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View Full Version : Any port in a storm? No, not in Greencastle.



PhilipF
20-05-11, 17:37
Story in today's "Irish Times" about three yachts which were forced to move out of Greencastle in County Donegal because the local fishermen objected.

They had come in due to very stormy weather. They approached a pontoon but were harried away by verbal abuse from those fellows. So seems they left and had to face the storms again.

A very rare event I surmise. Link to story here:
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0520/1224297354315.html

Sgeir
20-05-11, 21:26
Story in today's "Irish Times" about three yachts which were forced to move out of Greencastle in County Donegal because the local fishermen objected.

A terrible story, but I rather doubt that the local fishermen were involved at all. In my somewhat limited experience, I found the west of Ireland fishermen to be courteous and considerate without exception. They would have been aware of the conditions and I'd be extremely surprised if they had been hostile.

Searush
20-05-11, 21:37
It says sinn fein are backing them. Apparently the fishermen fear that the pontoons installed to encourage boats is the thin end of a wedge that will see them squeezed out of their own harbour.

Sounds like poor communications to me. And a bad business for all involved.

PhilipF
20-05-11, 21:57
A terrible story, but I rather doubt that the local fishermen were involved at all. In my somewhat limited experience, I found the west of Ireland fishermen to be courteous and considerate without exception. They would have been aware of the conditions and I'd be extremely surprised if they had been hostile.

Agree absolutely. Seems as few had got a little upset because a pontoon had been installed, gather they were thinking this was going to mean a marina. That plus the pontoon they claimed would restrict their movement.

The full story indicates just how much the whole affair annoyed the local council. Pretty well everyone else from the HM downward agreed.

From my knowledge of the area, I'd say it would not have been too difficult for the three yachts involved - including one from Sweden, another from France from my memory of reading the story, the third was local and from Buncrana - to find somewhere else very near for shelter. That said, they really ought to have been welcomed in. I have a feeling the fellows who were being so obnoxious, will very quickly realize just how stupid they were.

Rum_Pirate
20-05-11, 22:11
A terrible story, but I rather doubt that the local fishermen were involved at all. In my somewhat limited experience, I found the west of Ireland fishermen to be courteous and considerate without exception. They would have been aware of the conditions and I'd be extremely surprised if they had been hostile.

Well those that did it, certainly have provided extensive negative goodwill overseas in France and Sweden (direct word of mouth) and to all that read this thread (eg here in the Caribbean) around the world and those that read the http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper.

It is incredible how much money would have to be expended to minimize/turnaround that negative publicity.

I cannot imagine the hatred needed to rashly force a boat back out into Force 7 weather - with the potential of risking peoples lived.

There are many jokes about the 'ignorance' and 'stupidity' of the irish, I never thought that I would see it proven at this level.

Lady Campanula
20-05-11, 23:08
I recall on a short-handed trip around Ireland a wee while ago, we received nothing but courtesy and a warm welcome from folk in Baltimore, Beara, Dingle, Inishbofin, Burtonport, the RCYC, and the family that run the harbour tugs in Rosslare.

Then there were the 'tugs in the hotel at Downies, the drug-pushers in the unlit fish shed at Beara, the local toughs in a hotel bar above Rosslare Harbour, and the visiting rally-yotties at Ardglass - each of whom were hostile to visitors and had us heading back out to sea ASAP.

But I'd like to head back again soon....

:)

Sgeir
21-05-11, 00:39
There are many jokes about the 'ignorance' and 'stupidity' of the irish, I never thought that I would see it proven at this level.

Sorry, but this story "proves" nothing of the sort.

john_morris_uk
21-05-11, 07:36
Then there were the 'tugs in the hotel at Downies.... :)
If we go to the Downies will we all be offered a 'tug' in a hotel room as well?

I don't even know where the Downies are?

wotayottie
21-05-11, 07:48
no reason to think this is a purely irish issue - I've seen problems from a minority of fishermen both here in the UK and in France and Spain including threats of violence and more importantly refusal to respond to a coast guard call for help from any vessels in an area.

Given the attitude that many have to over fishing let alone the dumping of rubbish at sea, are you really surprised?

Quandary
21-05-11, 10:02
Greencastle is a small tight harbour but about the only place you can tie up alongside in lower Lough Foyle, the alternative is to anchor beyond Culmore Point or go on up to Derry, it has been under increasing pressure from yachties for years and if you did get in you needed to stay on your boat, I suspect not everyone did. I have not been there since the pontoon went in but there was an election recently and Sinn Fein may have used it to assert their working class credentials. I do not believe that the yachts were physically removed but they may have been sworn at by someone, anyway they were not being sent out into the Atlantic but just a bit farther up the Lough, but they might have had to use an anchor which many seem very reluctant to do.
There are other places like this, Kilkeel,with its big fishing fleet, Ullapool where until recently the harbour master and a minority of vociferous, often part time fishermen try to discourage visiting boats and Carnlough which is not even a fishing harbour but where you could get rocks thrown at you boat if you flew a red ensign. The majority of locals abhor this behaviour but fishing as a means of making a living is struggling and I for one can understand the fear of the loss of the harbour to leisure.
I have always been impressed how tolerant hard working coastal fishermen have been with rich yachties who want them to share their harbour with them, try looking at it from their perspective.

Babylon
21-05-11, 11:09
I've never done more than ride a thumping great motorbike around the Republic of Ireland (and Northern Ireland), but this thread does remind me of an episode in 'Schoonerman' by the late Captain Richard England who was attempting in the face of postwar beaurocracy and corporate hostility to keep coastal trading in the schooner Nelly Bywater before she was lost (with the death of one of his daughters and another crew member) in a Channel storm in 1951.

See: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Schoonerman-Richard-England/dp/0370303776/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1305971419&sr=1-2

Also see: http://www.mightyseas.co.uk/marhist/furness/duddon/nellie_bywater.htm

I forget the precise details of the episode in question, but the port involved was (from memory) in Northern Ireland and the practical - possibly criminal - hostility of the entire local trading and fishing community was quite astonishing. As venal as this was, Capt England was commendable for his forebearance and seaman's cunning not to let the situation get the better of him.