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Episode 5 – Why Won’t State Listen?

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The future, we are told, will be very different to the past…. The pandemic is given as a major reason. But there are other reasons. In the waters around our island nation changes are taking place. As we have been reporting, new species of marine life are being seen off the Irish coastline as some  traditional species move away. In our last edition marine biologist Kevin Flannery from Dingle spoke strongly about the failure, as he saw it, of State agencies to develop new fisheries from the different species arriving in Irish waters, their arrival possibly due to climate change I’m still waiting for the State agencies he mentioned to give replies to my requests for comment. He mentioned species such as Mediterranean octopus arriving in South Western waters and has sent me video of an octopus, now in the Dingle Aquarium in Kerry and which was found in a fishing pot by Vincent O’Regan in Schull in West Cork.

TALKING ENERGY 57-year-old Pearse Flynn comes from the fishing village of Ballycotton on the East Cork coastline. From a fishing family, as a youngster, he was of course going fishing, but moved on to become an expert in technology, a businessman amongst whose enterprises is the financial company Creditfix and he also owned a Scottish football club. His company, Green Rebel Marine, is based at Crosshaven Boatyard in Cork Harbour, which the company also bought, as well as buying a plane and a 27-metre seabed surveying vessel and, of course, creating jobs in a big investment to provide a service to offshore wind farms which, he says, is intended to “communicate with the wider marine and fishing community as development of offshore wind farms picks up pace.”   Ballycotton, where Pearse Flynn comes from is renowned for the most famous rescue in Irish lifeboat history – that of the Daunt Rock lightvessel  in 1936 when one of his family was a crew member on the village lifeboat. Having come from a fishing family, he says he fully appreciates the importance of the industry and how they may impact on coastal communities.



The programme also takes listeners on a 20-minute tour around five oceans inspired by solo world sailor. 34-year old Gregor McGuckin, the sailor from Dublin who tried to become the first Irish yachtsman to sail around the world alone non-stop in the Golden Globe Race two years ago, is credited with being one of the inspirations for Dublin songwriter and musician Dan Fitzpatrick of Badhands, to create a musical journey around five oceans in one of which, the tough Southern Ocean, Gregor was dismasted during the race, but despite that damage set out to rescue an injured fellow competitor in storm conditions, before he had to be rescued himself and he’s got great international recognition and awards. Dan has a fascination with the sea and, inspired by Gregor McGuckin’s story, has composed soundtracks for film and television documentaries.

Shipwrecks are fascinating ….There are thousands around the world’s oceans… particularly interesting, however, from an Irish viewpoint is the 300-year-old wreck discovered by a diving club on the Southern Norwegian coast. The ‘Providentz’ is an Irish vessel ran aground and sank in November 1720, near Mandal where it has been located by the local diving club. Their research has indicated there were no casualties when it was wrecked after a North Sea crossing. Norwegian State Television NRK has shown pictures of the wreck and some artefacts have been recovered by the Norwegian Maritime Museum.There are, of course, hundreds of shipwrecks around the Irish coast. The MARINE TIMES newspaper has the story of the ‘Greyhound’ from Whitby near Scarborough on the North Yorkshire coast which sank on December 12th, 1770, driven ashore ona voyage from England on Streedagh Beach, Co.Sligo, where shifting sands occasionally reveal the remains. It was once thought to be part of the Spanish Armada but has now been identified by our National Monuments Service as the ‘Greyhound.’ Twenty lives were lost in that tragedy.

And we continue to follow the attempt by Donegal’s ‘Finman’ to become the first man in the world to swim around his own country.

Tom MacSweeney

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Maritime Ireland ArchivesEpisode 5