----- A Voice for Ireland's Maritime Community -----

Latest This Island Nation Broadcast:

THIS ISLAND NATION is designed to be a reflective, informative and entertaining programme about maritime matters… That's what is regarded in radio land as a "niche programme…" and it's one where your comments are always particularly welcome… by Email to: thisislandnation@gmail.com or by phone to 0872 555197.

The latest edition -

 

Five thousand American sailors arrived in Cork Harbour in May of 1917 as the United States entered the First World War. Their task was to protect waters off the South Coast. But there were huge social effects, with fighting over women between the sailors and local men. That is one of the stories on this edition of THIS ISLAND NATION which reports that those incidents had reverberations when Eamonn De Valera went to the States to raise money for the emerging Irish Free State. As well as that fascinating story there is a lot more of interest in the maritime sphere on the programme, including the introduction of fish-smelling dogs to counteract poaching on the rivers, news of what is happening on the islands and the attractions there can be in not taking part in yacht racing.

 

Figures indicate that, across all platforms - broadcast, print and digital - THIS ISLAND NATION has an average following of about 20-25,000 listeners/readers per week. Thank you for your support.

REMEMBERING HISTORY

There is always something interesting to be reported upon and discussed about the maritime sphere.

This week the importance of maintaining knowledge of our maritime history and passing it onto future generations was underlined to me as I recorded an interview for THIS ISLAND NATION on the quayside at Kinsale on the South Cork coastline. The town's historical society was laying wreaths at a memorial to two brothers, Tim and Mortimer McCarthy from a fishing family in the area, who had both won Polar medals for their service with the world's renowned Polar explorers - Mortimer with Captain Scott on the Terra Nova Expedition in 1910. A mountain in Antarctica is named after Mortimer McCarthy. His brother, Tim, was with Shackleton and Tom Crean on the legendary rescue voyage for the Endurance crew from Elephant Island in the James Caird lifeboat. But Tim is not as well-known as Tom Crean. The remembrance ceremony was held a hundred years to the day since Tim McCarthy, was killed while serving aboard the tanker SS Naragansett when it was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U44 off the South Coast of Ireland during World War One.

"The memory of these men is part of the history of this maritime town and must be preserved," said Terry Connolly. "It is important that we remember and that we pass on what we remember to the younger generation so that they can know their history."

He is correct about passing on our history to the next generation. He also referred to the "connection of the coincidence of history between Polar explorers and Irish revolutionaries" which you can hear about on the programme.

LOSS OF R116

And in this edition of the programme we remember the tragedy of the loss of Coast Guard helicopter R116.

 

An Irish shipping company which had the unique attraction for women - that they didn't get seasick aboard its vessels - is featured on this edition of THIS ISLAND NATION, the maritime programme which also marks the centenary of the sinking by a German submarine during World War One of the Royal Mail Ship - RMS CONNAUGHT - owned by the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company. The CONNAUGHT was a sister ship of the RMS LEINSTER which would be sunk a year later, with huge loss of life, by another German U-boat. Much less is known about the CONNAUGHT than the LEINSTER. The story of the CONNAUGHT and its revenge on the submarine which sank it, is told in this edition of the maritime programme which also hears the history of river pilots on the Boyne, reports news from the offshore islands and of the latest happenings in the angling world.

There is disappointing news, reported in the programme, where the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group reports that, so far, this year is the worst on record for strandings and deaths of dolphins. The Group says that January and February have had high levels of deaths of dolphins, particularly on the South and West Coasts. No clear reason has been given. It has recorded 56 deaths so far.

 

'STEALTHY' NEW VESSELS, CLARE LIFESAVERS AND BRENDAN BEHAN

A man who arrived in Ireland from Poland to grow oysters, but found that designing boats was what he was best at is featured on this edition of THIS ISLAND NATION. Frank Kowalski is setting a new trend in the design of boats to counter drugs-running and people-smuggling which he is building at Youghal on the East Cork coastline.

Also on this edition, the lifesavers of Clare, who are the best in Ireland and you may not have known that Brendan Behan, Ireland's famous writer, was once involved in the maritime sphere, but not with much distinction! .He was employed as a painter in St.John's Lighthouse in County Down, but the Principal Keeper got fed-up with his work or, it would seem, lack thereof and wrote to the Engineer-in-Charge of Irish Lights calling for Behan to be dismissed.

These are amongst the stories on THIS ISLAND NATION, where there is always something new and interesting to be reported about the sea.

Listen to the programme here on the MARINE TIMES website.

 

IT'S RAINING IN ANTARCTICA AND PENGUINS ARE FREEZINGTO DEATH

On THIS ISLAND NATION we bring you stories that you won't hear on any other radio station. There hasn't been much reporting about the rain in Antarctica - the Continent of snow and ice where it is now Summertime. That rain is killing penguins who are used to the cold temperatures but not to being wet. Donald Trump doesn't believe in climate change, but he should listen to those with first-hand experience, like Jim Wilson, the respected Irish ecologist and ornithologist, just back from a trip down there and about to return to the area. Climate change is a hard-sell, he says, but it is happening and he tells us what he has seen at first-hand about the effect of rain on marine life in the Antarctic.

The new edition of the programme, which you can listen to here on the MARINE TIMES website, also reports on a €5m. development project by the voluntary community boatyard in Cork which runs the biggest rowing race in Ireland that has turned it into an international event. From the offshore islands we hear why the people of Inishbofin are scouring the world for 'yarn bombs,' about a new college on Inishmaan and artistic developments on Inisheer.
From the angling world, Inland Fisheries Ireland reports that, for the first time, no Spring salmon was caught on Irish rivers in January.

There is also the rather horrible story of the terrible injuries to marine birds and wildlife and the killing of numbers of them by balloon releases into the air. Birdwatch Ireland appeals to people to stop doing this.

 

THE FORGOTTEN IRISHMAN WHO DISCOVERED ANTARTICA AND WHY VLADIMIR PUTIN WILL BE OPPOSING AN IRISH VILLAGE

In this edition of the maritime programme, THIS ISLAND NATION, thre is a very special story – about the Irishman who discovered Antarctica, but is not recognised for it and whose achievement is being disputed by Vladimir Putin of Russia:The Antarctic is the focus of a lot of attention at present. There are fears that the Larsen C ice shelf, almost as big as County Cork, could break off. If it does that could raise sea levels by as much as four inches. There is another story about Antarctica,involving a man from the small village of Ballinacurra, on the edge of Cork Harbour… Edward Bransfield, the man who discovered Antarctica but, amazingly, is not recognised for that achievement. Jim Wilson is a highly respected ecologist and ornithologist of 40 years’ experience who is in the Antarctic at present, where he has been going for many years, as a guide.He comes from Cobh, not far from Ballinacurra and is part of a group which intends to provide the first memorial to honour Bransfield for whom they don’t even have a photograph This interview is a longer one than we normally broadcast in this programme, but worth listening to for the fascinating story which Jim Wilson tells.

 

Ireland is one of the most important countries in the world for seabirds. The variety of seabirds around our coastline is huge. I have marvelled at them when sailing around the coast. On this edition of the programme it is fascinating to hear Niall Hatch, Development Officer with Birdwatch Ireland describe just how many there are, the different species and, unfortunately, the very real threat to the survival of some. He explains how this interlinks with fish stocks and the increasingly long, daily journeys which seabirds must make to find food. It is one of the particularly interesting interviews I have been fortunate to do on the programme. Birdwatch Ireland is part of a worldwide research survey at present into the survival difficulties of some species. In this context Niall outlines the threat to the survival of the most legendary of birds associated with the maritime sphere - the albatross.

ENDA ON THE EDGE OF LIFE
It was a bad New Year's Day for Enda O'Coineen when Kilcullen Voyager was dismasted and ended his participation in the solo non-stop around-the-world Vendee Globe yacht race. Just after the dismasting, he was emotional and philosophical as he described, from the boat, what had happened.

PRESERVING THE OFFSHORE ISLANDS
"We must work to preserve our island heritage and culture, but more importantly, strengthen the future of our island communities." So says the Secretary of Comdháil Oileán na hÉireann, Rhoda Twombly, reporting the latest news from the offshore islands on the programme.

ENCOURAGING YOUNG PEOPLE
Myles Kelly of Inland Fisheries Ireland outlines how young people can be encouraged to take an interest in maritime matters through becoming involved in angling and outlines the opportunities in the next few weeks.

 

WAS GALWAY PORT SABOTAGED ?

Galway is ideally placed on the Western coastline to be a TransAtlantic Port, so it has been said. So why has this not happened?

The MARITIME PROGRAMME, THIS ISLAND NATION, examines a story which has been forgotten in the annals of history and raises the question of whether Galway's efforts to establish itself as a major port on the Atlantic coastline, was deliberately sabotaged by an effort to wreck the first ship on the service.

The story of what happened to the Indian Empire as it sailed into Galway Bay for the first time - and struck the only rock in the bay, is told by author Ray Burke who has investigated whether Galway port's future was irretrievably damaged by sabotage.

 

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE COAST GUARD?

In the December edition of the MARINE TIMES we will be hearing that there are problems in the Coast Guard. West Cork Independent member of the Dáil, Michael Collins, T.D., questioned the Taoiseach about the situation and said that voluntary members of the Coast Guard were "not respected." You can hear a preview of what he has been saying on this edition of THE MARITIME PROGRAMME - THIS ISLAND NATION, which is supported by this newspaper. Also on the programme you can cross the Equator with a solo sailor calling from his boat, hear an optimistic view of cruise ships in Ireland and about the success of Irish anglers internationally

 

THE CURATE'S BOAT
A priest who had never been to sea before finds himself interested in a lifeboat - and becomes a crew member. That is one of the stories on the new edition of THIS ISLAND NATION, the maritime radio programme supported by the MARINE TIMES.

Fr. Liam Boyle is the newest member of the Arranmore lifeboat crew. He had never been to sea when he spotted the lifeboat moored off the island and went over to have a chat with the crew. He quickly signed on and has now been on four call-louts as a member of the 21-person crew.

His last 'shout' saw his pager go off at 4.15 a.m. and, during the call-out, working alongside the Irish Coast Guard helicopter crew, he was involved in assisting a Canadian couple whose yacht ran aground.

The RNLI says on the programme: "We wish Fr. Boyle the best in his new role and hope he doesn't get too many sleepless nights!"

You can also hear about the new Irish-developed 'digital padlock' to protect outboard engines from the big increase in thefts and the good news from Irish Water Safety that deaths from drowning are reducing.

 

ISLANDERS SHOULD NOT BE HELD TO RANSOM

I have a great respect for those who live on our offshore islands. They are a huge part of our national culture, history and maritime tradition. To maintain island life they deserve support from all those who interact with them, both State and private.

Rhoda Twombly is Secretary of Comhdháil Óilean na hÉireann, the Islands Federation and, in her monthly report for THIS ISLAND NATION, the radio programme supported by the MARINE TIMES, she tells of positive and negative developments on the offshore islands. There is more support for island schools. There are new development workers appointed, but there is also disappointing news that islanders on Inishmore are again caught in a battle between the ferry company serving the islands, the Government and Galway County Council.

It is not the first time this has happened as she says: "Inish Mór is facing into another winter of uncertain ferry service. Island Ferries has stated that they will withdraw their service to the island from the 21st of November until the following 17th of March unless there is agreement between the company, the Government and Galway County Council on levy charges at Cill Rónáin harbour. The uncertainty of ferry service has hovered over Inish Mór for the past four years and it really is time to bring a definite resolution to the matter."

It is indeed time that this issue was sorted out.

Islanders should not be held to ransom, as is happening with the situation unresolved after four years and what seems like a 'permanent annual row" once again developing, with the islanders caught in the middle.

Also on the programme, research into the movements of eels, the fishing of which is still banned in Ireland and the first Irishman to sail in a race around the world alone explains why he is doing it.

LISTEN to the programme's PODCAST above - Tom MacSweeney

 

Preserving our Irish maritime tradition is important. We have been chronicling the restoration of Ireland's last traditional wooden sailing ship, the ketch ILEN, underway for a number of years at Liam Hegarty's boatyard in Oldcourt near Skibbereen in West Cork.. and you can hear what the Minister for Finance doesn't know about the boat!!!!

"We always knew who we were. We came here Irish and we didn't change a whole lot..." The words of Damien Brazil,Instructor in the Marine, Offshore Safety and Survival sector of the Fisheries and Marine Institute at the Memorial University of Newfoundland who is interviewed on the programme - a man with great knowledge of Ireland's maritime/historical connections. His people emigrated from Ballylongford in Co.Kerry.

I like a bit of squid and there is a little bit about jigging for squid musically in the programme, as well as the story of what happened to a Lifeboatman on his wedding day and news about a development to prevent the theft of Ringbuoys as well as new volunteer rescue services in Sligo and Clare, this is an edition packed with maritime news, discussion, comment and information.

This week's edition of THIS ISLAND NATION radio programme highlights the importance of 'being Irish.' Too often in Ireland the rush to be more European than the Europeans has led to the casting away of our culture and history. The programme recounts why the people of Newfoundland, whose cod fishery was devastated in the 90s and which is now recovering, have more pride in being Irish descendants with a strong marine culture than the Irish people of today seem to have in their maritime history.

These are amongst the stories in this edition of the maritime programme, THIS ISLAND NATION, which is presented by the Marine Time's Assistant Editor, Tom MacSweeney

 

 

ISLANDS HAVE NOT BEEN GIVEN COPY OF DRAFT HEALTH REPORT

The offshore island communities have not been given a copy of a draft report reviewing the efficiency of health services, despite being involved in the consultation process for the report.

The Secretary of the Islands’ Federation. Comhdháil Oileán na hÉireann, reveals this on the new edition of THIS ISLAND NATION radio programme, which is supported by the Marine Times.

Rhoda Twombly, reporting for the islands’ representative body says:“Comhdháil Oileán na hÉireann had for several years pushed for a nationwide consultation on health care provision on the offshore islands as there has been a gradual decline in the level of medical professionals and services available as well as uneven level of care through the Islands. This consultation of HSE employees, primary care-givers and Island representatives has produced a draft report after visiting the islands to assess needs. As of now, Comhdháil and Island Committees have not been given the report for assessment but hope that this will be allowed.”

There is one bit of good news, however, she reports – full-time nursing care has finally been established on Inishturk in Mayo so residents there are breathing a bit easier.

 

 

A West Cork coastal community's pride in its seafarers who died fighting in the biggest sea battle in the world is told in this edition of the maritime programme THIS ISLAND NATION, presented by the Marine Time's Assistant Editor, Tom MacSweeney.

 

An Irish island community, which changed the world, seeks United Nations recognition for doing so….. And - 25 years after it was founded, the Irish organisation which has changed understanding of coastal waters reviews its work. These are amongst the items on the current edition of THIS ISLAND NATION, the maritime programme supported by The Marine Times and presented by the paper’s Assistant Editor, Tom MacSweeney.

 

Fish farmers need a champion to help develop their industry. So says the man who is the voice of the aquaculture industry, Richie Flynn, Executive of IFA Aquaculture, when he talks to THIS ISLAND NATION presenter, Tom MacSweeney, on the latest edition of the programme, which you can hear here. While Tom MacSweeney says he has been wondering about the contradictory attitude of State agencies towards fisheries issues and whether officials are driven by bureaucracy or commitment, Richie Flynn makes the point that a 'champion for the industry' is needed.

Also on the programme, an Irishman from West Cork tells how he has been involved in developing the Code which will regulate shipping and exploration in Polar waters. There is the story of a former IRA Commander and a British General who met on the inland waterways and how security forces raided the wrong boat as a result.There are reports from the offshore islands and the angling world and how Ireland is ignoring the Nations project to control alien marine species.

 

Children in coastal communities could grow up being deprived of knowledge of their history and heritage because of Goverment policies depriving them of their future. That view is expressed in the current edition of THIS ISLAND NATION radio programme, presented by Marine Times Assistant Editor, Tom MacSweeney and which can be heard here. The programme also reports on national awards to lifeboat crews and supporters and that 47 people have died from drowning so far this year.

 

The last man to be hung from the yardarm of a warship by the Royal Navy, a brutal punishment, was an Irishman. He was from Cork and his name was Thomas McSweeney. That caused his namesake, Marine Times Assistant Editor, Tom MacSweeney, who presents our maritime programme, THIS ISLAND NATION, to take a particular interest in finding out why the 23-year-old Irish sailor was executed. He tells the story of the Hanging of Tom McSweeney on this edition of the maritime programme.

 

On this edition of THIS ISLAND NATION, the story of a sailor on a small boat, a 13-foot dinghy, sailing around Ireland, raising funds to help blind children, who says he has discovered on his voyage the “tremendous community spiritamongst coastal communities,” the importance of conversation and learned to appreciate the vastness of Ireland’s coastal waters. Gary Sargent from Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club in Dublin started his voyage from Schull in West Cork and hopes to get back there towards the end of June. The programme also hears from the RNLI thatthree-quarters of all those who died in drowning accidents on the coast during the past five years were male adults, about the 400 Coastcare Volunteer Groups and ‘Tales of the Brass Monkey’ aboard warships.

 

The Naval Service is being subjected to a threat to its operations that is “unacceptable” and “carries strategic implications for the State” according to the Department of Defence. The commercial company which has been identified as causing the threat has said that a waste management is as important to the State as Naval operations. The issue is discussed on this edition of the maritime programme, THIS ISLAND NATION. The programme, presented by Tom MacSweeney, also hears the President of the world seafarers’ representative organisation say that Ireland needs a strong maritime voice.

..........
....
This Island Nation on Facebook and Twitter

April 2017 issue in all good stockists

Download a digital copy of the current issue to your smartphone or tablet -
Purchase here now


News Snippets

CORK INCINERATOR DECISION DELAYED A THIRD TIME

For the third time Bord Pleanala has deferred its scheduled announcement about the planning approval sought by Indaver for a controversial toxic waste incinerator at Ringaskiddy in Cork Harbour. The Bord has not set a new date for announcing its decision. Originally Bord Pleanala set July 21 of last year to announce a decision, then deferred it to October 26 and again to January 24. CHASE, the Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment which has fought Indaver for nearly 16 years through three planning applications said the third postponement highlighted the contrasting way in which the community had been treated by comparison with the company.

“We struggle to understand the repeated postponements, particularly when serious irregularities in dioxin figures in Indaver’s application were exposed on the final day of the 17-day oral hearing which led to Inspector Derek Daly saying it brought “the veracity of documentation in question,” CHASE said today. Hundreds of residents have opposed the proposal as well as the Department of Defence on behalf of the Naval Service and the Air Corps which identified a threat to Naval operations and national security.

The former Minister for Defence, local TD Simon Coveney and the Leader of Fianna Fail, also a local TD, Michael Martin, also opposed the Indaver proposal.The application is Indaver’s third attempt to build a 240,000 tonne commercial and household waste facility at Ringaskiddy.

In a statement Indaver “confirmed” that the decision had again been postponed. Taoiseach and Minister for Defence, Enda Kenny, has not spoken in support of the Naval Service, for which he has Ministerial responsibility, during the controversy.

A BREXIT THOUGHT

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland had a lot more than maritime matters on his mind this past week…. So he probably wasn’t giving a lot of thought to Lough Foyle as the Northern Assembly collapsed.

Neither, I suggest, was the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, when she announced how the UK will perform its Brexit from the EU.

I don’t think our Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, was either and probably not our Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan.

But, they should give Lough Foyle a lot of thought…


This Island Nation
Editor: Tom MacSweeney


T: 087-2555197

E: thisislandnation@gmail.com


A SIGHT WHICH REMAINS IN THE MEMORY

There are moments and scenes which stand out in one’s mind. Stamped on mine is the day I went to a village in West Cork and there, on the edge of a cliffside near Barryroe, close to Courtmacsherry Harbour, I saw the remains of a long-abandoned fishing family’s home from which two sons had died in the biggest sea battle of World War One – the Battle of Jutland on May 31, 1916.

A short distance further up the same cliffside from that house, I was shown the home of another family whose son had died in the same battle…. And, amazingly, in the parish of Barryroe, six men from the village had died in that sea battle, fought by 100,000 sailors in 250 ships of the British and German Navies. 8,000 of those sailors were killed, including the six men from this village in West Cork. Another 29 sailors from Barryroe survived.

Read more about this in the Sept issue of the Marine Times Newspaper.


IRISH CITIES SHOULD FACE UP TO THEIR MARINE LOCATIONS

Irish cities should make more of their locations close to the sea. All of the municipal managements could do a lot more to make the waterfronts with which their cities have been endowed a major attraction. That was the subject of my SEA ECHOES column in my native Cork City which I write each Wednesday in the EVENING ECHO, Ireland’s last remaining evening paper. Cork is a city with a great physical location, the main attraction of which is the River Lee, lyricised about in the city’s anthem – ‘The Banks of My Own Lovely Lee’. The river endows Cork with a network of waterways as it breaks into different channels to negotiate the city centre. However, in all the development of Cork, I do not see that a lot has been done to bring the riverscape to the forefront of city planning, nor do all citizens appreciate the beauty of the river, to judge by debris still dumped into it. All Irish cities, including Cork, could take a lesson from European cities like Barcelona and Hamburg, the latter of which The Irish Times Magazine on Saturday features. “You are never far from the water in Hamburg. Unlike Dublin, Hamburg makes the most of its aquatic attractions…there’s so much maritime flair that it is hard to believe the sea is actually 100kms away.” That should make all city administrators and councils think!



FINDING A SPIRITED MAYO MAN AT
IRELAND’S ONLY FLOATING CLUBHOUSE

There are times when, as a journalist, you are not sure about the facts of a story which it has been suggested you should report. So, as I negotiated winding and narrow roads in West Mayo I wondered if I really was going to find what I had been told existed – Ireland’s only floating sailing club house and class room.

Ciaran Murphy, the Irish Sailing Association’s man in the West, their Regional Officer, had assured me it did. Furthermore he had suggested that it deserved a write-up if a journalist would visit it. So I was on my way, having talked on the phone to Seamus Butler of the club, who had given me route instructions and told me that there were signs to follow to the lake where the club house/classroom floated!

Read more about this in the Sept issue of the Marine Times Newspaper


FISHERMEN WARNED ABOUT TOXIC GAS HAZARDS

The Marine Casualty Investigation Board has warned fishing boat crews about the hazards of toxic gases in enclosed spaces aboard their vessels after its investigation of the deaths of two crew while cleaning refrigeration tanks aboard their vessel in Killybegs in August of last year. The MCIB report says that fumes aboard the trawler, Oilean an Oir, killed one of the men and his colleague was overcome trying to assist him.

TAKE PART IN FISHERIES CONSULTATION

The Marine Stewardship Council has completed an analysis and workshop of best practices for managing mixed species fisheries after compiling case studies from a number of fisheries globally. It intends to create a new standard for their inclusion in approved species for public consumption. A public consultation process has started and is open for comment until September 30. To take part go to the MSC website: msc.org

Making Life Tougher for Skippers

The Skipper has a tough job at sea these days, but there seems little understanding of the extra pressures being exerted and stress caused by those in official positions ashore.

That was brought to my attention by an Email from Damien Turner, Skipper of the MFV Roise Catriona, who runs Damien Turner Fisheries Ltd. in Castletownbere.

He was referring to the Seahorse Project being carried out at Trinity College in Dublin, to enhance safety in the shipping industry where there is a lot of concern over the pressures placed on Shipmasters and ships’ crews by the ever-increasing demands for paper work, communication and regulatory requirements. This incessant demand is causing serious problems with fatigue at sea and interfering with ship operations and thus safety.

I reported about the project, but those working ashore in a much different and safer environment to those at sea, do not seem to understand or appreciate the different working conditions aboard a vessel offshore.

Damien Turner wrote: “Although, the project seems to be focusing on commercial shipping, we in the fishing industry are experiencing similar problems.

“Much of our paper work is very time-consuming. I’m sure initial intentions for keeping such records etc., were to enhance safety. But some of it is repetitive. For example, much of what is written-up in safety statements also needs recording in the official log.

“Time restrictions on filling out fishing logs, put huge pressure on skippers to comply with legislation. Many vessels are now fitted with WiFi. As great as all this technology is, there is now greater contact with the vessel at sea and there appears to be a greater expectancy imposed on Skippers to reply to Emails or deal with business which otherwise would have been dealt with when we got ashore.

“As we are all part of the maritime family, maybe Dr.Paul Liston (who is in charge of the project) may be interested in looking into the fishing industry along with the commercial shipping industry.”

That is another example of lack of consideration amongst those ashore for those at sea, who are at the forefront of the fishing industry and upon whose success in catching fish, the industry depends.
So does the shipping industry depend on its seafarers, but again the shore-based administrations do not seem to fully understand the pressures on those at sea.

I will refer Damien Turner’s suggestion to Dr.Liston.

Super Trawlers

On Valentia Island I talked to Nealie Lyne. I was staying at Altazamuth House, run by Mary Lyne, a very pleasant location which I can recommend. He told me how inshore fishing catches have been seriously depleted to the extent that on one day catching a few mackerel was all that was possible.
As well as the inshore boats, tourist angling opportunities, it appears, are being decimated. He referred to the fleet of Dutch ‘super trawlers’ which were off the Kerry coast at the time, in mid-July. The presence of this ‘Armada’ and the catches it is taking must be affecting the movement of fish to inshore waters.

There is a belief amongst West Coast fishermen that, because of their size, these trawlers are not being effectively inspected by the Naval Service or the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority. This is a point I am taking up with both services, to whom I have sent a series of questions about how many onboard inspections of ‘super trawlers’ have taken place. These vessels are so large and so high out of the water that fishermen are questioning whether the Navy or the SFPA has got aboard them at sea.

Ireland an Unimportant Part of the EU

An East Coast fisherman sent me another copy of that newspaper photograph published after the UK Brexit decision, which a West Cork fisherman had sent me last month. It showed Foreign Ministers of the original six EEC Member States meeting in Germany to discuss the decision. Foreign Ministers from France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, with Germany acting as host were there, no representatives from any of the other EU States. Ireland was not considered important enough to be at such a meeting.

“I saw the photo in your column last month and it angered me just as much as my West Cork fishing counterpart. It does show that the EU is no more than a Colonial-type power dominated by those who fancy themselves as the big nations of the EU, those who started it, who exploited Ireland’s fisheries for their benefits and who believe they still rule the roost,” he wrote.

That leads me to the question of the effect there will be on Irish waters when the big fleets of France, Holland and Spain which dominate EU fishing policies are expelled from UK waters by Brexit and then add to the numbers already in Irish waters. The only reference to the impact of the Brexit decision on the fishing industry here was a one-liner in the statement of Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, which primarily focussed on the impact on the “agri-food” sector:
“The UK exit vote also raises complex issues for the fisheries sector.”

It does, but what are you and the Government going to do about it Minister Creed? Is your Government up to the task?.

This "Forum" article appears in the Marine Times Newspaper: August 2016 Issue

This Island Nation - Photo of the week

Every week we feature great photos from around the coast:
BEST-EVER AT HELVICK - Twenty-two years is a good record for running a successful event and so the Helvick community in the Waterford Gaeltacht takes pride in its annual fundraiser for the local lifeboat. They do a great job on promoting it and get a lot of support from all over Waterford and further abroad. “The 22nd Annual Helvick Swim and BBQ in aid of the RNLI Helvick Lifeboat Station was regarded by all who attended as the best ever,” Fundraising Chairman Kevin O’Morchoe declared. “A lot of people helped to make it a reality and we thank them all for helping the organisation that helps to save lives at sea.”

If you have a picture that you would like to feature on this website please email us at tommacsweeneymarine@gmail.com