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St. Michael's Rowing Club - Membership

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St. Michael's Rowing Club - Our History

Founded in 1901, St Michael's Rowing Club is one of Ireland's Premier Rowing Clubs. It caters for oarsmen and oarswomen from Junior 12 to the more experienced “Masters”, some of whom are 60+ years young !

During the past three decades it has established itself as one of the major forces in Irish rowing by winning no less than 37 Championships at all grades from Junior to Senior. The long 106 year wait came to an end in 2007 when the Club won the coveted Senior VIII “Big Pot” being the first crew to bring the trophy to Limerick in 80 years. It has had 197 of its members selected for International representation. Members have won 3 World Championships and have rowed at three Olympic Regattas. Unlike certain other successful Irish Rowing clubs, almost all its oarsmen and women are "home-grown" having commenced with the Club as Juniors.

Both competitive and less strenuous pleasure-rowing take place throughout the year.

The Club has a modern fleet of racing boats. These include 5 Eights, 6 Coxed Fours/Quads, 5 Coxless Fours/Quads, 6 Pairs/Doubles and 12 sculls. Land based facilities include a modern gymnasium and weights room. The Club also has 15 Concept II Model “D” ergometers.

St Michael's Rowing Club is part of St Michael's Sporting Club which also has snooker facilities in the Cecil Street premises, which are located just below the General Post Office in Limerick City.

Our snooker hall in Cecil St. has reopened under new management and is open to all. This historic space boats a fascinating pictorial history of our club on it's walls, some dating back to... very early indeed!

The Club colours are Royal Blue and Old Gold.

Please note that the one piece presented below is the only acceptable format for St. Michaels one pieces. During racing, the wearing of just the one piece is acceptable or a one piece with a white t-shirt underneath.

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SMRC Planning observation / objection

Date: 9th March 2011.

The Secretary.
An Bord Pleanála.
64 Marlborough Street,
Dublin 1.

Re: Limerick City Council.

Appeal against the decision to grant permission to install floating pontoons, access gangway, mooring anchors and associated infrastructure for the berthing of a sea plane, at the Clarion Hotel, Steamboat Quay, Limerick City. Harbour Flights Ireland Ltd.

Dear Sirs,
As a major user of the river Shannon at Limerick City we wish formally to object to the decision by Limerick City Council to grant planning permission to Harbour Flights Ireland Ltd for the construction of floating pontoons, access gangway, mooring anchors and associated infrastructure for the berthing of a sea plane, at the Clarion Hotel, Steamboat Quay, Limerick.

We attach the following documentation in support of this submission;
1. Planning Appeal Fee: € 220.
2. Copy of letter from St Michael’s Sporting Club to Limerick City Council objecting to the planning application.
3. Copy of the letter from Limerick City Council acknowledging our objection to the planning application.
4. Copy of the Planning permission document issued by Limerick City Council.

Our decision to appeal this planning application is based on a number of very serious concerns. These are as follows:

St Michael’s Rowing Club (a branch of St Michael’s Sporting Club) Established 1901.

St Michael’s Rowing Club was established in 1901 and has been rowing on the River Shannon now for over 110 years. Currently we have in excess of 300 members with over 80 oars-people of all ages using the River Shannon on a regular and weekly basis, weekdays and weekends all year round. St Michael’s caters for all age groups with a predominance of the age groups 14 years to 21 years. St Michael’s Oarsmen and women have represented Ireland at National level, international level and at World Cup and Olympic Levels. The entire club’s rowing activities centre around our club facilities at O’Callaghan’s Strand and the River Shannon between Shannon Bridge and upwards of 6 miles downstream from this Bridge. Upwards of 18 rowing craft from St Michael’s can be on the river at any one time. The times during which the rowing activity occurs on the Shannon River are 2 – 3 hours before high tide level to 1 hour after high tide has been reached. These are the safest times in which to allow activity on the river. No rowing activity occurs on the river outside of these times and during times of high winds / rough water.

Proposed Development by Harbour Flights Ireland Ltd (HFI).

The proposed development by Harbour Flights Ireland Ltd incorporates the operation of aircraft which will use the Shannon River at Limerick City to land and depart, periodically and regularly, all during the same times in which St Michael’s Rowing Club will be operating numerous craft on the same stretch of river.

The application by HFI to Limerick City Council refers only to the construction of pontoons etc. HFI have no permission, nor have they sought permission from the Limerick Foynes Harbour Board Commissioners for permission to land on the River Shannon River at Limerick City. Furthermore in the planning application by HFI to Limerick City Council no details were submitted as to how HFI intend to operate this proposed facility, frequency of operation, extent of stretches of river being used etc. On a safety point of view no details were submitted, proposed or looked for by Limerick City Council as to how this proposed operation would affect the rowing Clubs, St Michael’s in particular. This proposed sea-plane operation on the Shannon River would seriously undermine the safety of boat users on the stretch of river within Limerick City, and particularly along the stretch used by St Michael’s Rowing Club for over 110 years.

St. Michael’s Rowing Club has raised the matter with the harbour-master who has also expressed his concern to us as to how the safety of boat users can be possibly guaranteed while operating a sea-plane service within the same stretch of river currently being used by numerous river racing craft.

Limerick City Council

It is our opinion that Limerick City Council should not be allowing permission for any development which then supports operations which are wholly outside the council’s jurisdiction, and which could result in serious injury and / possibly death to river users, all due to lack of adequate policing, controls, procedures etc. The planning and development regulations are structured to promote and develop sustainable development. It is not structured to permit a local authority to permit a development which in turn supports a development which is wholly outside its control, policing, planning and jurisdiction.

The Harbour Board which has jurisdiction over this stretch of the Shannon river has made it very clear that it has not received any notice about this proposed development. It has further advised to St Michael’s that it does not have the where with all to police this type of activity or ensure that this proposed river activity can co-exist with the rowing club fraternity which have been using this stretch of river for over 100 years. The Harbour Board do not have any river craft to police the stretch of River under its jurisdiction.

Summary.

In summary St Michael’s Rowing Club believes that the proposed development is flawed. The controlling authorities affected by the operation of a sea-plane service on the Shannon River are,

- Limerick City Council – Pontoons and berthing structures.
- Limerick Foynes Harbour Board – Landing Permission.
- Irish Aviation Authority – Permission to Fly.We are concerned that the applicants have not fully thought through this application. It is our submission that the proposed operators should first demonstrate how this operation can co-exist with the rowing clubs who use the river extensively. They need to demonstrate how safety on the river will not be undermined as it will be due to the lack of detail and interest by both Limerick City Council and HFI. Furthermore as part of any application to Limerick City Council for berthing facilities HFI need to demonstrate that they have approval / permission from the Harbour board to land on the River Shannon.

We further state our belief that safety on the river is paramount and Limerick City Council should not be granting permission for facilities which will result in activities which will be carried outside its jurisdiction. This decision by Limerick City Council has serious potential to undermine the safety of upwards of 80 oars-people who regularly use the same stretch of river as that which HFI now wants to operate in.

We request the Bord’s support in overturning the decision of Limerick City Council and refuse planning permission for the above development.

Signed,

Pierce McGann.
St Michael’s Sporting Club.