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Tom MacSweeney

Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney writes a weekly column for Afloat.ie. He also presents the maritime radio programme This Island Nation on community radio stations around Ireland.

Lough Ree Yacht Club's Clinkerfest Postponed
The second oldest yacht club in the world, Lough Ree Athlone, has cancelled a major event planned for the celebrations of its 250th year writes Tom MacSweeney. The Club's Commodore, Garrett Leech, said that Clinkerfest, planned for three days over…
The 2020 Round Ireland Yacht Race is the Round Ireland Yacht Race is still set for Saturday, June 20
One-by-one they came in this week – cancellations of planned events. The Royal Cork’s 300th celebrations. I commiserated with the club’s Admiral, Colin Morehead. A tough decision for him in his first few months in office. Cork Week had to…
Ian Travers at the helm of a Squib in Kinsale
A “squib” I was told when first shown one of these boats by its owner, is “an explosive boat. Several of them were riding nicely on the rippling water at Kinsale Marina that day two years ago when it was…
Mark Bushe at the mast of Elsie shortly after launching her following restoration
What motivates a man to buy a wreck over a hundred years old and decide that he can repair her? Why bother and was he ‘mad’ to think of doing so? My Podcast this week is with a man who…
Angler Glenda Powell
This week International Women’s Day is demanding a lot of attention worldwide. In the shipping industry, a campaign has been launched in the UK to achieve ‘gender balance in the industry’. Here in Ireland, sailing ladies have their WOW group…
Cove Sailing Club members at a 'getting the club grounds ready for the season'
Cork Harbour has lost a sailing club, which is actually good news for the sport. If that seems questionable statement, it is not because it brings back together the members of Cove Sailing Club and the Great Island Sailing Club,…
Moville Sailing Club brothers John and Donal McGuinness competing in their GP!4 dinghy. Nationally the GP14 is the biggest adult dinghy fleet in the country with about 40 boats at its National Championships
I learned my sailing crewing aboard a National 18 in Cork Harbour. That opportunity came through an adult sailing course because it was in my late 20s that I gained access to the sport. Back then was not a time…
Alta aground on the Cork coast on Sunday 16 February
Ballycotton Sea Adventures is reporting that a cargo ship abandoned at sea for more than a year has run aground on the Cork coastline during Storm Dennis, writes Tom MacSweeney. An initial Irish Coast Guard inspection of the 'ghost ship'…
Encouraging young sailors into keelboats is essential for the future of sailing
Amongst my most pleasant memories of sailing are racing my Sigma 33 in whitesail across Cork Harbour with a crew of four all under the age of 15. I had ‘managerial supervision’ to ensure no untoward happenings for Scribbler, but…
An island nation without a marine policy
The first people arrived on the shores of this island some 10,000 years ago… according to history …. but as the Irish people of today listen to the campaigning of those who want to be elected as our rulers -…
Rory Golden and Eugene Furlong at the memorial in Ballinacurra
Ireland is not good at recognising and honouring the achievements of its mariners. The Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces made that point at the unveiling of the long-awaited memorial to Cork seafarer, Edward Bransfield, at Ballinacurra in East…
One of the Dublin Dock Workers’ Preservation Society’s archive of nearly 7,000 images
Dublin Port has stepped in to save the extensive photographic images collection of the Dublin Dock Workers' Preservation Society, writes Tom MacSweeney. Afloat.ie reported the situation last week when the internet service holding the images, which are made available for…
Playing on beer barrels in the Dublin Docks
Good news from the Dublin Dock Workers' Preservation Society in their attempts to save their 6,000 historical photographs collection. The problem was reported earlier this week on Afloat. Declan Byrne of the Society says: "We have been overwhelmed by the…
Colin Morehead, Incoming Admiral of RCYC
The number of racing yachts increased last year at the Royal Cork Yacht Club, which is being described as a sign of “the rise once more of Irish keelboat sailing.” The members of the club will be told about encouraging…
The Dublin Dock Workers’ Preservation Society needs help in storing it's collection of over 6,000 photographs
There has been 'terrible news' reported for Dublin Dock Workers' preservation society who need urgent help to preserve records stored on the internet. The Dublin Dock Workers’ Preservation Society was set up nine years ago, in early 2011. It is…
The Youghal lifeboat presentation to John Innes (right)
With most boats either safely ashore or secured in safe mooring berthages, this is a month to prepare for the season ahead and one of those aspects, about which I feel particularly strongly is safety on the water. There is…
Baltimore Sailing Club’s newly-elected Commodore, Charlie Bolger, on right, presents past Commodore’s Club Ensign to outgoing Commodore Niall O’Neill at the club’s annual general meeting this week
In describing its history Baltimore Sailing Club in West Cork says of itself that “the exact year of the foundation of Baltimore Sailing Club is somewhat uncertain!” Above the bar, in the impressive clubhouse which was constructed in the past…
Winning skipper Stephen Lysaght
Six sailing cruisers raced for the Gunsmoke Bell on St.Stephen’s Day at Kinsale Yacht Club in the annual event sponsored by Sam Cohen. The winner was Stephen Lysaght’s Reavra Too, with Michael Carroll’s Chancer second and Sam Cohen himself sailing…
Monkstown Bay Laser racing
Monkstown Bay Sailing Club in Cork Harbour will start its Winter Laser League on Saturday of next week, January 11 and run it on six Saturday mornings until February 15. Organiser Charles Dwyer who puts a lot of effort into…
Ring buoy vandalism in Dublin's docklands
I have no hesitation in saying that I detest those who vandalise public lifebuoys. Prosecuting and convicting such people, because their actions endanger life is, without question, absolutely necessary, but new legislation to make it easier for Gardai to do…
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