Saturday February 6th, 2021 Water Blog

Tarred sides of curraghs on the shore


On my holidays in Kilrush Co. Clare there were two old upside down curraghs on the shore – their “tarred sides” upwards. The location in the Shannon Estuary symbolises the importance of these vessels for local economy. O’Flaherty in his Short Story, The Oar – he describes ‘three stooping figures on narrow seats, their arms resting on the frail sides, their red-backed hands fingering long lines, that swam, white, through the deep dark water.”

The seas around Ireland have always been important sources of income and food and other resources over the years. These fishermen lived on the water and understood it. This fishing tradition continues, has become more advanced in technology and scale. But remains an important activity. Today these fishing people, like those before them, are seeing the changes occurring in their environment – changes impacting their livelihoods and resulting from a changing climate.

This week it was announced that the new Irish marine research vessel is to be named after Antarctic explorer Tom Crean. The new vessel is expected to be 50 m in length will replace the 31 m Celtic Voyager, which has been at sea for more than 20 years. The new vessel will be a sister ship to the State’s largest research ship, the 65 m Celtic Explorer. The multi-purpose €25 million vessel is due for delivery in 2022 and will be based in Galway. Together, all of those using the waters around Ireland are gaining valuable information through science and discovery, to help us understand our changing planet better.

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