• Marine scientists have discovered a “very rare” shark nursery in deep waters some 200 miles off the west coast.

    The nursery was discovered during an investigation of Ireland’s deep ocean territory, and shows the seabed littered with eggs, or so-called “mermaids' purses”. 

    Images show very large numbers of egg cases filmed on the seafloor at depths of up to 750 metres.

    It's understood they could belong to the Blackmouth catshark and the Sailfin roughshark.

    The nursery was discovered during the SeaRover survey undertaken last July, which was exploring Ireland’s deep-water coral reef systems.

    The footage was captured by the Marine Institute’s remotely operated vehicle deployed onboard the Irish Lights Vessel the Granuaile.



  • St Brendan’s Church in Tirrane was packed to capacity this morning, for the first anniversary Mass of the crew of Coastguard Rescue 116 helicopter, which crashed off north Mayo one year ago today.

    Four crew members were onboard when the Sikorsky helicopter went down near Blackrock Island at 12.46 am on 14th March last year.

    The bodies of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick and Captain Mark Duffy were recovered, however winchmen Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith remain lost at sea – despite extensive searches.

    A candlelight vigil was held in Erris last night, while today’s events got underway with Mass at 10am in St Brendan’s Church, Tirrane.

    In heavy rain and high winds, a wreath-laying ceremony then took place at the Blacksod Lighthouse.

    The wreaths were then taken by the Granuaile – the Irish Lights vessel – to the crash site off Blackrock Island.

    The crew member’s families were due to visit the crash site, but were unable to travel by boat due to the weather conditions.