Oileáin & Sea Kayaking
When younger he was a competent climber and has many ‘first ascents’ of Irish rock routes to his credit, besides at least nine first ascents of Arctic peaks in both Greenland and in Spitzbergen, where, about 30 years ago, he discovered the sea when four sea kayaks paddled into Magdalena Fjord and changed his view of adventuring and the next part of his life immediately began.
His specific passion within the sport of sea kayaking has always been Irish islands, and for instance he has paddled out to Fastnet, the Great Skellig, the Arans, Tory Island, and even Scotland (Donaghadee / Portpatrick), and camped overnight on most of them.
In more recent years he has done some kayaking abroad as well as among domestic Irish islands. Objectives included Norway’s Lofoten Islands 1994, Cape Farewell 2004 and later Upernavik Isfjord 2007 (both Greenland), west coast of Corsica 2006, the Strait of Gibraltar (Spain / Africa) 2007, before Cape Horn 2008 (Chile). More recently he paddled Giesecke Isfjord in 2016 (northwest Greenland).
He has L5 personal proficiency, L4 sea instructorship, L3 instructorship and REC3 Wilderness First Aid.
In 1991 he was a founder member of, and he led, the Irish Sea Kayaking Association 1995 to 2004
He retired from that position purposefully to devote his time to publishing ‘Oileáin‘, – A Guide to the Irish Islands, published in 2004 by Pesda Press. At that time this book dealt with 313 Irish islands, but the work goes on, and nowadays there are 574 islands dealt with in the text of the second edition, and 591 in 2022 as published in soft copy on the www at www.oileain.org. David’s personal island landing tally now stands at 520, and his free time is divided between walking to keep fit, rock climbing to keep sane, eyeing up his “missing” 71 islands, and his family. He still practises as a Notary Public on occasion. He is married to Sheila and they have four grown up children Justin, Daire, Sarah and Orla, besides 8 grandchildren, and maybe not quite finished just yet?
The publication of “Oileáin a Dó” was launched in Dublin on 7th March 2014 under ISBN 978-1-906095-37-6. It is now in early 2022 commencing a third printrun having sold out the first two, 2,600 altogether so far. “Oileáin a hAon” sold out 3,000 copies.
Áras an Úachtarán and Buckingham Palace jointly announced on 10th April 2014 that President Michael D. Higgins had presented a signed copy of “Oileáin a Dó” to H.R.H. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and heir to the throne of England, on behalf of the Irish people, during a state visit to London.
View, read and/or copy extracts, or just plain enjoy playing with its newest feature (the grid-references are hyperlinks to overhead views of the piers, beaches, headlands, islands mentioned) at View Oileáin or download a simple PDF here , always the bang up to date complete original with no pictures, no frills, just raw data.