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Tom MacSweeney's

It seems that the Government may – at last –be listening to the island communities. That appears possible because the Cabinet has approved the formation of an Interdepartmental Islands Committee. The Cabinet has approved the formation of the committee which will be made up of representatives from all Government departments.

So I have been told and it is about time because it is around 30 years since there was such a committee. That demonstrates an attitude at Government level which does not indicate the level of commitment to our offshore island communities which there should be.

On my maritime radio programme we have repeatedly highlighted the importance of Ireland’s offshore island communities. So it is good to be able to report that the Cabinet has approved the setting-up of this committee, on which all Departments will be involved to deal with Government policy towards the islands.

It is hoped that the first meeting of the new committee will be held next month. The island communities would like to see a cross-Government Islands’ policy developed.

The formation of the committee is being viewed as an important development as no such committee or policy has existed since the 1990s.

We will wait to see the level of commitment which is actually delivered on. Hopefully it will show increased understanding around the Cabinet table in Government Buildings in Dublin of the importance of the offshore island communities, which do so much themselves to preserve inhabited islands,

On this edition of THIS ISLAND NATION you can hear more about this. The programme is presented by Tom MacSweeney

We are always on the look out for photos and news from around the coast and from all our harbours so please do send them on to us via email to

August issue in shops from Friday 2nd August

  • Minister Defers Penalty Points Introduction After Angry Meetings with Politicians and Fishing Representatives

    The Minister for the Marine did not introduce a new Penalty Points Statutory Instrument to the Dáil before the parliamentary holiday break, as he had indicated. No explanation has been given, but the Marine Times understands that it may be the result of meetings with politicians where, the paper has been told, the Minister and his senior Department officials were very strongly criticised for their attitudes towards the fishing industry.

  • New National Search and Rescue Plan Announced

    Minister Accepts MCIB Report into Kilkee Tragedy Despite Coast Guard Criticism

    The Marine Casualty Investigation Board and the Irish Coast Guard clashed strongly in their opinions about the investigation into the Kilkee tragedy when 41-year-old mother of two, Catriona Lucas, was killed. The MCIB severely criticised Irish Coast Guard operations, saying that the capsize “occurred within a wider context of safety management in the Coast Guard as a whole” and that the Coast Guard did not have an effective Safety Management System.

  • Lidl Stores in Spain and Portugal ‘Sea’ the Opportunity for Irish Seafood

    Castletownbere based Shellfish Ireland to supply crab to over 800 stores in mainland Europe

    Shellfish Ireland, based in Castletownbere, Co. Cork, are celebrating after landing a deal to supply brown crabs to over 800 Lidl stores in Spain and Portugal. The deal, facilitated due to their relationship with Lidl Ireland, is worth over half a million to the fourth generation family run business and will see fish going from West Cork to depots all over Spain and Portugal.

    Pick up a copy in your local shop or online »


Bord Iascaigh Mhara to Increase Visibilty of Women in Ireland’s Seafood Industry

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency, today, 6th March 2018, launched a promotional campaign to profile the important role women play in Ireland’s Seafood Sector. The Irish Seafood Sector contributed €1.15 billion to Ireland’s GDP in 2017. However women’s participation in the industry remains low. Just over one in ten (11.7%) employees in fishing, forestry and agriculture sectors in Ireland is female. This is significantly lower than the EU average of 36.9%. ‘I'm Trudy McIntyre, from Dunmore East, Co Waterford. I'm the daughter of a fishing family and now the wife of a fisherman, Shane McIntyre with two young daughters. I came into fishing through my father, spending time with him when he was out working on the boat.'


The Future of the Legendary Galway Hookers

The legendary Galway Hookers are the subject of our monthly interview in which the Chairman of Cumann HúcéirÍ na Gaillimhe, the Galway Hookers Association, Dr. Michael Brogan, talks to Marine Times Deputy Editor, Tom MacSweeney, about the future of these iconic West of Ireland boats and says they are a maritime art, the preservation of which deserves official support. The sight of a Galway Hooker under full sail is a wonderful spectacle, which can lift the heart of anyone with a maritime feeling. To helm one is even more stirring – and demanding. The feeling of power which comes through the tiller is astonishing, as I found on the helm of the MacDuach, the biggest of the Hookers.

Great Lighthouses of Ireland RTE Documentary »

Great Lighthouses of Ireland RTE Documentary

Irish Lights has announced its involvement in a four-part documentary series with RTE 1 that tells the story of Ireland’s lighthouses and the associated aids to navigation network around the island of Ireland and the vital role it plays in ensuring safety at sea for all. The documentary, Great Lighthouses of Ireland, illustrates Irish Lights’ leading role in safe navigation at sea from the 1800s to the present day, and the advances that have taken place in relation to Aids to Navigation from an engineering and technology perspective during this period.

opinion »

Segmentation of Fleet Capacity

Art Kavanagh: I remember some years back being at a presentation from a County Manager – as they were called at the time which he entitled “Running the County as a Business”. Since then the title of County Manager has been replaced with the title of “Chief Executive” which is probably more appropriate given the size of the Business actually being managed with Huge Budgets, large Numbers of Employees and responsibilities for many aspects of life within the County.

Rogues Gallery in the Marine Times Newspaper

    Joefy checking images and of his 'younger days' in the September issue of the Marine Times in Power's Centra in Dunmore East - Photo courtesy William Power

    Video Gallery on the Marine Times Newspaper website

      If you would like a picture of your crew in the Marine Times print edition or your video to appear on our website please email us at