Aer Arann Islands owner Pádraig Ó Céidigh said he was ‘devastated’ at the decision and said it represented a blow to the islands. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Concern over decision to award State’s air service contract to a Galway city helicopter

For 600 years Skellig Michael  was a centre of monastic life for Irish Christian monks. The Celtic monastery, which is situated almost at the summit of the 230-metre-high rock, became a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1996. File photograph: Valerie O’Sullivan

UCC lecturer claims Unesco world heritage site being turned into commodity

The Irish Fish Producers’ Organisation  said Ireland is the only EU member state implementing the penalty points system within its fleet, while other vessels fish with “impunity” in Irish waters. File photograph:  Marcel Mochet/AFP/Getty Images

Danish vessel caught fishing illegally in Celtic Sea avoided penalties, says IFPO chief

File photo: The dismantling of a section of the Corrib Gas Line, at Aughoose, Co Mayo, 2005. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Public has until September 25th to make submissions or objections

A migrant child cries as he is brought on board the ‘LE Niamh’ on Wednesday during the rescue of more than 550 people from a barge off the coast of Libya. Photograph: Defence Forces

Irish ship takes 394 men, 96 women and 71 children from barge 55kms off Libyan coast

Joe McHugh: said Executive Helicopters Ltd had been selected as the “preferred tenderer” for the Aran Island air service contract for the next four years

Government awards contract to helicopter company

 Skellig Michael, off the coast of Co Kerry.	Photograph: Design Pics/Gareth McCormack

Heather Humphreys asked to outline reason for allowing shoot at Unesco heritage site

Noise pollution  can transmit across thousands of square kilometres of ocean, causing physical injury, disorientation and death to whales and dolphins. Photograph: Simon Duggan/Provision

GMIT-led project to measure importance of Irish waters as habitat for marine mammals

Irish Naval vessel LÉ Niamh with the NUIG sensors attached at the bow to measure ocean surface information. Photograph: Brian Ward

Sensor on bow of Naval Service vessel measures sea states for NUI Galway project

Derrynane Inshore Rescue secretary Dave O’Mahony said the rescue of an angler in Co Cork has  highlighted the value of safety equipment. “That was a very inexpensive lifejacket,” he said, referring to the man’s personal flotation device.

Emergency services take 40 minutes to reach man wearing personal flotation device

Children from the Indian community at the parade in  Doughiska Park in Galway.  Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Doughiska/Merlin Woods, Roscam and Ardaun has 33 nationalities living there

University Hospital Galway: Ray Walsh was found dead in the grounds of a Galway school eight days after leaving the hospital’s psychiatric unit. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

CCTV footage showing patient leaving psychiatric unit not initially supplied, says family

Mark Keating of the Whitewater Foundation with his dog Pajo will trek through five Balkan countries. Photograph: The Irish Times

Inspiration for long walk derived from first World War experiences of serving relatives

Labour Party councillor Niall McNelis says the facility, which allows people to earn up to €12,000 tax-free a year from renting a room, is “not sufficient”

Housing crisis affecting students, new employees and almost 4,500 on housing list

Killybegs mackerel skipper Martin Howley

Martin Howley was known from ‘north Norway to China’

 Waves from the waves: Oisín Putt and Arthur Johnson at the Royal Irish Yacht Club. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

President’s Cup event to be hosted by renamed Irish Disabled Sailing Association

The crew of An Tonaí moor the vessel at Parkmore Pier for the festival. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Canada’s contribution to west coast piers recalled at Cruinniú na mBád in Kinvara

MSF project co-ordinator  Juan Matias Gil (right)  with  rescued Palestinian  migrants Mohammed (35) and his  one-year-old daughter Azeelin, who were on a vessel carrying migrants which capsized in the Mediterranean on August 5th. Mohammed’s wife Diana also survived the sinking. Photograph: MSF

Survivors of capsize incident say vessel was already sinking before LÉ Niamh arrived

Dómhnall Mac Síthigh, Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich, Breandan Ó Muircheartaigh and Liam Holden on their return to Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Four Irish seafaring adventurers hope to reach Santiago de Compostela next year – the third summer they will have spent together i(...)

The Green Dragon 70ft racing boat: its construction at a cost of €4.7 million was funded by a group of businesspeople gathered by Enda  O’Coineen. Photograph: Alan Betson

Volvo 70 yacht sold for undisclosed sum to Austrian Johannes Schwarz

Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys said she was “delighted” a plan had been agreed to complete Galway Picture Palace. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Picture Palace ran into series of obstacles after first sod turned in 2009

A migrant crawls under a fence as he attempts to access the Channel Tunnel in Calais, northern France, at the weekend. Photograph: Emilio Morenatti/AP

‘New Jungle’ residents are cheerful despite situation, but conditions are taking their toll

 President Michael D Higgins. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

President says Europe’s reaction to events in Mediterranean is ‘grossly inadequate’

Migrants walk in the direction of the Eurotunnel terminal  near Calais, northern France. Photograph: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

Desperate people are taking enormous risks to try to get into Britain from France

Irish Defence Forces photograph of a children  on board the the LÉ Niamh enroute to Palermo.

Fishing boat carrying hundreds of migrants capsized in Mediterranean

Surviving migrants are brought aboard Irish and Italian Navy life-boats in the area where their wooden vessel capsized and sank off the coast of Libya on Wednesday. Photograph: Reuters

Vessel en route to port of Palermo after 25 fatalities and at least 185 unaccounted for

A video grab released by the Irish Defence Forces and recorded aboard the LÉ Niamh shows people in liferafts launched during the rescue. Photograph: Irish Defence Forces/AFP/Getty Images

Number of fatalities not known, but 185 people were still unaccounted for last night

The  Shell gas refinery  at Bellanaboy in north  Mayo. Photograph: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland.

German national died in north Mayo tunnel under construction in September 2013

An aurora a million times brighter than aurora borealis was detected over a  failed star  by a team led by NUI Galway graduate Dr Gregg Hallinan

Irish astronomer who led major aurora discovery says scientists are being held back

Students of Teach Ailín Coláiste Árainn Mhóir on Donegal’s Arranmore island, with The Red Storm, the model boat launched almost six months ago off the coast of New Hampshire in the US, and found by the students close to their college. Photograph: Noel Gaughran

Scale vessel with GPS on board found by Irish language students

Impression of the sub-sea observatory at the Galway Bay test site, connected back to shore by a cable which has already been installed. Photograph: SmartBay

Observatory will provide marine tech and ocean energy developers with ‘real time’ data

Horses and jockeys pounding the sand at the Omey races in Connemara on Sunday. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Over 2,000 people attend the rugged annual race in the west of Ireland

LÉ Samuel Beckett patrols Skellig Michael during filming last year for the new Star Wars film (overlay). Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty

Unimpressed locals say Ireland has again rolled out the red carpet for Hollywood film-makers, ignoring the threat to the heritage (...)

Fergus (16) and Nathaniel (23) Ogden. Photograph: RNLI

Nathaniel and Fergus Ogden set off in June in a boat not much bigger than a dinghy

Galway Maritime Ltd director Steve Ackland described as a ‘highly regarded chandler’

Trinity College Dublin and the University of Limerick have received British Athena SWAN bronze awards, but NUIG and three other Irish higher education institutions were unsuccessful.

Campaign named after Micheline Sheehy Skeffington says decision ‘vindicates’ efforts

Best hat winner Danielle Gingell, from Claremorris, Co Mayo; winner of the Kilkenny best dressed lady prize Alex Butler, from Midleton, Co Cork; and best Irish design winner Mary White, from Claremorris, Co Mayo, at Galway. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Quick Jack takes the Hurdle as Alex Butler claims the honours off the track

Anne Enright: she invited four short-story writers to perform their work which was animated by song. Photograph: Alan Betson

Anne Enright champions short-story writers at Galway International Arts Festival

Improved insulation and efficient heating systems have cut energy bills by about €250,000 annually

Pilot project may provide national template for self-sufficiency, says Minister Alex White

Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Independent Senator Fidelma Healy Eames says preferred route too close to city

Members of  Irish Navy vessel LÉ Niamh rescue refugees in the ongoing humanitarian mission in the Mediterranean.

Those who died in Mediterranean may have been crushed below deck of trafficking barge

Two brothers who set out to circumnavigate Ireland in a 5m open boat (above) in aid of the lifeboat service never anticipated that they would face such wintry weather. Photograph: aluggerroundireland Facebook page.

Nathaniel and Fergus Ogden nearing end of trip in 5m boat to raise funds for RNLI

Members of the Naval Service welcome a migrant child on board the LÉ Niamh. Photograph: Irish Naval Service

Overcrowding and exhaustion may have lead to fatalities onboard barge from Libya

Roger Casement: believed German naval assistance to be “indispensable”

The ‘blue field’

Fr Michael Lapsley:  ‘When injustice occurs, the moral order is inverted.’

Fr Michael Lapsley addresses community at public talk and workshop in Co Mayo

Pilgrims at the summit of Croagh Patrick, Co Mayo, on Sunday. The annual climb takes place every year on the last Sunday in July. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Masses on Reek are cancelled for first time in living memory as weather takes untimely toll

Litter on Dublin  beach. Dog waste was found on 23 per cent of shores surveyed last year. Photograph: AP photo/John Cogill

Coastwatch Ireland project finds North’s coast is cleaner than that of Republic

People begin the climb at Croagh Patrick, Co Mayo, on Sunday morning. Gardaí say the annual pilgrimage has been cancelled due to bad weather. Photograph: Dara MacDónaill/The Irish Times

Annual Reek Sunday pilgrimage cancelled for first time due to treacherous conditions

A seagull at the British Open in Scotland. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Ex-fisheries officer claims birds face a food crisis that may bring more of them inland

Siphathisiwe ‘Blessings’ Moyo, who took part in the ‘Exhibit B’ installation by South African artist Brett Bailey during the Galway International Arts Festival. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

‘Blessings’ Moyo, who lives in Salthill, on asylum process and taking part in Exhibit B

A family is identified as they disembark from LÉ Niamh at the Palermo harbour in Sicily, Italy. Photograph: Alessandro Fucarini /AP Photo

14 children among group picked up from wooden barge off Libyan coast

Youth development: a concept graphic of the  proposed all-island tall ship. © Dykstra Naval Architects and Damen

Three-masted ‘Spirit of New Zealand’ offers best model, says Atlantic Youth Trust

Galway hospital group Saolta said the 30-bed ward is an urgent requirement as patients are obliged to spend long periods on trolleys. Photograph: Getty Images

Physiotherapists and social workers protest over clinic space used to ease A&E pressure

The Naval Service patrol ship LÉ Niamh has rescued 98 migrants from a rubber craft in the Mediterranean on its first mission since taking up humanitarian rescue duty.

Naval Service patrol ship has taken over humanitarian duties from LE Eithne

‘When it comes to the marine, we’ve a pretty good record of selling off the family silver, or even giving it away.’ Above, John Fitzgerald takes Lorna Siggins on a seaweed foraging tour. Photograph: Valerie O’Sullivan

A series in which Irish Times writers go off the beaten track. This week: a seaweed foraging workshop in Kerry is a feast for mind(...)

 Patricia Piccinini’s Skywhale flying over Galway  during  the International Arts Festival which continues this week. Photograph: Andrew Downes

Wind hampers cetacean’s show but event sees record footfall at visual arts exhibitions

Sligo’s Yeats community is standing by its belief  that WB Yeats was buried at Drumcliffe graveyard, in the light of newly revealed correspondence suggesting otherwise.  Photograph: Getty Images

‘Nothing will change for Drumcliffe’ according to former Yeats Society chief executive

File photograph of speakers, including the late Seamus Heaney,  at the 38th Yeats International Summer School in 1997 on a visit to the grave in Drumcliffe. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

If there is ‘even a leg bone ... belonging to Yeats, that’s fine by me’ says society president

University Hospital Galway: the hospital group said a temporary 30-bed ward would involve relocating the physiotherapy and social work departments. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Clinic use to ease trolley crisis will ‘create another crisis’, staff warn

A rescue operation being conducted by the crew of the LÉ Eithne in the Mediterranean Sea in June 2015. Photograph: Irish Defence Forces

Patrol vessel LÉ Niamh takes over humanitarian operation to save migrants

German president Joachim Gauck is awarded an honorary doctorate from the National University of Ireland in Galway as president of the NUI James J Browne applauds on Wednesday. Photograph: Wolfgang Kumm/EPA

German president Joachim Gauck receives honorary degree at NUI Galway

Workers install water meters outside houses in Fortlawn Estate near Blanchardstown, west Dublin, earlier this year. Residents of Rockfield Park on  Galway’s west side say they are not opposed to the meters per se, but objected to paying for a service which, they believe, will eventually be privatised. File photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Rockfield Park residents object to paying for service they believe will be privatised ‘in time’

Among the resources drafted into the city centre are Garda trucks, such as the one above,  that have been fitted with holding cells. Photograph: The Irish Times

Strong garda presence mounted for Dublin ‘flashpoint water charge protest’

Installation at ‘Relativity’, an exhibition by Australian artist Patricia Piccinini at the Festival Gallery. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

This year’s series brings theatre, music and an eye-catching hot air balloon to the city

Walking on the prom at  Salthill in Galway. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Re-sampling results indicate Salthill bacteria levels ‘within safe standards’

Lifesaving: Chris Catrambone, whose organisation saved 3,000 people in its first 60 days. Photograph: Giles Clarke/Getty

Seeing a jacket from a sunken migrant boat spurred Chris and Regina Catrambone to spend more than $7.5m setting up the Migrant Off(...)

Rescued: a Naval Service rigid inflatable boat brings refugees back to the LÉ Eithne in the Mediterranean. Photograph: David Jones/Irish Defence Forces

The LÉ ‘Eithne’ has picked up thousands of refugees from the waters around Malta. Will Europe offer any future to its new boat peo(...)

Pierre Cousteau, director of Cousteau Foundation and son of Jacques Cousteau with Simon Coveney TD Minister for the Marine at the Harnessing our Ocean Wealth conference in Cork Harbour. Photograph: Darragh Kane

Ireland ‘not alone in suffering from sea blindness’, national marine conference hears

The LÉ ‘Niamh’ is sailing today to begin Mediterranean rescue duty. Photograph: Defence Forces/PA Wire

Naval Service vessel will set sail to replace LÉ Eithne in humanitarian efforts in region

Arts and human rights conference NUI Galway photography competition 2015. Winning submission by Maurice Gunning. Photographs from the series and book, ‘Family: Photographs and Stories from Five Romanian Families’.

Unesco photographic exhibition opens as part of summer school in Galway

The promenade at Salthill in Galway. Galway City Council has advised against sea swimming in Salthill until further notice. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Investigations into cause of contamination being carried out by Galway County Council

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is releasing two videos as part of a new drowning prevention campaign. Photograph: Getty Images/Design Pics

An average of 59 people die accidentally in Irish waters annually, RNLI figures shows

Daithí Ó Cearbhalláin  at work with the Irish Coast Guard, Shannon, Co Clare. Photograph:  Brian Arthur/ Press 22

Daithí Ó Cearbhalláin is a member of the Irish Coast Guard rescue helicopter senior crew In conversation with Lorna Siggins

Irish naval ship LÉ Eithne arrives with rescued migrants at the Palermo harbor in Italy on Tuesday, June 30th, 2015. Photograph: AP/Alessandro Fucarini.

Naval Service ship has rescued 3,376 people since May deployment in Mediterranean

Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney one of three Ministers who have flown to Malta to pay tribute to the crew of the Naval Service patrol ship LÉ Eithne. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Navy vessel has rescued more than 3,300 migrants in Mediterranean mission

In an open letter to the HSE an NUI Galway medical graduate has said students are unable to complete their medical training in Ireland as a result of the high demand for “intern” positions this year. Photograph: Alan Betson

International students unable to complete training due to high demand for ‘internships’

Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney should take a “leadership” role in State management of fragile habitats, Coastwatch has said. Photograph: Eric Luke

Coastwatch urges Minister to take ‘leadership’ role in managing fragile marine habitats

A section of the Corrib gas line at Aughoose, Co Mayo. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Revised atmospheric and marine emissions licence one of final authorisations

JK Rowling founded Lumos after reading about children being kept in caged beds. Photograph: Ian West/PA Wire

JK Rowling committed to ending institutionalised care of children

Statistically, most drownings occur during bathing or walking along coastlines, according to a review for IWS. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times/ File photo

Irish Water Safety warns swells, surges and rip tides, not ‘freak waves’, pose danger

Bríd McGarry, a  Mayo landowner, and Mary Corduff, wife of jailed farmer Willie Corduff, after five Mayo farmers were  jailed  in 2005 for refusing to give an undertaking not to obstruct the construction of the Corrib gas pipe line. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

A rerouting of the pipeline and greater public awareness of how Ireland treats its natural resources were among the positive outco(...)

Some members of the crews taking part in a circumnavigation of Ireland to raise awareness of sailing for people with disabilities. Front row: Gary Crothers (skipper of yacht Kind of Blue and committee member of Foyle Sailability. He lost the use of his left arm after a car crash) and Aideen Corr (Kind of Blue crew and Foyle Sailability committee member who has Parkinson’s disease). Back row, from left: Ken Curry (Kind of Blue crew), Luke Farren (Dream Machine crew), George McCormick (Dream Machine skipper), Kim Banks (Aaraura crew) and Vicki Smith (Aaraura crew). Photograph: Trevor McBride

44 mixed-ability skippers and crew aim to highlight equality on water

Corrib legacy: Reynagh Keane from Belmullet, an operating engineer at Shell’s gas terminal in Erris. Photograph: Statoil/Shell

A decade ago the Rossport Five were jailed over their opposition to a pipeline linking the offshore Corrib gas field to Shell’s in(...)

Gay Byrne, the ‘cranky 81-year-old who used to live in Howth’; and businessman Harry Crosbie on Dublin’s Great South Wall. Photograph: Eric Luke

The pair have hatched a plan to make the Great South Wall in Dublin safer as a walkway, after a friend fell and broke her nose the(...)

Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney: has been told he must “up his game” to ensure EU commitments  on fish stocks are met. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Preparations for next year’s EU quotas are already under way, says Birdwatch Ireland

A submerged vertical cliff some 800 metres below the sea surface and carpeted in coldwater coral has been discovered.

UCC-led marine researchers confirm coldwater reef on edge of Porcupine Bank canyon

Barna postmistress, Seona O’Fegan intends to stand in the Galway West constituency as a member of the Community and Post Office Candidates Group. Photograph: Pat Moore

Seona O’Fegan of Barna pledges to fight for communities threatened by ‘privatisation’

The Marine Institute has recommended that offshore salmon farms should be capped at production of 7,000 tonnes. Photograph: Getty Images/Hemera

Bord Iascaigh Mhara awaiting ‘guidance’ from licensing body on project application

 Cáit Curran gathering herbs in her garden. “People think you are out of your mind but look at how the moon has an influence on our tides.” Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Kerry woman Cáit Curran certified in biodynamic farming

The Apple logo. A group of Galway residents have objected to the planned location of a new Apple data centre near Athenry. File photograph: Aly Song/Reuters

Group of locals oppose planned location of new €850 million complex near Athenry

One of the cannons uncovered at Streedagh, Co Sligo, from the wreck of the Spanish Armada ship La Juliana, which sank in 1588. Photograph: Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht/PA

Underwater archaeology unit recovers material at Streedagh which dates back to 1588

Crew members boarding the LÉ Samuel Beckett. The Government did not charge Disney Lucasfilm for use of the vessel during filming of the new Star Wars movie on Skellig Michael.    File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Disney Lucasfilm utilised Naval Service and Air Corps during Skellig Michael filming

Druid Theatre artistic director  Garry Hynes. Ms Hynes has said that the passing of the same-sex marriage referendum was an ‘extraordinary event’ during an address at NUI Galway. Photograph: Andrew Downes/Xposure

Druid Theatre director also criticises lack of ‘civic morality’ in society in NUIG speech

University Hospital Galway has one of the busiest emergency departments in the State. Photograph: Eric Luke

Impact warns hospital the move would risk breaching Hiqa standards

Image of a 3D animation of a  3.7km high underwater mountain, which is more than 140km long, on the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The image is part of a survey of the Atlantic Ocean conducted by the State’s research ship, the MV Celtic Explorer.   Photograph: Marine Institute

Iceberg footprints and underwater mountain among findings by MV Celtic Explorer

Walter Murch in Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Editor and sound designer Walter Murch, who worked on Apocalypse Now, The Godfather Part II and the upcoming Tomorrowland, thinks (...)

Skellig Michael.  Star Wars filming may return to the Skelligs this year, following last summer’s controversial use of the Unesco world heritage site. Photograph: David Sleator

Irish Film Board refuses to deny discussions on use of Unesco world heritage site in film

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