Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Aran Islands

Scientists from Ireland and Europe plan to establish a permanent research station on the Aran islands dedicated to ocean science forecasting and climate change.

The Aran Islands International Research Station (AIRS) may be located on Inis Meáin where a solar-powered installation funded by the European Research Council has been operating since 2021.

The “Highwave” installation has been providing invaluable data on local wave conditions and their effects on coastal erosion and future global warming trends, according to Prof Frederic Dias and senior research engineer Arnaud Disant who initiated the project.

Dias is attached to the University College Dublin (UCD) and Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris Saclay (ENSPS), and Disant, also of UCD, designed and managed it in a cabin on top of a cliff on Inis Meáin.

They have been liaising with the Aran Island Energy Co-op (CFOAT) and the island co-op, Comhlacht Forbartha Inis Meáin.

Scientists who attended the recent conference on the Aran island research station to R front Pat Faherty (Research Station Technician UCD), Prof Michel Campillo (Université Grenoble Alpes), Arnaud Disant (Research Station Engineer UCD), Prof Frederic Dias (ENS Paris Saclay), Prof Murray Hitzman (CEO iCRAG) Dr Brian Ward (NUIG) (L to R back) Dr Salem Gharbia (ATU), Dr Maeve Boland (iCRAG) and Dr Alexis Merigaud (IFP Energies Nouvelles)Scientists who attended the recent conference on the Aran island research station to R front Pat Faherty (Research Station Technician UCD), Prof Michel Campillo (Université Grenoble Alpes), Arnaud Disant (Research Station Engineer UCD), Prof Frederic Dias (ENS Paris Saclay), Prof Murray Hitzman (CEO iCRAG) Dr Brian Ward (NUIG) (L to R back) Dr Salem Gharbia (ATU), Dr Maeve Boland (iCRAG) and Dr Alexis Merigaud (IFP Energies Nouvelles)

Dara Ó Maoildhia of the Aran Island Energy Co-op said the research so far is very exciting.

The “Highwave” station on Inis Meáín had picked up signals from the volcanic eruption of the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano on 15th January 2022 on Tonga, he said.

The eruption triggered tsunami waves of up to 15 metres, and was the largest recorded since the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883.

“ Highwave has been gathering geological, meteorological and oceanographic data – for example, measuring the force of the waves against the cliffs, how much it would take to hurl a 20-tonne boulder from the sea up onto the island,” he said.

Scientists from all over Ireland and Europe discussed the results of “Highwave”, and the plans to establish a permanent station on Inis Meáín when they met -or attempted to meet- on the island late last month.

Ó Maoildhia said that weather conditions trapped some of the scientists, and prevented others from travelling, but discussions were held over Zoom.

Ironically, “studying such extreme weather and its effect on the Irish coast and climate change was exactly why we were there,” the scientists from Ireland, France, Italy, USA, Norway, Uruguay and the Netherlands said in a statement.

Prof Orla Feely, UCD Vice President for Research, Innovation and Impact, and Prof Philippe Maitre, Vice-President, Research Strategy from ENS-Paris, represented the two founding institutions of AIRS.

The scientists agreed that Inis Meáin is “uniquely placed for such a permanent research station”.

They said it would “open major new perspectives for Irish and European research, not only in wave and storm science, but also on a variety of other areas such as geology, agronomy, botany, climate change, archaeology, and renewable energies”.

“This unique location provides unparalleled access to study ocean storms and weather systems, areas of research of critical importance as the world struggles to understand and adapt to climate change,” they said.

The recent conference had “provided a timely forum for leading international scientists to meet with members of the local community to discuss how to best serve ocean and climate science, and to consider how the research station could be adapted into a more permanent facility”, they said in a statement.

The local community was represented by CFOAT, Comhlacht Forbartha Inis Meáin, and Coláiste Naomh Eoin,

There was a “clear consensus on the need for a permanent research station on the Aran Islands, and UCD and ENS will work together in pursuit of this”, the joint statement said.

Published in Island News
Tagged under

Aran Islands RNLI officially opened their new shop and Visitor Experience on Inis Mór this weekend, raising vital funds for the charity that saves lives at sea and awareness of the work of the lifeboat crew serving the islands. The sun came out for the grand opening, which took place on Saturday (1 October). The honour of cutting the ribbon fell to mother and daughter, Margaret Gill and Lena O’Connell. Both RNLI volunteers, Margaret is Treasurer of the Aran Islands fundraising branch with almost 40 years of service to the charity, while Lena is the station Lifeboat Press Officer and a fundraiser.

Lena and Margaret: Aran Islands Lifeboat Press Officer and Fundraising Volunteer Lena O’Connell and Aran Islands RNLI Treasurer Margaret Gill cut the ribbon on the Aran Island RNLI’s Visitor Experience as the crowd watches on. Photo: RNLI/Nigel MillardLena and Margaret: Aran Islands Lifeboat Press Officer and Fundraising Volunteer Lena O’Connell and Aran Islands RNLI Treasurer Margaret Gill cut the ribbon on the Aran Island RNLI’s Visitor Experience as the crowd watches on. Photo: RNLI/Nigel Millard

The new shop is located next to the Aran Islands lifeboat station at Kilronan Pier, while the Visitor Experience is inside the boat hall. The shop offers a wide range of RNLI branded goods, including clothing and accessories, toys and stationery. It is expected to open seven days a week during the tourist season from Easter through to Autumn and will coincide with the ferry timings to and from the island.

Shop volunteers: Jack O’Connell and Siobhan McGuinness were on hand to welcome customers to the new Aran Islands RNLI shopShop volunteers: Jack O’Connell and Siobhan McGuinness were on hand to welcome customers to the new Aran Islands RNLI shop Photo: RNLI/Nigel Millard

The Visitor Experience makes wonderful use of the large number of images and information about the station’s lifeboats, including memorable milestones, awards and rescue stories. The opening brought out a group of locals and visitors, with music provided by well-known musician Locko Cullen and a delicious buffet lunch laid on by Teach Nan Phaidí.

Back Row L-R: Nora O’Donnell, Padraic O’Tuairisg, RNLI Head of Region Anna Classon. Front Row: Michelle O’Donnell and Lifeboat Operations Manager for the Aran Islands RNLI Michael T. Hernon.Back Row L-R: Nora O’Donnell, Padraic O’Tuairisg, RNLI Head of Region Anna Classon. Front Row: Michelle O’Donnell and Lifeboat Operations Manager for the Aran Islands RNLI Michael T. Hernon. Photo: RNLI/Nigel Millard

Aran Islands RNLI station mechanic Máirtín Eoin Coyne was MC for the event and, welcoming people to the short ceremony, was Lifeboat Operations Manager, Michael T. Hernon, who thanked the dedicated volunteers who have supported the lifeboat station and fundraising for nearly a century. RNLI Regional Engagement Manager Daniel Curran acknowledged the huge amount of people who had made the opening possible.

RNLI Head of Region, Anna Classon, whose own grandfather was a member of the Garda Síochána stationed on the island, and who made Inis Mór a home for her mother and uncles for many years, gave her speech in Irish and paid tribute to the lifeboat and island communities who support the RNLI in their lifesaving work.

Anna said, ‘This community, with the support of the RNLI, has been serving those in trouble on the sea for many years. It has a been a selfless tradition, with a history of bravery, volunteering, and kindness to strangers. Thank you for joining the RNLI in the bravest of endeavours, to put others before yourselves, in whatever role you play. I congratulate all involved with this lovely new shop and visitor experience and hope you welcome many people across the threshold in the years to come.’

After conducting the official ribbon cutting with her daughter Lena, Aran Islands RNLI Treasurer Margaret Gill said, ‘We are so thrilled to have our new shop and visitor experience on Inis Mór. There is an incredible history of lifeboating and lifesaving on this island and a group of committed volunteers that support it. There are tales of rescues and brave deeds going back generations and it’s lovely to have somewhere for visitors and locals to take a minute, look around the exhibits, and learn a bit about our history. They can also visit our shop when they have finished and buy a little memento of their trip to the island or an early Christmas card. As a charity the RNLI relies on the generosity of the pubic and we are so grateful for that ongoing support.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

The RNLI’s most westerly shop in Ireland will officially open its doors next Saturday 1 October from 1-4pm on Inis Mór, raising vital lifesaving funds for the charity that saves lives at sea.

And the day will also see the opening of the new Aran Islands RNLI Visitor Experience.

The new shop, which is located inside Aran Islands lifeboat station at Kilronan Pier, has quickly become a key attraction since opening its doors back in June to both the islanders and the many visitors who come each year.

Located in the boat hall of the station, meanwhile, the new Visitor Experience will bring people through 175 years of captivating history featuring imagery and facts about the station’s lifeboats, memorable milestones, awards, rescue stories and the many volunteers from the island who have made up the lifesaving crew over the years.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s official opening and following the first season of trading, RNLI community manager Brian Wilson said: “We are delighted that Inis Mór is joining the heritage of lifeboat station shops in the RNLI.

Outside the Aran Islands lifeboat station shop, the RNLI’s most westerly outlet in Ireland, which opened in June | Credit: RNLI/Aran IslandsOutside the Aran Islands lifeboat station shop, the RNLI’s most westerly outlet in Ireland, which opened in June | Credit: RNLI/Aran Islands

“This is the second RNLI shop on the west coast of Ireland, along with Sligo Bay which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The response in the first week back in June more than exceeded our expectations and that momentum key up throughout the summer season.

“We have had a wonderful response from locals and tourists alike and we want to thank the team here for their efforts in getting us to this point as well as thanking everyone who has visited and shown their support since the opening.

“To now also have the Visitor Experience open is wonderful as it will give the many tourists who come to the Aran Islands each year another attraction to enjoy while giving them a terrific insight to the station’s rich history and the work of the volunteer team who have made such an impact over so many years. This meandering visitor experience is a special mark of respect to all the people, call outs and stories this lifeboat station has to tell.”

Everyone is welcome to attend the official opening of the Visitor Experience and shop from 1-4pm next Saturday 1 October, during which visitors can view the new facilities, speak to the crew and purchase a token from the shop as a memento of their day.

Meanwhile, the shop team at Aran Islands RNLI is still on the lookout for more volunteers. If you think you can give some time to help out, call into the shop for more information.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Families from Co Meath and Co Limerick will be housed rent-free in the Aran Islands as part of a drive to boost the number of school children locally.

The two families were chosen from more than 1,600 people — including some from as far away as Canada and even Australia — who applied for the scheme devised by Inis Meáin’s development body, as TheJournal.ie reports.

Two homes were sourced on the island for the nine months of the school year for the successful families, who can avail of local supports for remote working and whose children will attend school through Irish in the Gaeltacht area.

TheJournal.ie has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Island News
Tagged under

Aran Islands RNLI’s volunteer crew responded to two medical emergencies on a busy Bank Holiday Monday (1 August).

The first call came at 3.42am when the crew on Inis Mór were requested to launch by the Irish Coast Guard to go the aid of a man on the neighbouring island of Inis Meáin who was in need of further medical attention.

Under coxswain John O’Donnell, the all-weather lifeboat launched and headed straight for Inis Meáin where the patient was safely transferred aboard the lifeboat and brought to the mainland at Ros an Mhíl. Conditions at the time of launching were good with calm seas and good visibility.

The next call was at 10.39pm on Monday night when a patient on Inis Mór was in need of further medical attention.

With the patient transferred safely aboard the lifeboat at the pontoon at Kilronan Harbour, the lifeboat launched under O’Donnell and a full crew for the mainland and transfer to a waiting ambulance.

Conditions at sea this time were challenging, with poor visibility and a Force 5 southwesterly wind blowing.

Speaking after the callout, O’Donnell said: “It has been a busy weekend for our volunteers and they didn’t hesitate to respond to their pagers. We would like to wish both patients a speedy recovery.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

The RNLI’s most westerly shop in Ireland has opened its doors on Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands, to raise vital lifesaving funds for the charity that saves lives at sea.

The new shop which is located inside Aran Islands RNLI’s lifeboat station at Kilronan Pier, is quickly becoming a key attraction for both the islanders and the many visitors who come each year. The shop means visitors can leave Inis Mór with a memory of their time on the island while supporting the charity.

The shop launched last Tuesday, and volunteers plan to have it open seven days a week during the tourist season (Easter through to Autumn) with opening times coinciding with the ferry arrival and departure times.

The shop offers a wide range of unique RNLI goods, including clothing and accessories, home and kitchen gadgets, toys and games, books and stationery, and gifts.The shop offers a wide range of unique RNLI goods, including clothing and accessories, home and kitchen gadgets, toys and games, books and stationery, and gifts.

The shop crew include volunteers Amy Williamson, Breda O’Donnell, Daniel and Lena O’Connell, David Terry, Margaret Jackie Gill, Shane Dirrane, Siobhán McGuinness and Treasa Ni Bhraonain, all of whom are looking forward to a busy summer after an exceptional first week serving local islanders and visiting tourists.

Speaking following the first week of trading, Brian Wilson, RNLI Community Manager, shares the shop team’s excitement: ‘We are delighted that Inis Mór is joining the rich heritage of lifeboat station shops in the RNLI. This is the second RNLI shop on the west coast of Ireland, along with Sligo Bay which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The response in the first week has more than exceeded our expectations. We have had a wonderful response from locals and tourists alike and I want to thank the team here for their efforts in getting us to this point as well as thanking everyone who has visited and shown their support since the opening last week.

‘RNLI shops started 100 years ago as cake stands before they expanded into selling commemorative souvenirs and cards, and now we offer an excellent range of RNLI products with all profits helping to save lives at sea. So, we are all thrilled that this piece of RNLI heritage has reached Inis Mór and that the proceeds raised can now help to power the lifesaving work of the volunteer crew on the Aran Islands.’

The shop team at Aran Islands RNLI are looking for more volunteers. If you think you can give some time to help out, please call into the shop for more information.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Aran Islands RNLI on Inis Mór were called on to assist a local woman in need of medical attention on Wednesday evening, 22 June.

The woman was transferred safely aboard the lifeboat by the volunteer crew shortly after 6.15pm and the vessel, under coxswain John O’Donnell with a full crew, headed straight for Ros an Mhíl harbour where an ambulance was waiting.

Conditions at the time of launching were good with calm seas and clear visibility.

Speaking after the callout, O’Donnell said: “The volunteer crew responded to their pagers as soon as they went off so we were able to get the patient on her way to the hospital quickly. We would like to wish her a speedy recovery.

“As we head into the summer months, we would like to advise all beachgoers, and anyone heading to sea, to heed all safety advice and guidelines.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys has today announced the awarding of a new €4.9 million air service contract for the Aran Islands.

The PSO contract — which comes into effect on Tuesday 7 June — will run for four years until 2026 and will ensure essential mainland connectivity for the island communities. It’s also expected to significantly boost tourism, the department adds.

In addition, the new contract ensures for the first time the provision of a direct service from the mainland to Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr, which will mean a faster service for those smaller islands.

The contract with Galway Aviation Services Limited, trading as Aer Arann Islands, follows extensive consultation with island stakeholders and a full procurement process.

The air route has most recently been operated by Aer Arann Islands on an interim contractual basis. This came after the operator announced the termination of its PSO arrangement in mid 2018, citing profitability concerns.

Announcing the decision today, Minister Humphreys said: “This contract gives certainly to the communities of Oileáin Árainn. It ensures they can continue to avail of a year round, reliable and affordable air service to and from Aerfort Chonamara.

“And for the first time, we will now have direct flights to Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr – two wonderful island communities that are so steeped in history, culture and folklore.

“This is a fantastic development for these island communities. And it also sends a huge signal out ahead of the summer tourism season.”

The contract will provide 68,274 PSO seats annually to the three islands and will operate from Aerfort Chonamara at Inverin, which was purchased by the State in 2019.

The contract will also see the introduction of a flexible scheduling scheme that will allow operator to better respond to local service demands, such as island festivals and events.

Ad-hoc and scheduled non-PSO flights will also be provided by the operator to meet any demand above the agreed PSO seating allocation, the department says.

Published in Island News
Tagged under

ESB Networks says it is investigating the cause of a power blackout which affected almost 800 Aran islanders last week.

The southern Aran island of Inis Oírr was most severely affected, with no electricity for 26 hours – resulting in substantial losses to businesses and households relying on freezers.

The break occurred when a contractor hit an underground cable on Inis Oírr at about 2 pm last Tuesday. Retired island co-op manager Paddy Crowe says the driver had been asked to stop working by several residents before the cable was hit.

Power went down on all three islands, but ESB Networks says it was able to restore supplies to Inis Mór and Inis Meáin less than an hour after the fault occurred.

However, Inis Oírr had no supply restored until 4.30 pm on Wednesday, some 26 hours later. ESB Network crews arrived at 10.30 am that morning and repaired the cable in six hours.

“Third-party damage occurs on our network from time to time,” a spokesman for ESB Networks said.

“ The overriding priority is always one of safety, and thankfully we are not aware of injuries on this occasion,” the spokesman said.

“Third-party incidents are unfortunately a feature of any electricity network, and we’d take every opportunity to remind those in construction of these dangers,” the spokesman said.

“In this case, we are in the process of establishing the precise cause, ”the spokesman said. He said he understood work was being undertaken on behalf of Galway County Council in the area where the fault occurred, and this was being followed up locally.

ESB Networks said it wished to “apologise to all customers impacted, particularly those on Inis Oírr who were without power overnight, for the disruption caused”.

“The incident serves as a timely reminder to all those involved in construction to ‘dial before you dig’ on 1800 928 960,” the spokesman said.

Published in Island News
Tagged under

Following their two callouts on Monday, the volunteer lifeboat crew of Aran Islands RNLI were tasked again on Tuesday evening (31 May) to a woman in need of medical attention.

The Severn class all-weather lifeboat launched under coxswain in charge Sean Curtin and a full crew and headed straight from Inis Mór for the neighbouring island of Inis Meáin.

Conditions at the time of launch were good, with a northwesterly Force 3-4 wind blowing.

Once at the pier in Inis Meáin, the patient was transferred safely aboard and under the supervision of the volunteer crew, the lifeboat headed straight for Ros an Mhíl harbour and the waiting ambulance.

Speaking after the callout, Curtin said: “The volunteer crew responded quickly to the call and we got the patient safely on her way to the medical attention needed. we would like to wish her a speedy recovery.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Page 1 of 20

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating