15th October

The future of Irish island communities

Brian O'Riordan, LIFE Platform

With fair access to fisheries, Irish island communities could thrive. Their geographical isolation makes them highly dependent on the resources available within their localities, especially fisheries resources.

The right to fish, and to access fishery resources are prerequisite to the prosperity and very survival of such island communities. Banning islanders from the sea and fishing is to take away their lifeblood. But that is what the European Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is being misused to achieve.

Inis Toirc

Islands such as Inis Toric are heavily reliant on local resources, such as fisheries, for their economic survival 

Irish island communities are no longer allowed to carry out their traditional seasonally diverse fishing ways of life, but must focus on one or two 'non-quota' species the year round. Not only does this put a strain on these resources, but fishers must also face the prospects of their gears being towed away by supertrawlers that are allowed to fish with impunity in their waters, and to catch quota species they are barred from catching.

Read more: The future of Irish island communities

Bulloch Harbour development described as 'drab and unattractive'

A proposed development at Bullock Harbour, Co Dublin, comprising six shop units with overhead apartments, a café and three, three-storey houses, has met with significant public resistance. At a recent public meeting, objections for the plan were outlined to a packed house of over 400, with corresponding disquiet from the floor.

Bullock development

Artist's impression of the proposed development at Bullock Harbour, Co Dublin

Key observations outlined its significance, historically and culturally; scale and height of the proposed development, and concerns regarding parking, access, traffic, drainage and flooding. Concern was also expressed regarding demolition and clearing of the site in proximity to the existing heritage houses.

Read more: Bulloch Harbour development described as 'drab and unattractive'

Remembering Patsy Kelly


For the inshore fishing community of Galway Bay, 2016 will be remembered - not for the temperate weather, nor for the size of the catch or indeed for the occasional unusual species encountered. Instead, it will be remembered with great sadness for the untimely passing of Patsy Kelly, fisherman, Ballinacourty on Wednesday 7th September.

Fishing continuously on a full-time basis since the age of seventeen, Patsy was one of the true father figures on the Bay. Always helpful and ever in great humour whatever the weather or fishing conditions.

For a man who spent long, full days alone at sea, he was the most wonderful of friends to meet for a chat and update. His knowledge of the Bay was encyclopaedic but he also read widely and could enlighten one on many surprising and interesting topics. It was always a pleasure to meet him with his charming uplifting approach making all the time in the world available for your chat no matter how busy he was, getting ready for the next day’s fishing or landing his catch.

He was generous of heart and of time.

A meticulous approach to his craft characterised the man. A firm believer in sustainable fishing with a deep sense of the privilege that accompanies his work marked him out as a true gentleman of the sea. His fishing vessel, Loch Corrib, was neat and tidy in every way, always looking as well as the day she was launched.

Ever conscious of his personal safety, Patsy took great care in the maintenance of his vessel and gear and always wore his lifejacket. An offshore wind, an ebbing tide, a master at his work, so untimely interrupted.

Patsy was a devoted husband, father, son and brother understandably beloved by his family from whose lives the colour has been drained and for whom a pale monochrome filter casts a drab cloak now. And yet, as we remember Patsy we cannot find a better recipe for facing the future with a bright enthusiasm than the exemplary legacy of the man himself. 

Ken Kaar

Wales and Ireland to collaborate on coastal heritage project

€4m in EU funds has been secured to help safeguard heritage and coastal tourism sites in Wales and Ireland from risks of climate change and to provide a stimulus for marine-based economic growth in Wales and Ireland.

Funded by the EU's Ireland-Wales programme, the CHERISH project (Climate, Heritage and Environments of Reefs, Islands and Headlands) will support specialist organsations to employ the latest technologies to analyse coastal and island archaeology and maritime heritage sites affected by climate change, coastal eroson and rising sea levels.

Dalkey Sound

One of the survey locations, Dalkey Island, 300m off the south Dublin coast, has evidence of a Viking settlement. Photo Gillian Mills

The project will fund new excavations, environmental studies, marine mapping and landscape modelling. It will also support future strategies for climate change, by providing a deeper understanding of longer-term changes to Wales and Ireland's heritage and coastal enviroments.

Read more: Wales and Ireland to collaborate on coastal heritage project

Lighting a candle for Irish Water Safety

Roger Sweeney, Marketing Manager

Christmas is a time of celebration. But it’s also a time of reflection. A time when we gather with our nearest and dearest, remember those who have passed and look forward to what next year might bring.


With shorter days and colder weather, we spend less time on the water although there are many charity swims that will be supported the length and breadth of the country. As winter weather sets in, we sometimes get a glimpse of the destructive power that waits in the waters around us and although most people think about water safety during the summer, at Irish Water Safety, we believe that this is the right time of year to shine a light on the 133 people who tragically lose their lives to drowning every year.

Read more: Lighting a candle for Irish Water Safety

Along Home Shores with Bobby Kerr

Broadcaster and entrepreneur Bobby Kerr embarks on a journey of exploration along the shores of Ireland in his new series for UTV Ireland, Along Home Shores, beginning Thursday, October 27th at 7.30pm.

This eight-part series will see the avid sailor discovering the hidden treasures of the coastlines and waterways, and in each episode, will examine how people are using the natural resources to create employment, while also showcasing the beauty of Ireland along the way.

Along Home Shores fortyfoot

Birdseye view of the Forty Foot, Sandycove, Dublin

Kerr's journey begins on his own doorstep in south Dublin where he joins bathers for an early morning swim at the Forty Foot. At Grand Canal Dock he meets a local leisure business man and tries paddle boarding for the first time. His fitness is put to the test when cancer support group, the Plurabelle Paddlers, bring him dragon-boat training.

Eugene Garrihy, owner of Dublin Bay Cruises, invites Bobby on board his boat to talk business, and he gets an exclusive invite to Lambay Island by businessman Michael Bermingham, the sole supplier of Lambay meat.

Read more: Along Home Shores with Bobby Kerr

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