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Displaying items by tag: Northern Ireland

#Angling - BBC News reports that the Northern Ireland angling charity that lost equipment after their storage facility was burgled has received an "outpouring of generosity" from the local community.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the storage container used by Angling First outside Dromore in Co Down was found forced open last Wednesday.

Sixty fishing rods and other equipment worth more than £600 (€745) were taken in the theft.

But the Northern Ireland community has since rallied to the charity's aid - with Sport Minister Carál Ní Chuilín presenting a number of fishing rods seized in raids on illegal fishing, and the David Prentice car dealership in Portadown donating funds to cover the cost of replacing the stolen gear.

"I'm now standing here today and I'm able to continue thanks to people like David Prentice and the minister intervening," said Angling First's Mark McGivern.

Published in Angling

#RYAAwards - Two sailors from Northern Ireland have received awards from the Royal Yachting Association for their voluntary work, as the Carrickfergus Times reports.

Belfast Lough locals Sheela Lewis from Whitehead received Karl Blythe from Carrickfergus were among 56 people commended by Britain's Princess Royal at the RYA Volunteer Awards in London recently.

Lewis, the first female commodore of the County Antrim Yacht Club, was presented with the Lifetime Commitment Award for her hard work in developing the small club's sailing courses.

And Blythe was nominated by Belfast Lough Sailability for the Youth Award for his dedication to helping others get into sailing and promoting the club online, even while facing the challenges of his autism spectrum disorder.

“I really enjoy helping out with Belfast Lough Sailability and don’t think I do anything more special than any other volunteer," said the 19-year-old. "I really enjoy getting involved, not only with the sailing and on-the-water activities but also helping behind the scenes."

Published in Belfast Lough

#Angling - Sixty fishing rods were among items taken in a break-in at an angling charity's storage facility in Co Down, as BBC News reports.

Angling First - which says it has taught fishing skills to 2,000 children from disadvantaged areas across Northern Ireland - discovered the theft on Wednesday morning.

The shipping container outside Dromore where the charity keeps its equipment was found forced open, and items worth more than £600 (€745) were stolen.

In a statement, the PSNI said that the burglary occurred some time between Sunday 2 and Wednesday 5 December.

The charity's Mark McGivern told BBC News: "It makes you feel sick, it's probably been someone who has come to our pond, but they won't deter me from continuing."

Published in Angling

#COASTGUARD - Campaigners for the Clyde coastguard station in western Scotland have suffered a blow with the news that all calls are now being routed to Stornoway and Belfast as of last night.

BBC News reports on a document leaked to the Coastguard SOS Campaign, which outlines that while the Clyde station itself is scheduled to close on 18 December, control of aerials (ie helicopter dispatches) to the stations at Stornoway and Belfast was on schedule to be completed by yesterday evening (Friday 16 November).

Campaigner Dennis O'Connor said this move meant that "Clyde will cease to exist operationally" from last night.

He also described it as a "direct challenge" to concerns from the Transport Select Committee in Westminster that the closure programme had started early with the closure of Forth coastguard in September "despite assurances that the replacement system of operation would be fully tested before any closures took place".

However, a spokesperson for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said that the handover period "has been planned for some time. All the staff have been informed well in advance."

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the scrapping of the Clyde control centre at Greenock will see the loss of 31 jobs, with much of its role being taken up by the Belfast coastguard at Bangor across the North Channel - a change to the original plan for Scottish stations to share the load till 2015.

Published in Coastguard

#COASTGUARD - An MLA for East Londonderry has sought the support of Northern Ireland's Minister of State to protect the Irish Coast Guard station at Malin Head from closure.

Inishowen News reports that the SDLP's John Dallat MLA contacted Mike Penning regarding the threat looming over the Donegal coastguard station, which is the most northerly on the island of Ireland.

Dallat said: “When Mike Penning was Minister for Transport in Westminster he was instrumental in keeping the coastguard station at Bangor, Co Down, open, and he made his judgement on the basis that Bangor had a special working relationship with Malin Head which was critical to ensuring there was a complete coverage of all areas."

“It would be ironic now if Malin Head, which saved Bangor, was itself to be victim of closure. That must not happen and I believe Mr Penning’s support is an important element in this campaign which must not fail."

As reported recently on Afloat.ie, coastal communities in both Donegal and Kerry have been protesting plans to close the stations at Malin Head and Valentia in the wake of a 'value for money' report commissioned by the Republic's Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar.

Coastguard chiefs have criticised the studies conducted by consultants Fisher Associates into the IRCG and the Marine Survey Office.

Inishowen News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard

#TITANIC - Titanic Island, the company at the head of the consortium developing Belfast's Titanic Quarter, made a pre-tax loss of £20 million (€25 million) in 2011, as BBC News reports.

Much of this has been attributed to a one-off payment of £13 million (€16.25 million) to the charitable trust that owns the new Titanic Belfast visitor centre on the shores of Belfast Lough.

The company's directors described the opening of the tourism hot-spot as the "tipping point" for the development and that "the pieces are in place" for the Titanic Quarter to become one of Ireland's most important commercial hubs.

Meanwhile, Titanic Island is in discussions with Ulster Bank about restructuring its loan support, which the firm's auditors say is essential if the development is to continue.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Titanic

#COASTAL NOTES - A group of young kayaking enthusiasts from Northern Ireland have taken the top spot in their category at the Coca-Cola Clean Coast Awards, as the Coleraine Times reports.

The Causeway Coast Kayak Association comprises 150 young people learning canoeing and other skills on the Causeway Coast in North Antrim.

They were recognised for their involvement in coastal cleanups around Ramore Head and along inland waterways such as the rivers Roe and Bann.

NI Environment Minister Attwood, who was on hand to present the award, said: “It is great to see community and youth groups taking pride in their own neighbourhood and doing something about littering which is such a blight on our coast and around our inland waterways.”

The Coleraine Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#LIFEBOATS - Two teens were rescued from rocks off north Co Derry on Wednesday afternoon, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

The 13-year-old boys were stranded by the incoming tide in the East Promenade area of Portstewart.

PSNI officers called to the scene around 4.30pm managed to persuade one of the boys to cross to the shore, but the coastguard was tasked to lift the other boy from the rocks by the RNLI, according to UTV News.

Police inspector Mick Wood said that the incident "serves as a reminder to us that tides are extremely unpredictable".

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#COASTAL NOTES - The first ever 'energy bank' on this island will be constructed deep beneath a coastal lough in Northern Ireland, as the Irish Independent reports.

Some 500 million cubic metres of gas are set to be stored in salt caverns a mile under Larne Lough on the north Antrim coast, after NI Environment Minister Alex Attwood have his go-ahead for the project earlier today.

The Belfast Telegraph reports that site preparation work will begin before the end of this year on the expected seven-year construction scheme.

The €492.5-million gas storage facility is expected to hold a 60-day supply to create a buffer against increasing energy price rises.

"This security of supply of energy will be a significant step forward in the way we manage our energy sector," said Minister Attwood. "North Sea gas supplies are declining steeply and this facility will make a significant contribution to the security of gas supplies for the whole island of Ireland and indeed for Britain."

Meanwhile, environmentalists have voiced concerns over the planned disposal of salt from the caverns into the sea, and its potential to cause harm to marine wildlife and biodiversity.

Though Minister Attwood said he was conscious of environmental concerns, James Orr of Friends of the Earth argued that the dumping of hypersaline salt solution "will kill or be seriously detrimental to the development of larval stages of fish and crustaceans", and that Northern Ireland should rather be investing in renewable energy.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#INLAND WATERWAYS - RTÉ News reports that An Bord Pleanála and NI Environment Minister Alex Attwood have granted planning permission for a new cross-border bridge spanning the River Newry near Carlingford Lough.

The single carriageway cable bridge will be 660 metres in length, with most of the funds required being sought from the EU`s €30 million fund for development in border regions. It is hoped to be completed and open to traffic by 2015.

The bridge will cross the river at Narrow Water, an area once notorious for an IRA ambush in 1979 that saw 18 British soldiers killed in a series of explosions.

It will also be able to open to allow tall ships and other vessels to access Victoria Lock and Albert Basin in nearby Newry.

Quoted in the Irish Independent is Pamela Arthurs, who helped lead the project on behalf of both Louth and Down county councils, who said the bridge was first mooted as far back as 1976.

"This has been a major project but it is not just about the fact that we will have a bridge, it is what it symbolises in how far we have come as a country," she said.

Minister Attwood also hailed the project as improving accessibility in a region of substantial natural beauty.

"It will be a great economic boost for the area, creating construction jobs in the short term, enhance tourism and promote greater community interaction across the border," he added.

The Irish Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways
Page 13 of 27

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