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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Tom MacSweeney

Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney writes a weekly column for Afloat.ie. He also presents the radio programme Maritime Ireland on radio stations around Ireland.

RCYC Admiral Colin Morehead, an active member of that club for over 45 years
It is time to look at renewing club memberships. With lockdown continuing and no certainty about when the country will "re-open", renewals are easy to forget. But clubs need them and many saw a reduction and slowness in paying those…
Kevin Flannery of Dingle
"Someone needs to bang the table and bang heads together. Do State agencies talk to each other?" That blunt statement caused me to think a lot this week when I am still disappointed at official attitudes towards the marine sector.…
Boats are Excluded From State COVID Support Because They are Mobile
It seems logical, boats move, but that is their business. The Department of Finance takes a different view. It has told boat operators that this mobility excludes them from being given the supports offered to businesses which are landbound –…
Castletownbere in West Cork
What would our island nation be like if we did not have thriving coastal communities? How much awareness is there amongst government politicians and the mandarins of the civil service that there is a considerable level of fear and concern…
Irish Sailing President David O'Brien
Sailing should be marketed in the widest way possible to the public to increase participation. Clubs and the national association can do this together to emphasise its accessibility, the President of Irish Sailing, the national association, has told Afloat. In…
Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Dublin Bay is Ireland's largest boating centre with capacity for over 800 boats in the town marina
The "sleeping giant" of the marine sector is how the marine tourism and leisure sector has been described. It may well be, despite how hard the Covid pandemic has hit it this year. The last socio-economic study of "Ireland's Ocean…
Jim O'Donoghue - Linking the 'god of the Sea' Neptune, Slua Muiri and the American Navy to Basketball
Coincidence is amazing, even if it's hard to believe. This week I'm inclined to credibility after Foreign Affairs, and Defence Minister Simon Coveney espoused the importance of the Naval Reserve when announcing the Government decision to establish a Commission "to…
A photo provided by MBSC member John Hegarty of the race hut at Monkstown circa 1922
Despite the impact of the pandemic Monkstown Bay Sailing Club in Cork Harbour has had a resurgence of numbers in dinghy league racing. So outgoing Commodore Ciaran McSweeney told club members as he completed his two-year term in office. New…
Irish Sailing's Regional Development Officer, Gail MacAllister.
The pandemic could provide an opportunity for sailing. That is an interesting view and comes from Irish Sailing's Regional Development Officer, Gail MacAllister.  "There is such a massive interest in being outdoors because of the imposition of the Covid restrictions,…
The Lady Min is being carefully restored in Ballydehob, West Cork
"The Lady Min is pretty special, and she performs really well…." The world was a great place to be when the Lady Min was an idea, and there was a 'can do' attitude in West Cork. Simon O'Keeffe is carrying…
The Stella Maris Seafarers are part of the organising committee
The annual national seafarers' remembrance ceremony in Dublin has been cancelled. The City Quay Seafarers Memorial Service Organising Committee, consisting of the Maritime Institute of Ireland, Stella Maris Seafarers Centre and Dublin Port Company, announced that, due to the current…
A Cork Harbour Seal at Cobh
One of the most difficult, controversial and upsetting marine environment stories I have reported in my time as a marine correspondent concerns seals. I've seen them rehabilitated by a sanctuary and marvelled at the work put into healing injured, sick…
Br. Anthony Keane of Glenstal Abbey. Listen into his podcast below
As boatyards fill up, with more boats being hauled for their Winter hibernation, talking to owners I've heard disappointment, doubt about the future, mixed with hope and a need for encouragement. Disappointment amongst the racing sector, with the October League…
Sailing can help us to endure more in the way of overcoming discomfort and physical, as well as mental challenges
There are choices in how to respond to maritime difficulties. With skies darkening, wind and sea rising, the mind focuses on the immediate response to ensure that your yacht can manage what is going to hit it. I've raced in…
99-year-old Russian Tall Ship Sails Through an Ice-free North Channel
The Russian Tall Ship, Sedov, has reported a successful transit the full length of the legendary Northern Sea Route. After departing from Vladivostok, Russia in mid-August, the Sedov completed the east-west passage passing the southern tip of the Novaya Zemlya…
Darragh Connolly brings a hopeful approach at Royal Cork
Despite a year of "cancellations and disappointments" there have been more people sailing this Summer in Cork Harbour, with families racing together, more young sailors taking to cruisers and a growth of interest in dinghy sailing. That is the positive,…
Tom Dolan at the Fastnet Rock. The County Meath sailor went on to finish fifth overall in this year's La Solitare du Figaro race, Ireland's best ever result
A farmer from County Meath representing Ireland in sailing at the Olympics. That is what Tom Dolan would like to do, in France in 2024, when sailing at the Games is based in Marseille. The Olympic classes then are intended…
The Castletownbere fishing fleet in West Cork. The Irish fishing industry is worth €1.2 billion per annum to the economy
The Taoiseach and Minister for the Marine have been described as "dismissive, contemptuous and glib" in their treatment of the fishing industry in moving "dastardly legislation," against fishermen by the country's four fish producer organisations. The Irish South and West…
Padraig MacLochlainn, Sinn Fein spokesman on the Marine
The Dáil heard a Sinn Fein motion this week in an attempt to reject the new penalty points system the Government wants to introduce for the fishing industry. A Statutory Instrument to introduce the system was signed by Taoiseach Micheál…
Killala Coast Guard Unit file photo
"The Killala Coast Guard Unit is operational and available in the event of a call-out, but is 'off-the-board' for boat search-and-rescue." That statement was made by the Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, whose Department is responsible for the Coast Guard,…
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