The Rotary Club, Dublin

Founded 22nd February 1911

The Dubliner

All the news that's fit to print

President: Mariandy Lennon

Hon. Sec.: Tony Keegan

Telephone 087 244 2818 

Volume 26 Issue 29 

09 March 2020


Alan Harrison

Frank Bannister

David Booth

Delma Sweeney

Dermot Knight

Our speaker today is Simone Dunne who will be telling us about a UCD food and Health Study.

President Mariandy Lennon chaired our meeting last Monday and Tom O’Neill gave the invocation.


Forthcoming Speakers and Events           

 Mar 16th        No meeting due to holiday weekend.                                                                               

 Mar 23rd      New Members Day     

Rotary Rangers Walks

10th Mar        Paddock Hill from Trooperstown Car Park

17th Mar        Greystones to Kilcoole & return (beach track).

24th Mar        Fananerrin Ridge Glenmalure

31st Mar       Carrig Gollergan from Shankill                                                                                                                                                                     


Visitors and Apologies

Hon. Secretary Tony Keegan presented apologies from PP Tony Gannon, Brian Taylor, Veronica Kunovska, PP Ken Hunt, VP Alexander Kopf, PP Kevin McAnallen, PP Randal Gray, PE Alan Davidson, Frank Bannister, Alan Harrison, Houghton Fry, John Costello and Patrick White.

At President Mariandy’s request we welcomed our one visitor last week, Ola El Carawany..  


President’s Announcements

President Mariandy invited all to come to the Merrion Inn for our Evening Meeting on Wednesday 4th March starting at 6.30 at which Simone Nelson will introduce herself.  She announced that our club will celebrate International Women's Day (March 8) at Rostrevor Citizens Centre at 8.30. President Mariandy and PP Bernadette will join the community there for breakfast.  All are invited including male club members.

Mariandy announced that our Masquerade Ball is on 23rd May at Elm Park Golf Club in aid of the Salvation Army. Our President visited Salvation Army, Granby Centre on the previous Wednesday accompanied by

Roger Owens and Alan Davidson where they witnessed the need for the refurbishment of the dining area.

Roger than told us how they were shown 97 rooms for 97 residents during their visit to the Granby Centre, Salvation Army.  These rooms were very well maintained. The Salvation Army provides a service to a variety of homeless people. Their lives would be improved by the renovation of the dining room.  The lives of the staff would also be improved.  For example, the lady who cleans this room currently has a hard time keeping the room presentable. A modern, well equipped room would make her life much easier.


Members Wishing to Speak

Delma Sweeney announced that a Quiz will be held in aid of Foundation on 9th April in the Grand Canal Hotel.  Her husband, Eamonn will be the Quizmaster.


Last Week’s Speaker

Derek Byrne introduced last week’s speaker, Rory McGee, Engineering Operations Manager for the Commissioners for Irish Lights, supporting the marine industry and the coastal services. Rory started by telling us that the headquarters for Irish Light’s is the purpose-built glass circular building at the Harbour Road, Dún Laoghaire.  A video about Irish Lights showed how all of those who rely on the sea, for fishing, ferrying and boating generally need a system for safe passage and in and out of ports which this service provides. They use unique systems, radars, floating buoys and GPS to guide vessels in the sea around Ireland. All are constantly monitored.  The main role is to aid navigation; however, they also collect weather data, wind, visibility, water temperature and wave height which is fed back every six minutes. They are acknowledged as a world leader in the field. They also track the frequency of ships movements.

In recent times they have changed from electrically generated lights, powered by diesel to led lights, which are low powered and use far less energy.  For example, the lighthouse at Roches Point had a 1.5-kilowatt light and now uses a led light, which is brighter and uses 35 watts.  As a consequence, they could get rid of guzzling diesel generators and storage for diesel. Changing light systems over to mains, with battery backup in a lighthouse at Inishtrahull, Co Donegal meant that they no longer have to maintain a number of buildings which previously held stores and generator and the lighthouse now only requires only one visit per year. On the day Rory was speaking, they were in the process of changing lighting systems in the lighthouse at Wicklow Head.  Corlis Point lighthouse Co. Clare is now equipped with led lights.  At Fastnet lighthouse the light was provided through a biform lens, which was floating on a bed of mercury, highly toxic. In consultation with the Irish Heritage Trust they decided to leave the lens in place and fit out with the new alongside the old.

The services provided by the Commissioners are financed from the General Lighthouse Fund, mainly derived from  dues charged on commercial shipping at ports.  DGPS, (differential global positioning systems), transmits satellite information to the ships navigating systems, similar to control towers for planes.  There are 14 transmitting systems between Ireland and England. Ireland maintains three of these. E-navigation will be the way of the future.  

Irish Lights have been getting into the tourism business.  Disused lighthouses are renovated for the public to rent.

Brian George asked why we need lighthouses when we have such technology.  Rory replied that the service is a backup.  Ship owners constantly repeat the necessity of having a fail-safe system.

Rory answered a question from Tom O’Neill saying that we are dependent on the Americans for our satellite system.

Rory told us that Yvonne Sheilds is Commissioner and that Irish Lights is governed by a Board in response to a question from Ted Corcoran.

Paul Martin asked about the level of energy generated by the solar panels on the Irish Lights building, headquarters, noting that they are quite old at this stage.  Rory acknowledged this and said that they looked the part “lighthousey”.

Their HQ in Dun Laoghaire is open to the public on a Sunday in October during Architecture Weekend.

David Horkan gave Rory the vote of thanks.

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