Timed to coincide with Heritage Week, the event, supported as always by Inis Cologne, takes place simultaneously at 20 headlands around the Irish coast, and is free and open to all.
According to the IWDG the aim of Whale Watch Ireland is to raise awareness of the 25 species of cetacean recorded in Irish waters, offering members of the public the opportunity to join IWDG experts and whale watching enthusiasts to look for and observe these iconic marine mammals from shore. The event also has direct conservation value, offering IWDG researchers a unique synchronised snapshot of whale and dolphin activity right around the Irish coast.
What to bring
This is a shore-based event — so there are no boat trips involved. Dress appropriately for weather conditions on the day, and bear in mind that conditions on a coastal headland can vary significantly from those just a few kilometres inland. Bring binoculars and / or a spotting scope if you have access to them. The IWDG points out that, as always, there is no guarantee you will see whales or dolphins on the day, but says at last year’s event animals were recorded at 75% of the sites, so if conditions are favourable your odds of seeing something during the course of the afternoon are quite good.
Where to go
The 20 sites taking part in Whale Watch Ireland 2016 are listed below — contact the orginiser at your local site for more information if required.
Location Meeting Point Watch Leader Contact
Cloger Hd, Co. Louth Port Oriel Upr Car Park Breffni Martin 087-9145363
Howth Hd., North Dublin, Balscadden Car Park, Conal O’ Flanagan 086 3537900
Killiney Bay, South Dublin, Vico Road, Brian Glanville 087-1390665
Bray Hd., Co. Wicklow, Pitch & putt, Justin Ivory 087-6833898
Hook Hd, Co. Wexford, Lighthouse Harm Deenen 086 3485013
Ardmore, Co. Waterford, Ram Hd Signal tower Andrew Malcolm 087-7952061
Galley Hd., Co. Cork, Lighthouse, Pádraig Whooley 086-3850568
Hog’s Head, Kerry Sea Synergy Ctr., Waterville Lucy Hunt 087-7850929
Valentia Island., Kerry Bray Hd. Signal Tower Sean O’ Callaghan 085-7764918
Clogher Hd. Co. Kerry, Layby, Nick Massett 087-6736341
Loop Hd., Co. Clare, Lighthouse, Simon Berrow 086-8545450
Black Hd, North Clare, Lighthouse, Sandra O’ Donovan 086-6061869
Downpatrick Hd, Co. Mayo, Car Park, Aoife Foley 085 827 6984
Mullaghmore Hd, Co. Sligo, lay-by, Miriam Crowley 087-6171377
Bloody Foreland, Co. Donegal, Heights Bar car park Gareth Doherty 086-2223328
Malin Head, Co. Donegal, Signal Tower, Ronan Mc Laughlin 086-3893154
Ramore Hd, Co. Antrim, Portrush Coastal Zone Jim Allen 078 76516032
Portmuck, Co. Antrim, Car park, Ian Enlander 028-93372724
Bloody Bridge, Co. Down, Car park, Dave Wall 077 71762355