IWDG to accept offer of Haughey yacht, Celtic Mist

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) are to accept the kind offer of the yacht Celtic Mist from the Haughey family. The 17 metre steel-hulled yacht has been offered as a gift to the IWDG to support its work on the study and conservation of whales, dolphins and porpoise in Irish waters.

IWDG Co-ordinator Dr Simon Berrow said it was a very generous offer from the Haughey family, but the IWDG had to explore the condition and feasibility of running such a large vessel. We commissioned a number of independent surveys and have thoroughly inspected the yacht and are happy it is in good sea-worthy condition and has been well maintained. We have estimated maintenance and other costs and prepared a business plan.

Fiacc O’Brolchain, a holder of a Yachtmaster Ocean Certificate, has extensive experience of yachts and sailing in Ireland and overseas and is a Director of the IWDG. Fiacc has been involved in sail training with yachts such as Pride of Galway and Jean de la Lune and was an organiser of the Asgard Support Group for eight years. Celtic Mist is a very suitable vessel for the IWDG. It will provide an opportunity to increase the skills of the members so that they can become more effective in their work, be it at an amateur or professional level.

The Celtic Mist will return to Ireland in June and has been entered into the Tall Ships Race in Waterford. This is an opportunity for the IWDG to showcase the new research vessel and for the IWDG to familiarise itself with the yacht. Conor Haughey, who has been liaising with the IWDG on behalf of his family, will sail with the IWDG into Waterford and said I am happy that the boat is to be put to good use on a project that was close to my father’s heart.

After the Tall ships the Celtic Mist will sail to Kilrush, Co Clare on the shores of the Shannon Estuary where it will be refitted with extra berths and equipped with IWDG research equipment. Shannon development are sponsoring a berth at the Kilrush Creek Marina for the yacht.
The Celtic Mist will be used for training IWDG members in species identification and training in surveying and recording cetaceans. It will also be used for IWDG research projects, especially those offshore on the edge of the continental shelf and for promoting marine conservation and study throughout Ireland. The Celtic Mist is a resource for all those interested in promoting marine research and conservation in Ireland said Dr Simon Berrow we will make it available to colleagues and partners in Ireland and elsewhere with the same ambitions and vision.

Celtic Mist will arrive in Waterford for the Tall ships race on 30 June 2011.

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