18th October

Remembering RMS Leinster - relatives visit the site at the Kish Lighthouse

Eileen O'Duffy

Shortly before 0900 hrs on 10 October 1918, the mailboat R.M.S Leinster left Carlisle Pier, Kingstown (now Dún Laoghaire), Co. Dublin, bound for Holyhead in Anglesey with 771 passengers and crew. Shortly before 1000 hrs, roughly 16 miles out to sea, the mail boat was torpedoed by German submarine UB 123. More than 550 people were killed, making this the worst maritime disaster on the Irish Sea.

Kish Lighthouse web

One hundred years after that fatal voyage, cruise boat St Brendan set sail from Dún Laoghaire Harbour to bring relatives and friends of the deceased - and of the few survivors - to the resting place of RMS Leinster at the Kish Lighthouse. About 70 passengers were on board: young and old, Dún Laoghaire and Dublin locals, visitors from as far afield as New Zealand and Australia, friends and relatives of postal workers, cabin crew, passengers and the ship’s Captain.

Read more: Remembering RMS Leinster - relatives visit the site at the Kish Lighthouse

Marine funding boost in Budget 2019

Ireland's seafood programme is to benefit from a €6m boost, totallying €134m for 2019.

Unveiled in Budget 2019, the funding will underpin 'vital investment' in Castletownbere and Killbegs fishery harbours, address Brexit and Common Fisheries Policy issues, 'climate induced impacts on our oceans' and go towards replacing the State's 21-year-old research vessel, Celtic Voyager. 

Celtic Voyager E5T3037

Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan said the agency was "delighted" that details to replace Celtic Voyager were included in this year's Budget:

"This new vessel will enable Ireland to be equipped with the best scientific advice possible to enable a strong negotiating position and to maximise economic opportunities in a sustainable manner."

Read more: Marine funding boost in Budget 2019

New lease of life for Dún Laoghaire ferry terminal

Planning permission was granted by Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council in late July to transform the 7,500m2 site into a dedicated technology hub, the largest in Ireland, enabling companies to collaborate, innovate and co-create alongside start-ups, SMEs, academic institutions and state agencies.

DL St Michaels Wharf

Dún Laoghaire ferry terminal lying derelict since 2015

The Harbour Innovation Campus is 100% funded by private investment and is set to deliver €15m in rent and rates to the local authority over the next ten years.

Read more: New lease of life for Dún Laoghaire ferry terminal

Galway economy to benefit from major maritime festival

Ireland's premier maritime festival (June 29-July 1) in Galway is expected to attracted over 100,000 visitors and to generate in excess of €7m for the local economy. Galway harbour will be the hub for the three-day festival of vessel tours, aquatic displays, exhibitions and entertainment.

The addition of Galway's European Region of Gastronomy designation "will be outstanding in terms of food and tourism", remarked Dave Hickey, president of Galway Chamber of Commerce. 

Seafest 2017 Beau Weston

Beau Weston, stunt performer and pro-flyboard from New Zealand, entertains the crowds at Seafest 2017

Ireland's marine infrastructure and resources will be on show, giving visitors the opportunity to learn about the ocean and to celebrate maritime history.

Read more: Galway economy to benefit from major maritime festival

RNLI 'fund our kit' Mayday appeal

Veteran marathon and long-distance runner Mary Nolan Hickey is supporting the RNLI's national Mayday appeal 'Do your bit - fund our kit' to raise funds for the charity's volunteer lifeboat crews in Ireland.

Web RNLI Mayday 4

Mary Nolan Hickey (65) who recently completed a 1,509 mile 'lap of the map' of Ireland for the RNLI, said she appreciates the value of having and wearing the right clothing for performance:

"For RNLI volunteers, their specialist kit protects them against extreme conditions, giving them a firm footing on unsteady surfaces, allowing them to carry out their lifesaving work."

Arklow lifeboat crew Sinead Myler, Jimmy Myler and Ned Dillon with Mary Nolan Hickey in Glendalough, Co Wicklow

Arklow RNLI mechanic Michael Fitgerald is one of many crew members who will be receiving a new all-weather lifeboat kit. 

Read more: RNLI 'fund our kit' Mayday appeal

Irish Lights launches next generation maritime services

Irish Lights chief executive has described the agency’s five-year strategy to 2023 as a “major process of change” that puts the organisation in a strong position operationally, financially and from a government perspective.

“The clue is in the title,” remarked Yvonne Shields at the launch of Safe Seas – Connected Coasts 2018-2023 which maps out a vision to deliver next generation maritime services to protect lives, property, trade and the environment.

Yvonne Shields IL

 The strategy commits Irish Lights to implementing a combination of new and existing navigation technology, engineering and data management solutions to enable safe navigation at sea for commercial shipping, fishing, leisure craft and passenger vessels. Its mission is to be a ‘leading and innovative provider of reliable, efficient and cost-effective navigation and maritime services for the safety of all’, and will be benchmarked against delivery in a ‘tangible, timely and effective way to the benefit of all stakeholders’.

Read more: Irish Lights launches next generation maritime services

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