for the comparative evaluation of the achievements and quality of clubs despite their significant differences in size and style.

The award recognises local, national & international sailing success by the winning club's members in both racing and cruising, the completion of a varied and useful sailing and social programme at the club, the fulfilling by the club of its significant and socially-aware role in the community, and the evidence of a genuine feeling among all members that the club meets their individual needs afloat and ashore.

The first club of the Year winner in 1979 was Wicklow Sailing Club.

Royal Cork Yacht Club has won the award most, seven times in all in 1987, 1992, 1997, 2000, 2006, 2015 & 2020.

The National YC has won six times, in 1981, 1985, 1993, 1996, 2012 & 2018.

Howth Yacht Club has won five times, in 1982, 1986, 1995, 2009 & 2019

Ireland is loosely divided into regions with the obviously high-achieving clubs from each area recommended through an informal nationwide panel of local sailors going into a long-list, which is then whittled down to a short-list of between three and eight clubs.

The final short-list is evaluated by an anonymous team based on experienced sailors, sailing journalists and sponsors’ representatives

From 1979 to 2020 the Sailing Club of the Year Award winners are:

  • 1979 Wicklow SC
  • 1980 Malahide YC
  • 1981 National YC
  • 1982 Howth YC
  • 1983 Royal St George YC
  • 1984 Dundalk SC
  • 1985 National YC (Sponsorship by Mitsubishi Motors began in 1985-86)
  • 1986 Howth YC
  • 1987 Royal Cork YC
  • 1988 Dublin University SC
  • 1989 Irish Cruising. Club
  • 1990 Glenans Irish SC
  • 1991 Galway Bay SC
  • 1992 Royal Cork YC
  • 1993 National YC & Cumann Badoiri Naomh Bhreannain (Dingle) (after 1993, year indicated is one in which trophy is held)
  • 1995 Howth Yacht Club
  • 1996 National Yacht Club
  • 1997 Royal Cork Yacht Club
  • 1998 Kinsale Yacht Club
  • 1999 Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club
  • 2000 Royal Cork Yacht Club (in 2000, competition extended to include class associations and specialist organisations)
  • 2001 Howth Sailing Club Seventeen Footer Association
  • 2002 Galway Bay Sailing Club
  • 2003 Coiste an Asgard
  • 2004 Royal St George Yacht Club
  • 2005 Lough Derg Yacht Club
  • 2006 Royal Cork Yacht Club (Water Club of the Harbour of Cork)
  • 2007 Dublin Bay Sailing Club
  • 2008 Lough Ree YC & Shannon One Design Assoc.
  • 2009 Howth Yacht Club
  • 2010 Royal St George YC
  • 2011 Irish Cruiser Racing Association
  • 2012 National Yacht Club
  • 2013 Royal St George YC
  • 2014 Kinsale YC
  • 2015 Royal Cork Yacht Club
  • 2016 Royal Irish Yacht Club
  • 2017 Wicklow Sailing Club
  • 2018 National Yacht Club
  • 2019 Howth Yacht Club
  • 2020 Royal Cork Yacht Club

©Afloat 2020