23rd March

Urban beach at Dún Laoghaire gets green light

A €2.5m controversial plan to build an 'urban beach'and outdoor swimming pool at Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin, have been granted planning permission.

urban beach 1

Computer-generated view of the 'urban beach' in Dún Laoghaire

The project will be jointly funded by the county council and Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company and includes an artificial beach and café, as well as a floating swimming pool with heated treated seawater built on a converted river barge located along the East Pier.

Read more: Urban beach at Dún Laoghaire gets green light

TDS urged to particate in Coastwatch Survey 2014

Coastwatch Europe's international coordinator, Karin Dubsky, is asking elected representatives to participate in the annual Coastwatch survey "to better appreciate the values of our coastal rim and the issues faced by local communities", ahead of the awaited publication of the General Scheme of the Maritime Area Foreshore (Amendment) Bill.

Coastwatch survey

Coastwatch and citlops training for local school group at the Tralee Wetland Centre with Dr Dave McCormick

Participants are invited to take one or more 500m long survey walks at low tide and to complete a short audit (type of shore, values; uses; stream entries, key wildlife and habitats; invasive alien species; litter and threats).

Read more: TDS urged to particate in Coastwatch Survey 2014

An Taisce extends photography competition deadline

The deadline date for entry into An Taisce's fifth annual Love your Coast photography competition has been extended to the end of August in response to a "very hectic flow of entries and to facilitate as many entries as possible," remarked Annabel Fitzgerald, Coastal Programmes Manager, An Taisce.

An Taisce CL - John Beasley - Coumeenoole

Love your Coast 2012. John Beasley's photo taken at Coumeenole on the Dingle Peninsula won first prize in the Coastal Landscape Category. 

"This competition is a key element of the Clean Coasts programme. The entries over the past five years have been exceptional and serve as a reminder of what it is we are trying to protect and conserve in the Clean Coasts programme. These images illustrate the rich diversity of Ireland's spectacular coastline," she added.

Read more: An Taisce extends photography competition deadline

Plea to public to only swim at recognised recreational areas

The Irish Coast Guard is urging people not to engage in activities that put themselves at risk by diving or swimming in places that are not "recognised recreational areas" and may pose underwater dangers not readily obvious.

"Swimmers are literally jumping into the unknown, and there may be submerged objects that are not visible and may cause serious injury," warns Declan Geoghegan, manager ICG.


Lifeguards are employed during the summer period (June to August),usually from noon until 6pm, Monday to Friday and 11am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday. Photo Gillian Mills

The Irish Coast Guard is advising people to only swim at beaches and waterways where lifeguards are on duty, to obey the safety flags indicating whether it is safe to swim, and to always avoid swimming in locks and weirs.

"With the warmer weather over the last few days many people are taking to the water and enjoying outdoor activities. Last year the Irish Coast Guard saw an increase in incidents, and incidents are up again this year.

Read more: Plea to public to only swim at recognised recreational areas

Where to eat and stay on the Wild Atlantic Way

If the idea of a culinary road trip has your mouth watering, travelling the 2,500km along the Wild Atlantic Way from Donegal to West Cork in the company of John and Sally McKenna’s pocket-size guide, will be a taste of paradise!

Featuring 350 entries starting with the Pyke ‘n’ Pommes food cart, in the shadow of the Foyle Bridge, and finishing with the ‘piscine brilliance’ of Martin Shanahan’s cooking in Fishy Fishy, Kinsale, ‘The Wild Atlantic Way is not just a travel adventure, it’s a culinary adventure as well,’ writes John McKenna.

10.3bookview Where-to-eat

Where to Eat and Stay on the Wild Atlantic Way is the first food and accommodation guide to be published on the WAW, the longest themed route on Earth - according to Failte Ireland, which hugs the coast through counties, Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo, Galway, Clare, Kerry and West Cork.

Read more: Where to eat and stay on the Wild Atlantic Way

The Island Imagined by the Sea A History of Bull Island

Lily O'Toole

At the time of reviewing this book by Kieran McNally, Ireland was blessed with glorious weather, so I headed down to Dollymount Strand for a nostalgic stroll. As I crossed the Wooden Bridge, which gets a mention in James Joyces' Ulysses, on my way to the beach, I was met with a scene reminiscent, I imagine, of a Brazilian beach...people playing with frisbees, volleyball and football and loud music blaring in the background.

Review the island

I was born in Clontarf, spent all my school life there and my maternal grandmother hailed from the same area, so this book was of great interest to me.

The book is a collection of events and information; for instance Captain Bligh of Mutiny on the Bounty fame who in the lore of the City, built the North Bull Wall. In 1800 he noted in a survey of Dublin Bay that the Liffey mouth was blocked with sand and that few ships could find a place to lie afloat in low water. As a result, the Ballast Board surveyed the site; however the design appears to have originated in proposals in 1786 and interestingly Bligh's own proposal for a wall was rejected.

 Vertigo Angustior

The author has undertaken major research to unearth a comprehensive history of the area and his knowledge of local natural history is evident throughout. Interestingly, in light of the furore about the tiny protected snail Vertigo Angustior on Donald Trump's golf course in Doonbeg, there have been similar issues at St Anne's Golf Club, on Bull Island, which was founded in 1921.

In 1926, a groundsman at St Anne's fixed a stake near a nest which he found 20 yards in front of the putting ground [green]. The golfers observed the positioning of this stake, kept the nest under consideration when playing and, as a result, a ringed plover successfully hatched her brood. Members of St Anne's then developed an interest in ornithology and so when Bull Island was made a bird sanctuary in 1931, there were no objections from the club or its members (even though it was possible that this protected bird life could disrupt their golf games).

Protection status

There are three different aspects to this book: ecological, social and personal. The ecological covers the fact that Bull Island is an internationally famous nature reserve and bird sanctuary. The author covers the botany and bird life in great detail and the various threats to the ecology down the years and the work of conservationists and activists. The social covers the history of the Island itself: the shipwrecks, the gruesome findings on the beach (including bodies and body parts), the suicides and the murders.

The personal describes the author's accident while walking on the island which led to a broken ankle resulting in a life-threatening clot. Because of these three aspects, it is difficult to know for which audience this book is written. While it is packed with information, I found the layout a bit difficult to navigate as each chapter finishes with copious notes, thus giving it the feel of a valuable reference book.

In my opinion however, as someone who has a personal interest in the place and just wanted to read historical information and anecdotes, these references might have been better placed together at the end of the book ― or at least annotated to connect with the text. Having said that, this is a book well-worth reading

In conclusion, the author hopes he might help his children see and understand in the island's short history, the greater part of life's ceaseless wonder, challenges and fragility. With this book, he will help many others to see and understand the same. 

Spread the News

Flooding, overtopping and safety largely ignored in second east coast planning application
Mussel power on Ireland's seafood journey trail
Small islands thinking big
Think safety first, advises Irish Water Safety
Flooding, overtopping and safety largely ignored i...

A revised plan for residential development at Bulloch Harbour, Co Dublin, was described as an ‘ext [ ... ]

Mussel power on Ireland's seafood journey trail

A new visitor attraction on Ireland’s south coast showcases Irish rope-grown mussels and tells the [ ... ]

Small islands thinking big

Ireland was represented at the ESIN/European Small Islands Federation AGM and seminar (Sept 11-13) o [ ... ]

Think safety first, advises Irish Water Safety

Lifeguards have rescued 185 casualties from Ireland’s beaches, rivers and lakes since June. Over 2 [ ... ]