More than 50 famous landmarks and buildings across the island of Ireland are lighting up blue this weekend (7-10 June) as part of the 'Go Atlantic Blue' initiative to celebrate our connection to the Atlantic Ocean and to mark World Oceans Day (8 June). The global day connects people worldwide in celebrating the ocean, its importance in our lives and how each of us can protect it, no matter where we live.
In its inaugural year, the 'Go Atlantic Blue' campaign has had an incredible response with more than 50 landmarks and buildings coming on board. These include airports (Shannon Airport, Cork Airport and Dublin Airport), universities and colleges (University College Dublin, University College Cork, University of Limerick, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, NUI Galway, GMIT Galway & Letterfrack, CIT Crawford College of Art and Design and National Maritime College of Ireland), State buildings (Iveagh House and Government Buildings) and lighthouses (Baily Lighthouse, Roche's Point and The Great Light).
Castles are also going to be lit up in blue (Dunguaire Castle in Galway and King John's Castle in Limerick) along with cathedrals (St Colman's Cathedral, Cobh), aquariums (Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium and Galway Atlantaquaria) and even a windmill (Blennerville Windmill in Tralee, Co Kerry). See below for full list of landmarks and buildings taking part.
Businesses, schools and homes across the island are also joining in by putting up blue decorations, wearing blue clothing, painting their faces blue, sharing their love for the Atlantic online and much more. Everyone's participation will highlight the strong connection that people in Ireland have with the Atlantic Ocean and the multiple ways that it affects and enriches our daily lives.
'Go Atlantic Blue' is being spearheaded in Ireland by the Marine Institute-led AORA-CSA (Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Co-ordination & Support Action) against the backdrop of SeaFest 2019 (7-9 June) and Our Ocean Wealth Summit (9-10 June), both taking place in Cork. SeaFest is Ireland's national maritime festival and Our Ocean Wealth Summit is Ireland's flagship event for the marine sector, bringing together Irish and international organisations to create innovative and sustainable solutions to drive our Blue Economy.
It's the first year to 'Go Atlantic Blue' with the aim of raising awareness of the vital role that the Atlantic Ocean plays in the lives of Irish people, no matter how near or far they live from the Atlantic coastline.
Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute, said, "Our ocean is our greatest natural resource and we see that most directly in Ireland with the vital importance that the Atlantic Ocean plays in our daily lives – from influencing the weather to facilitating our trade industry and from seafood to surfing off the coast. The Marine Institute is proud to support the 'Go Atlantic Blue' initiative from 7-10 June, particularly at SeaFest and Our Ocean Wealth Summit, and we're delighted to see so many landmarks, buildings, businesses, schools and homes have come onboard."
Director of Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Co-ordination & Support Action, Dr Margaret Rae, said that the initiative gives people all around the country a chance to show their appreciation for the Atlantic Ocean.
"In Ireland, the Atlantic Ocean means so much to us. It's our largest natural resource and we draw so much from it – our livelihoods, food, bounty, beauty, imagination, inspiration, song, poetry, health and wellbeing and much much more," she said. "Going Atlantic Blue is a way to draw attention to how each and every one of us experiences the Atlantic, what we love about our Ocean and how we can be that generation that makes a difference."
Amongst the activities that AORA (www.atlanticresource.org) promotes through its work are the development of an 'Atlantic community', made up of citizens of countries that neighbour the Atlantic Ocean, and also exploring, observing and mapping the remainder of the Atlantic Ocean floor (which AORA calls "the Last Great Exploration Campaign on Earth").
Some of the Landmarks around Ireland Going Atlantic Blue
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
King John's Castle, Limerick
University of Limerick
CIT Crawford College of Art & Design, Cork
St. Colman's Cathedral, Cobh
National University of Ireland Galway
University College Cork
University College Dublin
Dublin City University
Trinity College Dublin
Iveagh House, Dublin (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade)
Government Buildings (Merrion Square, Dublin)
Galway Bay Boat Tours
Dunguaire Castle in Kinvara, Galway
Galway Atlantaquaria, National Aquarium of Ireland
Tyndall National Institute, Cork
Port of Galway
Cork City Hall
Berwick fountain (Grand Parade), Cork
Bishop Lucey Park, Cork
St Peter's, North Main Street, Cork
St. Luke's, Cork
Roche's Point Lighthouse, Cork
Baily Lighthouse, Dublin
The Great Light (Titanic Quarter, Belfast)
Port of Cork
National Maritime College of Ireland (NCMI)
One Albert Quay, Cork
The Capitol, Cork
Western Development Commission
XOCEAN, Co Louth
VOYA and VOYA Seaweed Baths, Co Sligo
Carbery Group, Cork
Murphys Ice Cream, Nationwide
Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium, Co Kerry
Blennerville Windmill, Tralee, Co Kerry
Science Foundation Ireland
Údarás na Gaeltachta
Seal Rescue Ireland in Wexford
Milish Bakery, Bundoran, Co. Donegal
CBE, Claremorris, Co. Mayo
Martina Hamilton Jewellery and the Cat & the Moon, Sligo
How you can 'Go Atlantic Blue'
• Decorate your business/home/school with an Atlantic blue colour – add dark blue filters, fairy lights or blue light bulbs in outdoor lights
• Dress in Atlantic blue clothing e.g. T-shirts, wear a blue wig or paint your face dark blue
• Organise your own 'Atlantic Blue' themed event
Share how you 'Go Atlantic Blue'
• Take a photo or video of how you've gone Atlantic Blue and share it on social media platforms. Feel free to share what makes the Atlantic Ocean special to you
• Tag your social media posts with #WorldOceansDay and #GoAtlanticBlue to link with a community of fellow ocean appreciators!
• Tag AORA in your tweets (@AtlanticAll) and also tag @Seafest_ie and @OurOceanWealth if you've room!
For more information
Please contact Sinead Coyne, Communications Manager, Marine Institute, t. 087 947 7090 or e. sinead [dot] coyne [at] marine [dot] ie
Notes to Editors:
AORA's goal is to advance the shared vision of an Atlantic Ocean that is healthy, resilient, safe, productive, understood and treasured so as to promote the wellbeing, prosperity and security of present and future generations. AORA-CSA is an EU Horizon 2020 funded project to support the implementation of the Galway Statement, which was signed at the Marine Institute, Galway, in May 2013.
The Statement established a formal Atlantic Ocean research collaboration between the EU, its member states, the US, Canada and partner countries that builds on existing initiatives and programmes to increase coordination of ocean research co-operation.