17th July

Take nothing but photos; leave nothing but footprints

In 2015, Inisbofin achieved SAC status and 'eco certification', and is the first 'Leave no Trace' island.

The island boasts diverse habitats from pristine beaches; sheltered coves and sand dunes; sea cliffs and stacks, to bogs, hay meadows and rolling hills. Sheep farming, fishing and seaweed foraging by day and traditional music drifting on the evening breeze, make up a complete package to inspire all visitors.

Inisbofin

The Leave no Trace network currently includes seven businessess that have adopted the core principles:

  • plan ahead and prepare
  • be considerate of others
  • respect farm animals and wildlife
  • travel and camp on durable ground
  • leave what you find
  • dispose of waste properly
  • dispose of waste water properly and minimise the effects of fire

"This is not an island that is about packing in the daytrippers, nor to rush to for the nearest viewpoint and back to catch the last ferry. It's a place to hike, bike, picnic, swim, fish, soak up the history, eat local seafood or lamb, and relax the night away, listening to traditional music and stargazing...." remarked Mary Mulvey, CEO Ecotourism Ireland.

Double-page feature in Spring 2016 edition of Inshore Ireland

Insibofin

Fanad Lighthouse opens its doors on spectacular views

Fanad Head Lighthouse on the northern tip of Ireland, surrounded by Mulroy Bay and Lough Swilly, has opened its doors to guided tours and unique self-catering accommodation. 

GLI Fanad

Standing 22m and overlooking the Atlantic, the latest lighthouse to open under the Great Lighthouses of Ireland brand, will be managed by local community group, Forbairt Fhánada Teoranta.

Read more: Fanad Lighthouse opens its doors on spectacular views

Powerboat speed machines test Cobh waters

Ireland's Team Hibernia and England's Vector Martini clocked up speeds in excess of 160km/ph during trials in Cobh Harbour, Co Cork, ahead of the Venture Cup inshore leg on June 12.

Venture Powerboat race

Testing the waters in Cobh Harbour ahead of the inshore leg of the 2016 Venture Cup in June

Twenty-five international raceboats will compete over the 32km course in what is described as the world's 'toughest and most prestigious' powerboat race.

Read more: Powerboat speed machines test Cobh waters

Election 2016: poor political campaigning on islands could be costly

In the closing days of Election 2016, Comhdháil Oileáin na hÉireann, the Islands Federation, says only two of the six main parties (Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin) have mentioned the islands in their manifestos. Fiann Fáil includes a specific Island Policy and Sinn Féin refers to the islands as part of  their new 'deal for the west'.

'It is with great disappointment CoE is left to consider that most political parties do not have an awareness or understanding of the issues facing islands. Islanders have the right to be represented by people/parties who recognise and understand at least the basic issues involved in the struggle for the survival of islands,' a statement reads.

Inis Bofin

Inisbofin, one of Ireland's west coast islands, where poor political canvassing is higlighted by Comhdháil Oileáin na hÉireann. Photo Gillian Mills

Little political canvassing 'thus far' is also highlighted, resulting in a 'lost opportunity for islanders to speak face-to-face with candidates' and to hear party views and to discuss island needs.

Read more: Election 2016: poor political campaigning on islands could be costly

'School of the Year' title for Midleton college

Students from St Colman's Community College, Midleton Co Cork, have removed over 12 tonnes of marine litter from beaches, waterways and rivers across the East Cork area, earning them the title of 'School of the Year' by An Taisce in the 2015 Clean Coasts Ocean Hero Awards.

An Taisce Clean Coasts Awards

Students from St Coleman's spell out 'Clean Up' on their local Ballynamona beach

Seeing off competition from 3,700 primary and secondary schools, the students concentrated their efforts near Ballycotton where fly tipping is a big problem.

"They have shown a keen interest in protecting their local beaches and promoting environmental issues in their school and throughout the local community," explained Olivia Crossan, Clean Coasts Programme, An Taisce.

Read more: 'School of the Year' title for Midleton college

Blue rayed limpet nursery found in unusual location

German university students studying fossil-rich rocks, seaweed diversity and honeycomb reefs on Waterford estuary coast accidentally stumbled upon tiny blue rayed limpets on a sea spaghetti (Himanthalia elongata) frond. This uncommon limpet confined to the outer edge of Europe is usually found on the base of kelp.

Blue rayed limpet

Blue rayed limpet found on long sea spaghetti (Himanthalia elongata)

"We usually find adults dug into the kelp," explained Karin Dubsky Coastwatch coordinator. "They are delicate fingernail-sized animals with beautiful fluorescent dots set in lines on their shell.

Read more: Blue rayed limpet nursery found in unusual location

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