A storm in 1953 halted the construction of the slipway at Gort Na gCapall on the Aran Islands and also sank the Princess Victoria in the Irish Sea when “the stern gates to the car deck were forced open in heavy seas”, with the loss of 132 people (The Irish Times, 5 June 2003, and BBC News, 1 January 1953).

Williams and Hall (2004) document eyewitness accounts from Gort Na gCapall. The storm caused the total destruction of the construction machinery and a large number of megaclasts (up to 2 m in length and 15 m above sea level) were transported so that there was no longer access to the slipway for boat launching. Waves reached breaking heights of approximately 12 to 15 m.

On 16 August 1852 a “Melancholy Accident” occurred at the Glasson Rocks on Inis Mór resulting in the loss of fifteen lives. A group were fishing on the cliffs when “ a sudden swell of the Atlantic swept them off, when they perished before the slightest assistance could be rendered” (The Galway Vindicator, 18 August 1852).

Academia Europaea was founded in 1988 as an international, nongovernmental association of individual scientists and scholars from all disciplines, who are experts and leaders in their own subject areas as recognised by their peers. Today Professor Dias has delivered a lecture on waves...

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The lecture entitled “The fascination of ocean waves” was delivered at 2.00 p.m. in the Congress Centre of WUST (building D-20).