Biodiversity Week, Seabed Sanctuary in Bantry:
17 – 26 May 2024


Al’s Diner (Box of Frogs):

🐬 Friday 17 May, 5pm – 7pm:
1) Talk on Marine Ecology, with slideshow Dolf D’hondt and Julia Cooper
2) Presentation by Rob Monaghan on his art and process
West Cafe and Wine Bar:
🐬 17 -27 May, group collection of marine photos and paintings
🐬 15 May – 8 June, marine inspired ceramics, and art display, with information on Marcus Maeder’s bioacoustic research in Roaring Water Bay and Bantry Bay
🐬 Wednesday 22 May, 1pm Dolf giving lunchtime talk and slides, Marine Ecology

29th April 2024

Call for submissions

There will be a group show of marine themed photographs and paintings in Bantry for National Biodiversity Week.  Please send in pics of your work by 2nd May to  or phone 085 821 9484.  For the opening Dolf D’hondt will give a talk about Marine Ecology with slides to illustrate.  See poster above for details, also let Chris know if you would like to make an artist’s presentation about your own work at the opening event.  Because space is limited we also will have a display in the library from 14th – 25th May where we can show ceramics and more bulky works.


17th April 2024

A while since catching up with this blog, there has been a lot happening behind the scenes the last few weeks.  We have begun some interesting and innovative research, and we have plans for an exhibition focusing on sea life during National Biodiversity Week in May, which will be updated this weekend.

Firstly the sad news that Corina Thornton has passed away.  Corina has been an active participant in our steering group, an inspirational artist and musician, and a founder member of Seabed Sanctuary.  Corina will be missed, and remembered by many.  Our thoughts now are with her family.  The link to her death notice:-

August 2023, visiting the site, Corina is centre  frame

24th February 2024

Here are two exhibitions coming soon from artists in this collective

TODAY    24th Feb 2024 at 1pm; at Uillin, West Cork Arts Centre, Skibbereen

7th March – 4th April 2024, at Goethe Institute, Dublin

23rd February 2024

We enjoyed an interesting talk by Prof West on 13th of this month, he tuned into our AGM from Dublin sharing his extensive knowledge of concrete with some advice for underwater sculptures, but unfortunately the recording seems to have become lost in cyberspace.  

For those of us who are disappointed not to be seeing the recording there is an online lecture he gave last year during UCD Trinity’s series of lectures on sustainable building.  Much of the content is similar, but without a focus on underwater sculpture.  We are hoping he will visit us again.

Maybe skip intro, and begin at 9:26

5th February 2024

Maggie McColgan is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting (to be recorded)

Topic: Seabed Sanctuary AGM
Time: 13 Feb, 2024 13:00 – 15:30 

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 589 529 4648
Passcode: Seabed123


12:45 – 15.00

Tuesday 13 February 2024

At Bank House, Main Street, Ballydehob,

and by Zoom link (to be recorded)


      • 12:45 Welcome, tea and coffee
      • 13:00 – Introduce Prof Roger West on Zoom
      • ‘Sculpture making in concrete for marine environment’
      • Q and A to Prof West
      • 14:25 short break
      • 14:30 Introduce AGM
            • Annual Report
            • Financial Report
            • What’s on the wind for 2024?
            • Any Other Business
          • 1500 – 15:30  Close AGM and close Zoom link

Meeting ends at 15:00 – 15:30

24 January 2024

AGM will be mid February, date to be notified soon, in the Bank House at Ballydehob.  Remote access will be by zoom link, details coming soon.

There will be a zoom talk by Prof Roger West with questions and answers time.  The focus of his talk will be sustainable concrete in a marine environment with surface that creates habitats for marine life, and its application in creation of sculpture.

Any topics you would like addressed in his talk, please send your questions by email or here: contact – Seabed Sanctuary Collective


31st December 2023

wishing you all best wishes in 2024 here’s our newsletter to end 2023, it’s been sent out by email, do get in touch if you want to be added to our mailing list:







Newsletter 1,   December 2023

Dear Supporters

As the year draws to a close we are looking back on 2023, recapping key events.  Overall, we were overwhelmed with enthusiastic support for the project.  Hundreds of volunteer hours were spent compiling the foreshore licence application and grant funding submissions, which included:

  • Twenty-six artists’ proposals submitted with the licence application
  • Professional ecological surveys and reports
  • Professional marine engineering reports
  • Group work making maquettes and creating seabed mapping of proposals
  • Numerous dives of the area collecting baseline footage
  • Boat excursions surveying the seascape
  • Scientific papers were written with detailed biodiversity projections
  • Marine underwater photography and filming
  • Creative filming of the area
  • Admin and website development

Highlights of the year included:

  • A great talk: “Seaweed saving the world from climate change and starvation”

from Dr Julie Maguire, was delivered at Streamscapes Aquarium in Coomhola

  • Our grant funding team was formed sourcing possible funding streams, and applications were submitted, unfortunately not successful this year but with plenty of positive feedback
  • Our Foreshore Licence Application was accepted as complete by the Department on 17th We still are waiting for this to be processed.  When we have the licence, more funding streams will be available to us.

Special thanks to:

  • Brian O’Rourke of Bantry Bay Charters facilitated dives and boat tours
  • Rob Monaghan, Visual Artist, as a fundraiser he donated original prints from his Jellyfish research, and gave us a short film of the area
  • Dr Julie Maguire of Bantry Marine Research Station shared her knowledge of the bay
  • Streamscapes: Stephanie O’Toole facilitated workshops, and she shared her expertise on community group frameworks and sourcing funding. Mark Boyden provided the venue
  • Oasis Arts Café: Wies and Paul Cobb provided venue for workshops
  • Juan Lugilde Yáñez PhD wrote a research paper, specific to biodiversity of Bantry Bay
  • Peter McDonnell of Arc Conservation, researched and compiled ecological reports
  • Louis Heath, MSc, provided engineering reports
  • Dolf D’Hondt shared his marine expertise and local knowledge
  • Maggie McColgan of Cork Nature Network gave us enthusiastic and knowledgeable consultations
  • There were numerous professional consultations and advice given to the steering group, for which we extend thanks, too numerous to name, experts on various necessary topics: marine archaeology; legal considerations; ecology; national parks and wildlife; aquaculture; sustainable concrete; navigational lanes; sculpture; etc. You know who you are, so thank you.

Special thanks are also extended to:

  • In response to our post in VAI, twenty-six artists prepared detailed proposals of their sculpture designs, with interest shown from many others
  • Steering group members for their unwavering support and encouragement, and their time and road miles to attend planning meetings

…. and many thanks to all who have offered to deliver talks and workshops, again we had an overwhelming response to our planned programme of talks, but underwhelming funds to follow through.

  • Until we have been successful with our licence application we will focus on talks and workshops in 2024, and continue with appropriate funding applications. Our website will soon be updated, do keep checking it in 2024 for more news

Home – Seabed Sanctuary Collective

Seabed Sanctuary Collective, first AGM

will be held towards the end of January.  It will be planned as a get-together, also with online streaming.  Please check the website for final details of this.

Meanwhile, something each one of us can do is to send an email to the foreshore Licensing Department (see below for link).  We have been waiting since 17 May 2023 for some news or feedback from our application.  We are given to understand that Government Policy dictates the priority of processing offshore renewable energy applications.  Maybe our application is seen as low priority, but if enough of us show support there may be a chance of being assessed sooner.  It will be good if we can build our marine sanctuary while there are still some fish in the sea to benefit from it, and while we are all still young enough to enjoy diving around the sculptures.

Anyone who wants to be further involved we are always open to folks to help so please do make contact.

Wishing you all the best in 2024

Pat  (Chair) and Chris (Coordinator)

 To request info on progress of our licence please write to:

Application reference is FS007497… Seabed Sanctuary Collective… our accepted application was submitted on 17 May 2023


Grilse Gallery

Screen print studio & artist-run gallery in Killorglin, Kerry

Open Wednesday–Sunday 12–5pm or by appointment

Add From Library


Land, a mixed summer show

8 July – 13 August 2023


Artists including Katherine Boucher Beug, Edwina Bracken, Audrey Fleming, Karen Hendy, Con Kelleher, Susan Montgomery, Noël O’Callaghan, Danny Osborne, Aisling Roche and Mary Sheehan. Opened by poet Paddy Bushe whose crafted and inspiring introduction  added to everyone’s appreciation of the exhibition: even some artists admitted to an enhanced perception of their own work following his interpretation.

Rob Monaghan is currently exhibiting screen prints in London at The Brick Lane Gallery.

His collection ‘Effortless Motion’ of limited edition screen prints are selling for 180 pounds per art work. There are 5 different Jellyfish images at 7 prints each, never to be repeated.

For any enquiries, or more details, Rob can be contacted through this site.

Dr Julie Maguire’s talk on 19th May 2023, held at Streamscapes, Coomhola, as part of National Biodiversity Week

Bantry Marine Research Station in cooperation with Seabed Sanctuary Collective

Mark Boyden welcomed Dr Julie Maguire to the Stream School on Friday, for National Biodiversity Week.  Julie’s talk was “Seaweed: saving the world from climate change and starvation.”  

There is a continuing program of biodiversity events this week at the Stream School

Seaweed: saving the world from climate change and starvation

A talk by Dr Julie Maguire, of Bantry Marine Research Station

Friday 19th May, 4pm

Seaweed: saving the world from climate change and starvation

In support of Seabed Sanctuary Collective, and as part of National Biodiversity Week, Julie Maguire will be giving a presentation in Coomhola, in the Streamscapes Aquarium.

31st March 2023

Our application for a foreshore licence has now gathered all necessary information and been submitted.  Again thanks to all the artists’ designs and all the volunteer hours that have made it possible.

Earlier this month we also submitted a bid to the Creative Climate Action Fund with lots of ideas for community consultation events while waiting for the licensing process.  It’s a competitive fund and we will not know the outcome until June, so here’s hoping.


10 January 2023

Our Open Call for sculpture proposals is now closed.  We had an amazing response from many artists, some professional and also from emerging practitioners.  The team are currently reviewing the submissions in preparation to complete our application for a Foreshore Licence.

Thanks for all the support.  Everyone who has submitted a proposal for the sculpture garden will be contacted again in due course.



Open Call

Details as published in

Visual Artists Ireland



Submission deadline:  14:00 hrs    GMT

12th December 2022


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