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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: Medevac

#Lifeboats - Baltimore RNLI carried out a medevac on Thursday night (11 April) from Sherkin Island off the coast of West Cork.

The volunteer crew launched their all-weather lifeboat following a request from the Irish Coast Guard at 9.29pm to provide medical assistance and evacuation to an islander living on Sherkin.

Conditions at sea during the callout were calm with good visibility and no sea swell.

The lifeboat arrived at Sherkin pier at 9.45pm, the casualty was brought onboard and the lifeboat departed the island within four minutes, handing the casualty over to the care of HSE ambulance crew at 10.08pm.

Speaking following the callout, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer, said: “Baltimore RNLI regularly provides the vital service of medical evacuations (medevacs) for residents and visitors to local islands such as Sherkin, Cape Clear and Heir.

“If you find yourself in need of medical assistance, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Elsewhere, volunteer lifeboat crews from the Aran Islands and Galway RNLI participated in a multi-agency training exercise on Galway Bay this week.

The all-weather lifeboat from Aran Islands RNLI and the inshore lifeboat from Galway Bay RNLI were among the many emergency service agencies that took part in a maritime mass rescue exercise.

The scenario training, which saw the lifeboat crew practise an evacuation of survivors from a seagoing ferry in a busy shipping lane, was organised as part of a multi-agency exercise co-ordinated by the Irish Coast Guard.

Among the other agencies involved were the Irish Coast Guard rescue helicopters located at Sligo and Shannon, Doolin/Inisheer Boat Unit, Costello Bay, Killaloe, Kilkee and Cleggan Coast Guard units, Galway Fire Service and the HSE.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Lifeboats - The first callout of 2019 for the RNLI crew at Crosshaven was a medevac for a fisherman taken ill on a large fishing vessel in the early hours of Sunday 6 January.

Shortly after 5.30am volunteers from Crosshaven RNLI were paged and requested by the Irish Coast Guard to go the assistance of an ill crew member onboard a UK-registered supertrawler two miles south of Roches Point.

The inshore lifeboat, with Ian Venner in command and Derek Moynan, Caomhe Foster and Alan Venner onboard, were quickly under way and met with the ship at 6.10am.

Having assessed the situation, the lifeboat crew swiftly evacuated the ill man back to station in Crosshaven before handing him into the care of National Ambulance Service paramedics.

Speaking following the callout, Crosshaven RNLI lifeboat operations manager Patsy Fegan said: “We would like to wish the casualty a speedy recovery and thank our crew. Our hats are off to them.

“It’s a shock to the system to be awoken from a deep sleep by your pager and be on a lifeboat within 10 minutes but this is what our volunteers are willing and prepared for in order to help someone in need.”

Shore crew on Sunday morning were Gary Heslin, Molly Murphy, Jonathan Birmingham and James Fegan.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Clare Herald reports on a helicopter medevac from the Queen Mary 2 off the Irish coast earlier this week.

Rescue 115 from the Irish Coast Guard was involved in the evacuation of an elderly woman to University Hospital Limerick from the luxury ocean liner on Monday afternoon (19 November).

The incident came just over a year after an elderly man with a suspected heart problem was evacuated from the same liner off West Cork.

Published in Coastguard

#RNLI - Ballycotton RNLI launched their all-weather lifeboat on Saturday evening (4 August) around 7.20pm to a crew member on board the Pont-Aven cruise ferry.

The female casualty, who became injured while working on the vessel, required a medevac while 30 miles off Ballycotton Bay.

Ballycotton RNLI and its volunteer crew were launched on request by Valentia Coast Guard and proceeded to the incident.

The Pont-Aven altered its course back towards Cork Harbour and was met by Ballycotton RNLI some 16 miles out. The casualty was transferred to Ballycotton’s all-weather lifeboat and brought to Crosshaven where the ambulance service was waiting to assist.

Weather conditions were favourable, and near perfect for the task which enabled all involved to transfer the casualty quickly and seamlessly.

Speaking following the callout, Ballycotton RNLI coxswain Eolan Walsh said: “The timeliness and transfer of the casualty was made so much simpler by the professionalism of the Pont-Aven’s fast rescue boat crew.

“We would like to thank all involved that contributed to a positive outcome and we wish the casualty a speedy recover from all at Ballycotton RNLI.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Baltimore RNLI carried out a medical evacuation yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 25 July) from Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat following a request from the Irish Coast Guard at 1.42pm to provide medical assistance and evacuation to an islander living on Cape Clear.

Arrived in North Harbour at Cape Clear at 2.05pm, four of the volunteer crew went to the casualty’s location to assist with transfer and casualty care.

Once ready, the casualty was brought onboard Baltimore lifeboat and they departed the island at 3.07pm. The lifeboat returned to station in Baltimore and handed the casualty over to the care of HSE ambulance crew at 3.51pm.

Conditions at sea during the call out were relatively calm, with a south-westerly Force 3-4 wind and one-metre sea swell.

Speaking after the callout, Baltimore RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Kate Callanan said: ‘Medical evacuations — medevacs — are a regular service that Baltimore RNLI provide between the mainland and islands, and also between the mainland and private and commercial boats at sea.

“If you find yourself in need of medical assistance, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

There were six volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat: coxswain Aidan Bushe, mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Eoin Ryan, Kieran Collins, Emma Lupton and Don O’Donovan.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Clifden RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was launched on Tuesday evening (17 July) for the medevac of a young woman who sustained a serious head injury in a cycling accident on Inishbofin.

Arriving at the island’s harbour at 8.53pm, lifeboat crew members Joe Acton and Daniel Whelan met the island nurse, carried out an assessment and then transferred the casualty, a visitor to the island, on board.

The lifeboat proceeded to Cleggan where an ambulance was waiting to transfer the casualty to University College Hospital Galway. The crew continued to monitor her condition throughout the crossing.

“The casualty in this case was certainly in need of urgent medical treatment and we were glad to have been able to help to transfer her quickly to the mainland,” said Clifden RNLI coxswain James Mullen.

“The summer population of Inishbofin increases massively due to tourism and as a result these sorts of situations while rare can arise. The presence of the RNLI all-weather boat in the area has certainly helped for these kinds of incidents.”

Earlier in the week, the Clifden all weather boat had been launched to another medical emergency in the island but stood down after the coastguard helicopter reached the scene first.

Elsewhere on Tuesday evening, Skerries RNLI were tasked to a motorised RIB that had suffered electrical failure north of Lambay Island.

Shortly after 9pm the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat launched with Joe May at the helm and crewed by Sheila May, AJ Hughes and Jack Keane.

As the lifeboat neared the island, the casualty vessel fired a white parachute flare to alert of their whereabouts in fading light.

The vessel, with four men and one woman on board, was taken under tow by the lifeboat and returned to the safety of Rush Harbour.

“Thankfully we were able to locate the casualty quickly and all on board were well and in good spirits,” said Skerries RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning.

“Our volunteers are always ready to respond and we would always advise anyone going to sea to carry more than one means of contacting the shore, and, if needed, to make the call for help early.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Baltimore RNLI carried out a medevac yesterday morning (Monday 21 May) from Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were asked to launch their all-weather lifeboat following a request from the Irish Coast Guard at 7.53am to provide medical assistance and evacuation to a man living on the island.

The all-weather lifeboat arrived in Cape Clear at 8.25am and the casualty was transferred to the care of the volunteer crew onboard.

The lifeboat then returned to Baltimore lifeboat station at 8.55am and handed the casualty over to the care of HSE ambulance crew once they arrived at the station.

Conditions at sea during the shout were flat calm with a north-easterly Force 3 wind.

There were seven volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat: coxswain Aidan Bushe, mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Brendan Cottrell, Micheal Cottrell, Jerry Smith, Emma Lupton and Don O’Donovan. Kieran Cotter provided shore crew assistance at the lifeboat house.

Speaking following the callout, Baltimore RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Kate Callanan said: “Baltimore lifeboat regularly provides medical assistance and transfers for people living, working or holidaying on the islands.

“This call is the third medical evacuation for Baltimore RNLI in the past two weeks.

“Always remember, if you find yourself at sea or on an island in need of medical assistance, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Baltimore RNLI carried out a medevac on Saturday night (12 May) from Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard at 8.05pm to provide medical assistance and evacuation to a man working on the island.

Arriving in Cape Clear at 8.24pm, the RNLI volunteers transferred the casualty onto the lifeboat and returned him to Baltimore lifeboat station, whee he was handed over to the care of a waiting HSE ambulance crew.

Conditions at sea during the shout were calm with a south-westerly Force 3 wind and half-metre sea swell.

“So far this year medical evacuations make up a high percentage of the call outs for Baltimore lifeboat,” said Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer.

“Acting as an ambulance between the islands off the coast of West Cork is a vital service and our volunteer crews are trained to a high standard in first aid and casualty care.

“If you find yourself at sea or on an island in need of medical assistance, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Hours later, Wicklow RNLI’s inshore lifeboat crew were alerted by pager shortly after 3.10pm yesterday afternoon (Sunday 13 May) to assist in the medic of an injured sailor in the town’s harbour.

The sailor was being treated on a yacht by first responders and HSC paramedics at the East pier after he sustained injuries while sailing in Wicklow Bay.

The lifeboat was requested to launch in case the casualty was seriously injured and needed to be evacuated from the yacht to a more suitable location for transfer to an ambulance.

The lifeboat, with helm Alan Goucher and crew Terry Sillery and Paul Sillery, was about to launch when lifeboat operations manager Des Davitt was made aware that the casualty was assisted up a ladder onto the pier after being treated by paramedics, and no further assistance was required.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Baltimore RNLI launched on Monday evening (7 May) to carry out a medical evacuation for a man from Sherkin Island off the West Cork coast.

The volunteer lifeboat crew arrived on scene at 7.40pm, just eight minute after launch, and provided casualty care before transferring the patient to the all-weather lifeboat and returning to Baltimore, where he was handed over to the HSE ambulance crew at 8.30pm.

Weather conditions were good at the time, with a south-westerly Force 2-3 wind and calm sea conditions within the harbour.

The volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat were coxswain Kieran Cotter, mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Pat Collins, Aidan Bushe, Jerry Smith, Eoin Ryan, Don O’Donovan and Ronnie Carty.

Speaking following the callout, Baltimore RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Kate Callanan said: “The RNLI and other rescue agencies around the coast provide a vital service to those living or holidaying on islands. If you require assistance, please call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Dunmore East  RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat launched on Saturday (21 April) to assist an injured crewman onboard a fishing trawler.

The crewman sustained an injury while fishing 70 miles offshore, and the trawler was intercepted by Dunmore East lifeboat 50 miles south of Dunmore East to conduct the medevac.

At 11:50am, the Trent Class lifeboat Windsor Runner launched with a transit time of two hours and 35 minutes to the scene, where it came alongside the trawler to transfer the casualty.

The injured crewman was administered first aid treatment and monitored by the lifeboat crew while routing back to Dunmore East Harbour, where he was handed over to the Ambulance Service at 4.45pm.

Dunmore East RNLI coxswain Michael Griffin said: “The sea conditions [on Saturday] were very good which helped in the transfer of the casualty to our lifeboat, our crew are highly trained in casualty care, and the injured man was very well looked after until he was handed over to the ambulance crew.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Page 3 of 7

The Irish Coast Guard

The Irish Coast Guard is Ireland's fourth 'Blue Light' service (along with An Garda Síochána, the Ambulance Service and the Fire Service). It provides a nationwide maritime emergency organisation as well as a variety of services to shipping and other government agencies.

The purpose of the Irish Coast Guard is to promote safety and security standards, and by doing so, prevent as far as possible, the loss of life at sea, and on inland waters, mountains and caves, and to provide effective emergency response services and to safeguard the quality of the marine environment.

The Irish Coast Guard has responsibility for Ireland's system of marine communications, surveillance and emergency management in Ireland's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and certain inland waterways.

It is responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue and counter-pollution and ship casualty operations. It also has responsibility for vessel traffic monitoring.

Operations in respect of maritime security, illegal drug trafficking, illegal migration and fisheries enforcement are co-ordinated by other bodies within the Irish Government.

On average, each year, the Irish Coast Guard is expected to:

  • handle 3,000 marine emergencies
  • assist 4,500 people and save about 200 lives
  • task Coast Guard helicopters on missions

The Coast Guard has been around in some form in Ireland since 1908.

Coast Guard helicopters

The Irish Coast Guard has contracted five medium-lift Sikorsky Search and Rescue helicopters deployed at bases in Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo.

The helicopters are designated wheels up from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours and 45 minutes at night. One aircraft is fitted and its crew trained for under slung cargo operations up to 3000kgs and is available on short notice based at Waterford.

These aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains of Ireland (32 counties).

They can also be used for assistance in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and aerial surveillance during daylight hours, lifting and passenger operations and other operations as authorised by the Coast Guard within appropriate regulations.

Irish Coastguard FAQs

The Irish Coast Guard provides nationwide maritime emergency response, while also promoting safety and security standards. It aims to prevent the loss of life at sea, on inland waters, on mountains and in caves; and to safeguard the quality of the marine environment.

The main role of the Irish Coast Guard is to rescue people from danger at sea or on land, to organise immediate medical transport and to assist boats and ships within the country's jurisdiction. It has three marine rescue centres in Dublin, Malin Head, Co Donegal, and Valentia Island, Co Kerry. The Dublin National Maritime Operations centre provides marine search and rescue responses and coordinates the response to marine casualty incidents with the Irish exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Yes, effectively, it is the fourth "blue light" service. The Marine Rescue Sub-Centre (MRSC) Valentia is the contact point for the coastal area between Ballycotton, Co Cork and Clifden, Co Galway. At the same time, the MRSC Malin Head covers the area between Clifden and Lough Foyle. Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) Dublin covers Carlingford Lough, Co Louth to Ballycotton, Co Cork. Each MRCC/MRSC also broadcasts maritime safety information on VHF and MF radio, including navigational and gale warnings, shipping forecasts, local inshore forecasts, strong wind warnings and small craft warnings.

The Irish Coast Guard handles about 3,000 marine emergencies annually, and assists 4,500 people - saving an estimated 200 lives, according to the Department of Transport. In 2016, Irish Coast Guard helicopters completed 1,000 missions in a single year for the first time.

Yes, Irish Coast Guard helicopters evacuate medical patients from offshore islands to hospital on average about 100 times a year. In September 2017, the Department of Health announced that search and rescue pilots who work 24-hour duties would not be expected to perform any inter-hospital patient transfers. The Air Corps flies the Emergency Aeromedical Service, established in 2012 and using an AW139 twin-engine helicopter. Known by its call sign "Air Corps 112", it airlifted its 3,000th patient in autumn 2020.

The Irish Coast Guard works closely with the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which is responsible for the Northern Irish coast.

The Irish Coast Guard is a State-funded service, with both paid management personnel and volunteers, and is under the auspices of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. It is allocated approximately 74 million euro annually in funding, some 85 per cent of which pays for a helicopter contract that costs 60 million euro annually. The overall funding figure is "variable", an Oireachtas committee was told in 2019. Other significant expenditure items include volunteer training exercises, equipment, maintenance, renewal, and information technology.

The Irish Coast Guard has four search and rescue helicopter bases at Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo, run on a contract worth 50 million euro annually with an additional 10 million euro in costs by CHC Ireland. It provides five medium-lift Sikorsky S-92 helicopters and trained crew. The 44 Irish Coast Guard coastal units with 1,000 volunteers are classed as onshore search units, with 23 of the 44 units having rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) and 17 units having cliff rescue capability. The Irish Coast Guard has 60 buildings in total around the coast, and units have search vehicles fitted with blue lights, all-terrain vehicles or quads, first aid equipment, generators and area lighting, search equipment, marine radios, pyrotechnics and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Community Rescue Boats Ireland also provide lifeboats and crews to assist in search and rescue. The Irish Coast Guard works closely with the Garda Siochána, National Ambulance Service, Naval Service and Air Corps, Civil Defence, while fishing vessels, ships and other craft at sea offer assistance in search operations.

The helicopters are designated as airborne from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours, and 45 minutes at night. The aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, on inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains and cover the 32 counties. They can also assist in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and can transport offshore firefighters and ambulance teams. The Irish Coast Guard volunteers units are expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time of departing from the station house in ten minutes from notification during daylight and 20 minutes at night. They are also expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time to the scene of the incident in less than 60 minutes from notification by day and 75 minutes at night, subject to geographical limitations.

Units are managed by an officer-in-charge (three stripes on the uniform) and a deputy officer in charge (two stripes). Each team is trained in search skills, first aid, setting up helicopter landing sites and a range of maritime skills, while certain units are also trained in cliff rescue.

Volunteers receive an allowance for time spent on exercises and call-outs. What is the difference between the Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI? The RNLI is a registered charity which has been saving lives at sea since 1824, and runs a 24/7 volunteer lifeboat service around the British and Irish coasts. It is a declared asset of the British Maritime and Coast Guard Agency and the Irish Coast Guard. Community Rescue Boats Ireland is a community rescue network of volunteers under the auspices of Water Safety Ireland.

No, it does not charge for rescue and nor do the RNLI or Community Rescue Boats Ireland.

The marine rescue centres maintain 19 VHF voice and DSC radio sites around the Irish coastline and a digital paging system. There are two VHF repeater test sites, four MF radio sites and two NAVTEX transmitter sites. Does Ireland have a national search and rescue plan? The first national search and rescue plan was published in July, 2019. It establishes the national framework for the overall development, deployment and improvement of search and rescue services within the Irish Search and Rescue Region and to meet domestic and international commitments. The purpose of the national search and rescue plan is to promote a planned and nationally coordinated search and rescue response to persons in distress at sea, in the air or on land.

Yes, the Irish Coast Guard is responsible for responding to spills of oil and other hazardous substances with the Irish pollution responsibility zone, along with providing an effective response to marine casualties and monitoring or intervening in marine salvage operations. It provides and maintains a 24-hour marine pollution notification at the three marine rescue centres. It coordinates exercises and tests of national and local pollution response plans.

The first Irish Coast Guard volunteer to die on duty was Caitriona Lucas, a highly trained member of the Doolin Coast Guard unit, while assisting in a search for a missing man by the Kilkee unit in September 2016. Six months later, four Irish Coast Guard helicopter crew – Dara Fitzpatrick, Mark Duffy, Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith -died when their Sikorsky S-92 struck Blackrock island off the Mayo coast on March 14, 2017. The Dublin-based Rescue 116 crew were providing "top cover" or communications for a medical emergency off the west coast and had been approaching Blacksod to refuel. Up until the five fatalities, the Irish Coast Guard recorded that more than a million "man hours" had been spent on more than 30,000 rescue missions since 1991.

Several investigations were initiated into each incident. The Marine Casualty Investigation Board was critical of the Irish Coast Guard in its final report into the death of Caitriona Lucas, while a separate Health and Safety Authority investigation has been completed, but not published. The Air Accident Investigation Unit final report into the Rescue 116 helicopter crash has not yet been published.

The Irish Coast Guard in its present form dates back to 1991, when the Irish Marine Emergency Service was formed after a campaign initiated by Dr Joan McGinley to improve air/sea rescue services on the west Irish coast. Before Irish independence, the British Admiralty was responsible for a Coast Guard (formerly the Water Guard or Preventative Boat Service) dating back to 1809. The West Coast Search and Rescue Action Committee was initiated with a public meeting in Killybegs, Co Donegal, in 1988 and the group was so effective that a Government report was commissioned, which recommended setting up a new division of the Department of the Marine to run the Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (MRCC), then based at Shannon, along with the existing coast radio service, and coast and cliff rescue. A medium-range helicopter base was established at Shannon within two years. Initially, the base was served by the Air Corps.

The first director of what was then IMES was Capt Liam Kirwan, who had spent 20 years at sea and latterly worked with the Marine Survey Office. Capt Kirwan transformed a poorly funded voluntary coast and cliff rescue service into a trained network of cliff and sea rescue units – largely voluntary, but with paid management. The MRCC was relocated from Shannon to an IMES headquarters at the then Department of the Marine (now Department of Transport) in Leeson Lane, Dublin. The coast radio stations at Valentia, Co Kerry, and Malin Head, Co Donegal, became marine rescue-sub-centres.

The current director is Chris Reynolds, who has been in place since August 2007 and was formerly with the Naval Service. He has been seconded to the head of mission with the EUCAP Somalia - which has a mandate to enhance Somalia's maritime civilian law enforcement capacity – since January 2019.

  • Achill, Co. Mayo
  • Ardmore, Co. Waterford
  • Arklow, Co. Wicklow
  • Ballybunion, Co. Kerry
  • Ballycotton, Co. Cork
  • Ballyglass, Co. Mayo
  • Bonmahon, Co. Waterford
  • Bunbeg, Co. Donegal
  • Carnsore, Co. Wexford
  • Castlefreake, Co. Cork
  • Castletownbere, Co. Cork
  • Cleggan, Co. Galway
  • Clogherhead, Co. Louth
  • Costelloe Bay, Co. Galway
  • Courtown, Co. Wexford
  • Crosshaven, Co. Cork
  • Curracloe, Co. Wexford
  • Dingle, Co. Kerry
  • Doolin, Co. Clare
  • Drogheda, Co. Louth
  • Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
  • Dunmore East, Co. Waterford
  • Fethard, Co. Wexford
  • Glandore, Co. Cork
  • Glenderry, Co. Kerry
  • Goleen, Co. Cork
  • Greencastle, Co. Donegal
  • Greenore, Co. Louth
  • Greystones, Co. Wicklow
  • Guileen, Co. Cork
  • Howth, Co. Dublin
  • Kilkee, Co. Clare
  • Killala, Co. Mayo
  • Killybegs, Co. Donegal
  • Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford
  • Knightstown, Co. Kerry
  • Mulroy, Co. Donegal
  • North Aran, Co. Galway
  • Old Head Of Kinsale, Co. Cork
  • Oysterhaven, Co. Cork
  • Rosslare, Co. Wexford
  • Seven Heads, Co. Cork
  • Skerries, Co. Dublin Summercove, Co. Cork
  • Toe Head, Co. Cork
  • Tory Island, Co. Donegal
  • Tramore, Co. Waterford
  • Waterville, Co. Kerry
  • Westport, Co. Mayo
  • Wicklow
  • Youghal, Co. Cork

Sources: Department of Transport © Afloat 2020

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