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Giant “fire sculptures”, a community dinner, jazz lunch and a walk to Omey island are among activities planned for Conamara Sea Week’s programme based in and around the Quaker village of Letterfrack.

Ecologist Gordon D’Arcy is participating in a schools programme, and students from primary to third level have created images for the “After the Light” parade tonight, Wed October 23rd, from 7pm.

The award-winning festival, which has been running since 1984, is focused on the community, with a strong environmental focus.

“Myth, magic and a hint of madness” is promised for the mid-week parade, involving students from five primary schools, local crèches, Youthreach, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) Letterfrack, the Galway Roscommon Education and Training Board and the Brothers of Charity.

An “active age club” lunch and music at Rosleague Manor takes place on Thursday, October 24th, and that same evening a community dinner in Veldon’s Seafarer will offer food made by award-winning chef Jonathan Keane of the Lodge at Ashford.

Artist Mo West will open a sea week “small works” art exhibition at Connemara National Park on Saturday (Oct 26), and John O’Halloran will lead a walk on Sunday to Omey island, meeting at Claddaghduff church at 10.30am.

The programme, including music of all genres, continues until bank holiday Monday, and further information is available by phoning 085 1154629 or check the website here

Published in Maritime Festivals
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#Rowing: Irish crews added four more wins to their haul over the weekend at the World Masters Regatta at Lake Velence in Hungary. The wins came on Saturday. Denis Crowley featured in a composite eight, which beat strong British opposition, and in a four – bringing his personal tally to eight wins. Brendan Smyth and Patrick Fowler of Commercial won in the double and Milo and Pat Murray of Cappoquin won the in the pair. A mixed eight finished second on Sunday.

World Masters Regatta, Lake Velence, Hungary (Selected Results; Irish interest; Winners)

Saturday

Men

Eight  (E – avg 55 or more): Galway, Belfast BC, Neptune, Clonmel, Commercial, Shannon (G Murphy, A McCallion, K McDonald, D Crowley, F O’Toole, O McGrath, G O’Neill, C Hunter, M McGlynn) 3:04.90

Four (D – avg 50 or more): Commercial, Neptune (B Smyth, F O’Toole, G Murphy, D Crowley) 3:24.72.

Pair (F – avg 60 or more): Cappoquin (P Murray, M Murray) 6:12.10.

Sculling, Double (C – avg 43 or more): Commercial (B Smyth, F Fowler) 3:28.39.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Denis Crowley of Commercial brought his tally of wins to a remarkable six after three days at the World Masters Regatta in Budapest. In just one day, the 57-year-old won in the coxless four and twice in the single sculls – in the C class (43 years or more) and the E class for 55 or more. The decision to form composite crews again paid off for the Irish, with wins in the C eight and the D coxed four, along with Crowley’s haul.

World Masters Regatta, Budapest, (Selected Results, Irish interest, winners)

Friday

Men

Eight

(C – 43 or more): Heat Four: Commercial, Cork, Neptune, Clonmel, Shannon, Galway, Castleconnell (B Crean, B Smyth, R Carroll, O McGrath, G O’Neill, P Fowler, B O’Shaughnessy, K McDonald; cox: M McGlynn) 3:09.75.

Four

(E – 55 or more) Heat Five: Commercial, Neptune, Belfast BC, Galway (D Crowley, G Murphy, C Hunter, A McCallion)

Four, coxed

(D – 50 or more) Heat 3: Galway, Neptune, Castleconnell, Clonmel (G O’Neill, O McGrath, B O’Shaughnessy, T Dunn; cox: M McGlynn) 3:35.89.

Sculling, Single

(C - 43 or more) Heat 19: Commercial (D Crowley) 3:49.92.

(E – 55 or more) Heat 8: Commercial (Crowley)

Published in Rowing

Irish authorities have detained a cargo ship close to Kinvara in south Galway bay after its hull sprang a leak while loading cargo for the Bahamas writes Lorna Siggins

The 30m ship Evora has been detained by the Marine Survey Office (MSO) under port-state control regulations which prevent the vessel from going to sea.

Concerns about the four crew employed for the voyage also prompted a visit to the vessel yesterday by the International Transport Federation’s (ITF) Irish branch.

ITF representative Michael Whelan said he had met the crew – three Cubans and a Colombian – and was assessing the situation in relation to pay, conditions, and accommodation for the crew while the vessel is damaged.

“The situation is ongoing, and I have been in contact with the vessel owner,” Mr Whelan said.

The cargo ship had been due to steam to the Bahamas with a large quantity of cement when the ship’s hull was damaged during loading at Tarrea pier, outside Kinvara.

Local residents feared that fuel from the ship might leak, causing pollution which would have a serious impact on south Galway’s shellfish industry, including its oyster beds.

The pier is outside the remit of the Galway harbourmaster and is the responsibility of Galway County Council.

It is understood residents found it difficult to get a response from the local authority, and Galway harbourmaster Capt Brian Sheridan then intervened to assist.

The Department of Transport, under which the Marine Survey Office operates, said it could not comment on the details of the detention.

It said that any queries should be directed to the ship’s flag state – as in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, where the vessel is registered.

The vessel, built in France 50 years ago, was formerly owned in Co Galway but was sold to a new owner within the past 12 months. The owner confirmed that the vessel had been detained, but did not comment further.

A spokesman for the Evora said that the vessel was "detained due to flooding of the engine room" and that "no harmful substances were released" to surrounding waters.

The spokesman said there were "no further comments".

Published in Galway Harbour
Tagged under

#Rowing: A composite of five crews – Galway, Neptune, Commercial, Clonmel and Cork – won in the men’s eight for 50 and over at the World Masters Regatta in Budapest. It was one of a sequence of wins for the Irish at the huge event.

 Brendan Smyth and Patrick Fowler, rowing for Commercial, won the Pair in the A class, while Denis Crowley and Tony Corcoran won in single sculls.

 Two C fours (43 or more) won and an E coxed four (55 or more) also took the honours.   

World Masters Regatta, Budapest, (Selected Results, Irish interest, winners)

Wednesday

Men

Four, coxed E (55 or more) – Heat Four: 1 Belfast BC, Commercial, Galway, Leichhardt RC (C Hunter, A McCallion, M Heavey, G Canning; cox: JM Marks) 8:05.40

Thursday

Men

Eight (D – 50 or more) – Heat Two: Galway, Neptune, Commercial, Clonmel, Cork (B Crean, B Smyth, R Caroll, O McGrath, G O’Neill, P Fowler, D Crowley, G Murphy; cox: M McGlynn) 3:05.06.

Four (C – 43 or more): Heat Three: Commercial, Galway, Clonmel, Neptune (R Carroll, O McGrath, P Fowler, G O’Neill) 3:15.28. Heat Six: Commercial/Neptune (D Smyth, F O’Toole, G Murphy, D Crowley) 3:15.54.

Pair (A – 27 or more): Heat Three: Commercial (P Fowler, B Smyth) 3:32.68

Sculling, Single – (D – 50 or more) – Heat 15: Commercial (D Crowley) 3:55.15.

(H – 70 or more) – Heat Eight: 1 T Corcoran 4:27.08.

Published in Rowing

PhD student Catherine Jordan will bring her research on phytoplankton blooms to the third annual Soapbox Science even in Galway tomorrow afternoon (Saturday 29 June).

She will be among 12 female scientists standing on their soapboxes to talk about their groundbreaking research in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine at the city’s Spanish Arch from noon to 3pm.

Jordan, a PhD candidate through the Marine Institute’s Cullen Fellowship Programme and NUI Galway, will discuss her research on using satellite technology to observe and identify phytoplankton blooms in North-East Atlantic waters.

“When conditions are right, phytoplankton appear in high numbers and produce green and dark red hues in the water and are known as ‘algal blooms’,” she explains.

“As these blooms can sometimes be visible from space, satellites provide a useful tool in monitoring the location and extent of these blooms.

“In most cases phytoplankton blooms are of benefit to the ecosystem, but a small proportion of phytoplankton species produce toxins which may affect other marine life.

“Satellites may be able to assist in providing early wide-scale warnings of the presence of algal blooms, by using ocean colour sensors. A lot of my research focuses on measuring optical properties of light by using different instruments and methods, as well as validating satellite measurements.”

Jordan recently joined the Marine Institute’s annual ocean climate research survey on the RV Celtic Explorer to collect plankton samples and hyperspectral radiometer data as part of her PhD research.

Speaking about the Soapbox Science even, Jordan said: “I am very passionate about my field of science and also promoting how women can work on marine research vessels and spend weeks at sea.

“It is very important to engage the public in learning about marine science in interactive ways in order to explain very complex matters. Soapbox Science is an excellent platform for promoting women in science and encouraging the public to discuss topics they may not have encountered before.”

Soapbox Science Galway began two years ago, and talks this year will cover a diverse range of topics such as enhancing farming using insects, the marvels of human milk, the internet as a force for good, and statistical thinking for real-life questions.

The event will also be held in Dublin and Cork, as well as in several countries around the world including the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Sweden, Germany, Brazil and South Africa.

For the full list of participants and more information about Soapbox Science visit soapboxscience.org

Published in Marine Science

#Rowing: The hosts won the men's senior eights title at Trinity Regatta today. The Trinity/Lady Elizabeth crew had a length and a quarter to spare over Blue Star, a British crew which featured Scott Durant, an Olympic gold medallist, along with former Ireland internationals Cormac Folan and Niall Kenny.

 The men's senior singles went to Michael Maher after a disqualification. The race featured a clash between the two Commercial men, after which Niall Beggan was disqualified.

 The women's novice eight gave DULBC a chance to show their mettle. They raced Neptune in the final and won well. Bann's women's junior 18 eight looked strong and crossed the line ahead of Graiguenamanagh - but Bann were disqualified for not staying the right side of a buoy.

 Brian Colsh of Sligo continued his good run by taking the men's junior 18 single, while Galway beat Blackrock in the men's junior 16 eights final.

Published in Rowing

One Galway fishmonger stocking up ahead of the perennially busy Good Friday trade got more than he bargained for with his catch of the week.

Stefan Griesbach from Gannet Fishmongers and Eatmorefish.ie came across a fish a lot more unusual than the average cod and whiting in the 2kg meagre (Argyrosomus regius) — also known as the croaker fish — a relative of the stone bass which is a farmed fish popular on many Irish restaurant menus.

Common in the waters in south-west of France or west of Africa, the meagre, despite its name, is not so small by nature.

Indeed, the 2kg specimen Stefan spotted in Rossaveal on Monday (14 April) is just a fraction of its cousins that can reach up to two metres in length and weigh more than 200kg.

Meagre is a renowned game fish but also prized for its meaty fillets, which was the big attraction for Stefan when he found it in a mixed box of fish, having been caught by the MFV Killoran south of the Aran Islands on its first trip.

However, before taking the knife to this unique Easter treat, Stefan got in touch with Dr Declan Quigley of the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority to find out just how rare his purchase really was.

And he was surprised to learn that records show only two other meagre/croaker catches in Irish waters, at Passage West, Co Cork in 1840 and Annagassan, Co Louth in 1896 — both in the Victorian era of the 19th century.

Now the special catch is up for auction in aid of the RNLI. Bidding starts at €75 for the auction which closes midday on Thursday 18 April so be sure to act fast.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

#Lifeboats - Baltimore RNLI carried out a medevac on Thursday night (11 April) from Sherkin Island off the coast of West Cork.

The volunteer crew launched their all-weather lifeboat following a request from the Irish Coast Guard at 9.29pm to provide medical assistance and evacuation to an islander living on Sherkin.

Conditions at sea during the callout were calm with good visibility and no sea swell.

The lifeboat arrived at Sherkin pier at 9.45pm, the casualty was brought onboard and the lifeboat departed the island within four minutes, handing the casualty over to the care of HSE ambulance crew at 10.08pm.

Speaking following the callout, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer, said: “Baltimore RNLI regularly provides the vital service of medical evacuations (medevacs) for residents and visitors to local islands such as Sherkin, Cape Clear and Heir.

“If you find yourself in need of medical assistance, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Elsewhere, volunteer lifeboat crews from the Aran Islands and Galway RNLI participated in a multi-agency training exercise on Galway Bay this week.

The all-weather lifeboat from Aran Islands RNLI and the inshore lifeboat from Galway Bay RNLI were among the many emergency service agencies that took part in a maritime mass rescue exercise.

The scenario training, which saw the lifeboat crew practise an evacuation of survivors from a seagoing ferry in a busy shipping lane, was organised as part of a multi-agency exercise co-ordinated by the Irish Coast Guard.

Among the other agencies involved were the Irish Coast Guard rescue helicopters located at Sligo and Shannon, Doolin/Inisheer Boat Unit, Costello Bay, Killaloe, Kilkee and Cleggan Coast Guard units, Galway Fire Service and the HSE.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Wicklow RNLI's inshore lifeboat was launched at 4:40pm yesterday afternoon (Friday 8 March) to search for a missing dog.

The alarm was raised by the anxious owner after her dog, named Otis, chased some seagulls down over the cliff edge at Wicklow Head and disappeared.

The lifeboat — with helm Graham Fitzgerald and crew Ian Thompson and John Stapleton — was on scene eight minutes after launching and the crew began a sweep of caves and the shoreline at a location known as the Pond, near Wicklow Head lighthouse.

During the search the dog could be heard barking from a cave, so crew member Stapleton was put ashore near the opening and, with some persuading, the dog was coaxed out to climb back up the cliff and into the arms of his grateful owner.

Elsewhere, a young man was recovered from the River Corrib by members of the emergency services in Galway in the early hours of Friday morning following a major rescue operation involving the Galway RNLI lifeboat.

The man has got into difficulty in a canal beside the river around 3.30am, and during the rescue both the casualty and rescue personnel ended up entering the fast-flowing Corrib towards the Spanish Arch, where the casualty was recovered for transfer to Galway University Hospital.

Mike Swan, Galway RNLI lifeboat operations manager, said: “We would encourage all members of the public to respect the water at all times regardless of their activity.

“Be wary of all edges around the sea and watersides. Slips and falls happen in all locations.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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