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This Island Nation - 13th July 2015 by Cry104fm on Mixcloud

The extraordinary story of the world's first weather reporter, the longest funeral in the world and the continued fight by an Irish-American family to clear the name of the explorer who died on the Arctic ice and whose memory, they allege, has been abused by the United States Navy and Government, is told on the current edition of THIS ISLAND NATION, the maritime programme.

Read the latest This Island Nation programme blog here


Galway to host SeaFest, Ireland’s national maritime festival in 2016

With over 10,000 people turning out for SeaFest event in Cork Harbour this weekend, Ireland’s first national maritime festival is being heralded as a great success. Co-ordinated by the Marine Institute, SeaFest brought together a number of state agencies and organisations to showcase to the public the wonders and fruits of the sea. Ocean literacy, marine recreation, seafood and the science of the sea were key themes at the SeaFest which took place at Ringaskiddy and Haulbowline and in the Port of Cork. More on SeaFest in our August issue

Anthony Mccarthy, Douglas, Ailis Kiely, Castlemartyr, Eoghan Kiely, Simon Boylan, Mimuk Kahapola and Seth Gabriel at a Family Fun Day as part of the Harnessing our Ocean Wealth conference taking place in Cork Harbour.
More than 600 people attended the conference which forms part of Ireland's first national maritime festival, SeaFest, to discuss the opportunities of the blue economy. Pic DARRAGH KANE

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Department must urgently draw up plan to harness employment potential of Harbour Centres

Report examines underuse of State’s six Fishery Harbour Centres

(June 24th): The Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine should draw up and implement a plan which will see all vacant or underused properties being developed so as to promote fishing and non-fishing activities in Ireland’s six Fishery Harbour Centres, according to the Committee of Public Accounts.

In a report published this afternoon, the PAC points to below par asset utilisation at the Centres despite the fact that demand exists for these facilities, meaning employment opportunities are currently not being maximised.

The PAC notes the fractured working relationship between the Department officials and the business communities at the six Centres. It calls for clear segregation between the control functions of the Department and responsibility for development of facilities at the Centres to be put in place and for the Minister for the Marine to appoint a board to oversee the development of the six Fishery Harbours.

The Committee also heavily criticises the Department for failing to ensure proper maintenance of the accounts, citing the methods as ‘archaic’. It says that all steps should now be taken to bring the Financial Statements of the Fishery Harbour Centres up to date.
Other findings and recommendations include that:

The systems, processes and procedures in place to collect income owed to the Fishery Harbour Centres were seriously deficient and the Department needs to continue to update its financial management systems so as to ensure that all charges are invoiced in a timely manner;
A dispute resolution mechanism involving arbitration should be put in place in respect of the Fishery Harbour Centres. This would ensure that costly and prolonged legal disputes are avoided to the greatest extent possible;
The Department needs to review the issue of charging for car parking, especially in Dingle, Howth and Rossasveal, and
Decentralisation led to a huge loss of corporate knowledge which led to a public body not being in a position to adequately charge for services. Where a major change is proposed, for instance where a function of a Department is moved to another Ministerial portfolio, the implications for the day to day business of the unit should be analysed and a business continuation plan should be put in place prior to the move.

Committee Chairman John McGuinness TD says that that the potential of these harbours – so strategically important to the promotion and development of our sea fishing and our seafood industries - is not being realised. “The Special Report highlights a history of poor management, with facilities left vacant and revenues due to the State not being collected in a timely fashion. The Committee wants to see change so that these six harbours can deliver on their undoubted potential: These six centres should be hubs for our fishing and seafood industry, generating local employment and giving a return to the State for the investment that has been made. This is very much the focus of the Report of the Committee which makes far reaching recommendations that will deliver a better return to the local harbour communities and to the State.”

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