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Superstitions of the Sea

The ways in which fishermen try to avoid misfortune at sea are told by Bairbe Ni Fhloinn who lectures in Irish folklore at University College, Dublin, on this edition of THIS ISLAND NATION, the maritime programme for Ireland, presented by the Deputy Editor of the Marine Times, Tom MacSweeney, and supported by the paper. The programme also tells how the people of Rosslare remember the 61 passengers and crew who were killed in the Aer Lingus crash off Tuskar Rock 50 years ago and hears the story of the Black Guillemot and about 29 years of watching birds on Rockabill Island. A wide-ranging and interesting edition of the maritime programme, THIS ISLAND NATION, presented by Tom MacSweeney.

Does the Boating Community Take Enough Notice of Safety Issues?

IRISH WATER SAFETY reveals that 62% of all drowning fatalities occur inland and just 38% at sea on the new edition of THIS ISLAND NATION radio programme tonight on CRY104FM at 6.30 pm and www,cry104FM online and stations throughout Ireland this week. The RNLI reports on the latest news from Irish lifeboats and the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group will examine the story and history of ‘MUC MHARA’ - IRELAND’S SMALLEST WHALE. And the story of the one-legged Irish sailor from Cork who attacked a King of England will be told. WELCOME TO KINVARA – THE 11TH STATION IN THE COMMUNITY OF THE SEA: Kinvara FM Community Radio in County Galway, broadcasting every Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon to 8 p.m. on 92.4FM is the latest station to join “the community of the sea” through THIS ISLAND NATION programme. From Sunday, March 11, the programme will be broadcast fortnightly on Sundays at 1 p.m. This brings to 11 the number of stations now broadcasting the maritime programme reporting on the culture, history, tradition and modern developments of MARITIME IRELAND. A wide-ranging and interesting edition of the maritime programme, THIS ISLAND NATION, presented by Tom MacSweeney.

The Fishmonger Who Talked to the Queen (... and other stories)

On this edition, the man who made international news when he told Queen Elizabeth that a monkfish has a face like a “mother-in-law” talks about what it is like to sell fish. Pat O’Connell calls for more public education about the fishing industry and says that all sections of it need to be working together for its future, which is not helped, he says, by politicians who fail to stand-up for it against European regulations. The Islands’ Federation says that offshore islanders have just as much rights to travel facilities as any citizen of the mainland; Birdwatch Ireland warns about the future of the seas and Fisheries Ireland encourages youngsters to go angling. A wide-ranging and interesting edition of the maritime programme, THIS ISLAND NATION, presented by Tom MacSweeney.

The Convict Transporation Ships to Australia


The convict ships transported 165,000 prisoners to Australia in the 80 years between 1788 and 1868. They were mostly men, but 25,566 women were also transported, though not all were prisoners. Some went voluntarily. The last convict ship, the Hougoumont, docked in the port city of Fremantle in Western Australia on January 9, 1869 – ending the era of transportation. It had been at sea for 89 days on a 14,000-nautical-mile voyage. Amongst the prisoners were 68 Fenians.

Fred Rea, owner and Publisher of the Irish Scene magazine in Western Australia and one of the organisers of the first 10-day Irish festival in Australia, held to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the ending of transportation, tells the story of these ships in a riveting account and asks why there was no commemoration of the historic date in Ireland.


MARCH 19th

The programme about Ireland’s maritime culture, history, tradition and development . Amongst the items on the new edition, beginning transmission on Monday, March 19 - the superstitions and traditions of the sea - "uaisle na farraige” - the historic community of fishermen and fisherwomen and their traditional beliefs and remembering the tragedy of 61 lives lost in the St.Phelim Aer Lingus tragedy off the Tuskar Rock, an aviation accident in the area known as “graveyard of a thousand ships…”

THIS ISLAND NATION comes to you from the studios of CRY104FM in Youghal on the East Cork coastline, on the banks of the great River Blackwater as it flows to the sea and across the airwaves of 11 community radio stations around Ireland, bringing together the community of the sea, discussing Ireland’s magnificent maritime culture. You are welcome to join this maritime community. See the details of the 11 broadcasting stations below.


Bairbre Ni Fhloinn, who lectures in Irish folklore at University College, Dublin, has completed a fascinating study of their traditions, published by the Four Courts Press in a 432-page illustrated book, called COLD IRON, because touching cold iron helped in the avoidance of misfortune. I talked to her at the School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore in UCD, which you can hear on the new edition of the programme. He book costs €20.


At half-past ten on Sunday morning, March 24, 1968, a Viscount plane - Aer Lingus flight EI 712 - took off from Cork Airport, bound for Heathrow in London. Less than 30 minutes later it plunged into the sea 1.7 nautical miles from Tuskar Rock off the Wexford coast. All 61 passengers and crew were killed. The people of that great maritime area, Rosslare, have organised a memorial service to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the tragedy this year. It will take place next Saturday, March 24. Sean Boyce of the Rosslare Maritime Museum Committee and also the Organising Committee, outlines what is planned on the programme, first recalling how Rosslare reacted to the tragedy on the day it happened.


The Black Guillemot, commonly known as the Tystie in Scotland, is a member of the Auk family, and it is a close relative of the Puffin. They are about the size of a large pigeon and look not unlike penguins. This month the Guillemots will be choosing their Irish summer homes. BirdWatch Ireland is appealing for volunteers to help repeat this survey in the coming months. Black Guillemot activity is highest in the early mornings in late March, April and early May. You need to be prepared to get out early and cover, on foot, a length of about 5 km of rocky coast between 6 and 9 o’clock in the morning.

Volunteers can register their interest and availability via and will be provided with full instructions. Dr.Stephen Newton, who leads the seabird conservation work of Birdwatch tells us more about the Black Guillemot on the programme. • Black Guillemot photo courtesy of Birdwatch by Laura Glenister


BirdWatch Ireland’s landmark work to conserve one of Europe’s rarest and most threatened species, the beautiful Roseate Tern, on Rockabill Island off the Dublin coast, has been going on for 29 years and has been nominated for a prestigious Natura 2000 Award. They are asking for your support. It only takes about 10 seconds and every vote counts. Learn more about the project and how to cast your vote at


Myles Kelly of Inland Fisheries Ireland has all the latest angling news from the rivers, lakes and estuaries of Ireland on this edition of the programme. Good reports from a number of salmon fisheries around Ireland in the last seven days and charter boats made a return to the sea. Coarse anglers had some great fishing on Lough Erne but trout and pike anglers were a little quiet. Ballina angler, Eddie Doherty, landed the first Cloongee salmon of 2018. The fish weighed 15 lbs and was caught on Bubble and Fly. Eddie had earlier released a fish of approximately 7 lbs. The Cloongee Fishery is one of the most prolific fisheries on the River Moy with historical catches up to 800 salmon per season. It is managed by Inland Fisheries Ireland-Ballina • Photo of Eddie Doherty and his 15lb salmon courtesy Fisheries Ireland.


The Dutch shipping company Seatrade and two of its directors have been found guilty by a Dutch court of illegally sending ships to India to have them demolished. It was the first case of its kind in the Netherlands. The company and the directors were fined up to €750,000.


Statoil, Norway’s biggest petroleum company, which operates many offshore production rigs, is to change its name to Equinor. “The world is changing, and so is Statoil,” said Chairman Jon Erik Reinhardsen. This is a move by the company to broaden its energy reach beyond oil and gas production.

THIS ISLAND NATION PROGRAMME LIBRARY All programmes No. 1- 95 available on the CRY PODCAST site:…/playlists/this-island-nation/

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