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Tom DolanPhoto taken by author at Howth in Oct 2007 during Ireland's first hosting of the North Atlantic MRCC conference.
As a contributor to lugnad.ie and a former Irish Coast Guard I would like to say something about the devastating news which reached us early on Tuesday 14th March 2017. Words fail to convey such a tragedy yet words are all we have to deal with the trauma felt by all who are touched by this disaster. We have the capability to talk about it. I was in charge of the watch on the night of July 1st/2nd 1999 when R111, an Air-Corps helicopter, crashed returning from a successful mission to locate people missing off Dungarvan. Attending the funeral was of great comfort to me and also being the recipient of Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD). I did not know the four crew of R111 though I had probably talked to them from time to time. I know all of the crew of R116 very well having dealt with them during communications or briefing them prior to incidents. Our job at Dublin Coast Guard or MRCC Dublin was to task whatever resources were required to successfully conclude a mission. We knew their capabilities and we relied on them just as they relied on us. Each of the crew of R116 were dedicated and interchangeable as they rotated shifts and jobs from time to time. Many words will be written about each individual and they deserve the highest praise but they each contributed to the success of each mission. Fate and faith interchange in our lives. None of us know our fate but faith is a great source of comfort at times like this. As a coordinator who retired three years ago I am reminded of the idiosyncrasies of each individual and I miss Paul’s pronunciation of the word Dublin which always came out “double-linn”. Ar deis de go raibh a n’ainmeacha, dilis. Joe Ryan (Irish Coast Guard, retired).

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  • Kingstown Harbour 1890Lecture by Cormac Lowth: History of DúnLaoghaire harbour. Royal Marine Hotel, Wednesday 22 March Click for detail
  • Logo of Irish Coast GuardAs a contributor to lugnad.ie and a former Irish Coast Guard I would like to say something about the devastating news which reached us early on Tuesday 14th March 2017. Words fail to convey such a tragedy yet words are all we have to deal with the trauma felt by all who are ... Click for detail
  • ShowcaseOn-line Journal of Research on Irish Maritime History: a list of articles published here, presented in a grid layout. Placing the mouse over any square in the grid will give some more information. Click on a square will present the full article. The grid can be enlarged by pressing on the Ctrl ... Click for detail
  • Tom MacSweeneyThis Island Nation, designed to be a reflective, informative and entertaining programme about maritime matters, is now a weekly radio program. Click here for details. Click for detail
  • VendeeThe Vendee Globe Solo Round the World Race starts on the 6th Nov 2016. This race, in France, has a greater following than the Tour de France or Roland Garros. As Enda O’Coineen the first Irishman to take part in qualifiers has achieved just that in style in December 2015 Click for detail
  • bell I have been aware of Dublin’s Diving Bell since a lecture in 2002 at the Maritime Institute winter lecture series held at Stella Maris, Beresford Place. The lecture itself was pretty unremarkable but at the Q&A afterwards we learned that in the audience was Joe Murphy the last foreman/diver who worked on the ... Click for detail
  • memorialCormac Lowth retells the tragic story of the Palme, also referred to as the Kingstown Lifeboat Disaster of 1895, on YouTube: David Owens was the camera man. subtitles are optional Click for detail
  • Between the TidesRoy Stokes examines some of the historic shipwrecks of the Irish coast. Click for detail
The SS Shamrock - a story from the Emergency - ahem - I mean World War Two - and every word is true - click here for the SS Shamrock story