We look at the latest news highlights from Ireland
New Atlantic cycle route to boost Irish towns
Donegal and the west coast of Ireland are expecting an increase in cycle tourism, after it was revealed they will make up part of the trail of a new 9,100km European route.
The European Cyclists’ Federation had developed the Atlantic Coast Route, also known as EuroVelo 1, which will start in Norway and Scotland, before entering the village of Newtown Cunningham in County Donegal. The route then follows 200km of rural roads to Donegal town before joining the North West Trail to Sligo, before taking in parts of Mayo, Galway, Limerick and Kerry.
The European Cyclists’ Federation say: “There are 2.3 billion cycle tourism trips in Europe every year with a value in excess of €44 billion. “20.4 million cycle tourists stay one or more nights en route, and these ‘overnight’ tourists spend around €9 billion annually.
If EuroVelo is fully developed as a European transport and tourism network by 2020, the study estimated that it would see 60 million trips made every year, generating a total of €7 billion in direct annual revenue.”
The route is expected to be completed by 2020.
Deadly moray eel found in Kerry waters
A deadly moray eel has been sighted, for the second time this year, off the southwest coast.
The moray eel was found by skipper of the Sea Biscuit, Peter Hand, near An Tiaracht, one of the Blasket Islands last Friday. But despite the crew’s best attempts to keep it alive, the eel died before it was brought ashore.
In February, a moray eel was washed up in Cahersiveen, and although it was dead upon discovery, it was still fresh, suggesting it had survived for some time in the cold Atlantic waters. Marine biologist, Kevin Flannery, warned that the sightings were linked to worrying global warming trends which would be detrimental to native marine species.
“People fear them because they have been known to kill with their bites,” he said. “Some people believe they have a toxin in their bite but it’s usually that people get bites that are so extreme they go septic and that’s what kills.”
Charity founder dies aged 80
Fr Jack Finucane, the co-founder of one of Ireland’s largest charities, has passed away aged 80. The Limerick priest, ordained in 1963, helped set up NGO Concern to ship aid to Biafra during the Nigerian Civil War in the 1960s and 70s. He remained a director of the charity up until his death, which occurred suddenly on 7 June when he was on retreat in Dublin.
Irish President Michael D. Higgins led the tributes to Fr Finucane, referring to him and his brother, Fr Angus Finucane, as “inspirational figures among the large group of people in Ireland who value and embody the importance of the humanitarian spirit”.
He added: “Theirs was a distinctive voice and their life’s work leaves a real, positive, and enduring legacy for millions of people across the globe, as well as having contributed to Ireland’s reputation abroad in the best possible sense. “I had the great privilege of meeting Jack Finucane in Somalia during the Famine and on many occasions since.
“His commitment to the ethical basis for, as well as the practical application of humanitarian principles was exemplary.
“Jack Finucane’s lifelong commitment to protecting the dignity of some of the world’s poorest and most marginalised people will stand not only as a lasting tribute to all that is good about mankind, but is exemplary in its invitation not to avert our gaze from our current challenges of global hunger and poverty.”