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Carne is situated close north of Carnsore Point, the southeast corner of Ireland. It offers a small open harbour with a drying pier outside of which vessels may anchor or come alongside to dry out on sand behind the pier.

The harbour provides tolerable anchorage in conditions from northwest round to south where it is highly comfortable. Access is straightforward as the bay has a clear approach from the sea albeit between two unmarked outliers that lie well north and south of the approach path.
Please note

A watchful eye should be maintained at all times for lobster pot markers as they are prolific in this sailing area.

Keyfacts for Carne
Shop with basic provisions availableShore based toilet facilitiesPublic house or wine bar in the areaPleasant family beach in the area

No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementQuick and easy access from open waterNavigation lights to support a night approachSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierNote: Traffic Separation Scheme nearbyLittle air protection

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
3 metres (9.84 feet).

4 stars: Straightforward; when unaffected by weather from difficult quadrants or tidal consideration, no overly complex dangers.
3 stars: Tolerable; in suitable conditions a vessel may be left unwatched and an overnight stay.

Last modified
March 18th 2020

Summary* Restrictions apply

A tolerable location with straightforward access.

Shop with basic provisions availableShore based toilet facilitiesPublic house or wine bar in the areaPleasant family beach in the area

No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementQuick and easy access from open waterNavigation lights to support a night approachSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierNote: Traffic Separation Scheme nearbyLittle air protection

Position and approaches
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Haven position

52° 12.029' N, 006° 20.707' W

This is the anchoring area to the northeast of the pier in about 2 metres LAT.

What is the initial fix?

The following Carne Pier Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
52° 11.910' N, 006° 18.980' W
This is 1.2 miles east of the pier and on the outskirts of Saint Margaret's Bay. It is set on a line between the Splaugh and Fundale markers that take a coasting vessel just inside and to the west of The Bailies, and close outside to the east of Whilkeen and Collough rocks. A course of due west leads into the anchoring area from here.

What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in eastern Ireland’s coastal overview for Dublin Bay to Rosslare Harbour Route location.
  • Vessels approaching from the north should keep outside the Splaugh Rock Buoy.

  • Vessels approaching from the south should keep outside the Fundale Rock Buoy.

  • Pass to the south of Whilkeen Rock to approach the harbour.

  • Do not cut inside Whilkeen Rock as it is foul to the shore.

Not what you need?
Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Below are the ten nearest havens to Carne for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Ballytrent - 0.5 miles NNE
  2. Rosslare Europort (Rosslare Harbour) - 2 miles N
  3. Rosslare Bay (or South Bay) - 2 miles N
  4. Kilmore Quay - 5.6 miles WSW
  5. Wexford Harbour - 5.8 miles NNW
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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Please use our integrated Navionics chart to appraise the haven and its approaches. Navionics charts feature in premier plotters from B&G, Raymarine, Magellan and are also available on tablets. Open the chart in a larger viewing area by clicking the expand to 'new tab' or the 'full screen' option.

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What's the story here?
Carne Pier and beach
Image: Michael Harpur

Carne is a small open harbour that is located in the south end of St Margret’s Bay on the southeast corner of County Wexford, about three miles south of Rosslare Europort and two miles north of Carnsore Point. It has a small village with a tidal pier that is used by a handful of local lobstermen. During the summer its Blue Flag beach attracts many visitors and holiday goers.

Carne Pier
Image: Michael Harpur

Carne affords a good anchorage for leisure craft with offshore winds but is completely exposed to anything from north round east to south and when the wind is southward of west a heavy swell rolls in. Outside of these conditions, it is a well-protected anchorage with good amenities onshore.

How to get in?
Carne's small pier at the south end of St Margaret’s Bay
Image: Michael Harpur

Convergance Point Use eastern Ireland’s coastal overview for Dublin Bay to Rosslare Harbour Route location for seaward approaches.

Initial fix location From the initial fix track in due west to the pier area. At night the pier exhibits a light, Fl.R.3s6m4M, that is visible for four sea miles. The track in passes in between the two rock groups that flank St Margaret’s Bay; the Whilkeen Rocks, situated to the north, and Collough Rock, situated to the south.

Whilkeen Rock with the shadow of its foul ground extending shoreward
Image: Burke Corbett

Awash at high-water springs and drying to about 2.5 metres Whilkeen Rock is situated 800 metres out from the shore and can almost always be seen. It forms the extremity of a reef that partially uncovers at low water with foul ground extending ashore for a distance of 400 metres to the northeast and east of it.

Whilkeen Rock – unmarked position: 52° 12.234’N, 006° 20.051’W

Fundale Buoy with Carnsore Point in the backdrop
Image: Burke Corbett

A mile to the south of Whilkeen, just under a mile north-by-east of the Fundal Buoy, lies Collough Rock is located 0.6 miles east of Crossfintan Point. Incorrectly marked on British Admiralty charts with the symbol indicating 'awash at the level of Chart Datum' Collough Rock is a substantial rock and although mostly covered it dries to 0.9 metres at LWS. It is steep-to but foul ground extends 0.2 mile northeast and east of Collough Rock.

Collough Rock – unmarked position: 52° 11.450’N, 006° 19.803’W

Carne Pier with its extended breakwater
Image: Michael Harpur

Haven location Prepare to let go once 100 metres or so offshore of the pierhead and find a suitable area to the northeast of the pierhead according to draft and conditions. Holding over clean sand is excellent. Local fishermen have moorings off the harbour head that they are usually delighted to share, do however ask local boatmen for permission to use them.

Boats on local moorings off the pier
Image: Burke Corbett

Carne pier dries up to three quarters at low water. However, there could be just under a metre at any time, depending on silting and dredging near the outer end of the pier at low water. Many lobster boats use this area of the pier so vessels planning to come alongside should seek the advice of local boatmen.

Boats dried out inside Carne Pier
Image: Michael Harpur

The extended breakwater has been a recent addition to Carne pier and it has dramatically reduced swell conditions along the wall. This makes drying out on the hard flat sand there a possibility for vessels that can take to the hard. The pier has a slipway that is only available at high water.

The slipway at the root of the pier
Image: Michael Harpur

Why visit here?
Carne, also known as Carna or in Irish Carnach is thought to derive its name from the Celtic word Carn, or more correctly An Carn, pronounced 'karn', which means 'a pile of stones'. These were often used to mark a burial site or provide a coastal navigation marker and the Celtic word has been borrowed into English as 'cairn'. John O'Donovan noted in 1838, in his Ordnance Survey Parish Namebooks, that Carne was called Cárnach meaning 'abounding in carns or heaps'. Close to Ireland’s low and indistinct southeastern-most headland, it would not be surprising that there was a marker of some sort sited here.

On this quiet and modest corner of Ireland, overlooked by Tuskar Rock Lighthouse, Carne is a small quiet and tranquil hamlet by any standard and it has a distinct feeling of remoteness about it. It is difficult to imagine that this quiet out-of-the-way backwater was, in the 1970s, a flashpoint for a national environmental outcry.

Christy Moore
Image: Public Domain
At the time the area was the proposed site for one, and eventually four, nuclear power stations to be used to produce electricity. The plans were first advanced in 1968 but the Irish Government only began to progress them in earnest after the 1973 energy crisis. A massive anti-power plant campaign took root nationally that also drew in some international support. The anti-nuclear and environmental groups organised a series of rallies that reached their seminal moments in a series of Carnsore Point concerts.

The concerts ran each August from 1978 to 1981 and featured the cream of the crop of the Irish musical scene who supported the cause. They included traditional legends like Clannad, Andy Irvine, Liam Weldon, Donal Lunny, Paddy Glackin who were backed up by soulful rock group Stagalee and Dublin New Wave bands Sacre Bleu, The Atrix and The Sinners. Amongst these Ireland's legendary folk singer Christy Moore stood central and Wexford writer Jim 'Doc' Whelan presented Christy with a song he wrote called 'Nuke Power' that Christy loved it and began performing it at gigs. The concerts were a massive success and served to bring to public notice the whole question of nuclear power in Ireland. In the face of the national outcry, the government’s nuclear plans were discreetly dropped.

In 2003 Carnsore Point became home to a number of wind generating stations, run by a subsidiary of the Electricity Supply Board. Christy Moore later wrote of the events that took place at Carnsore Point in his 2000 autobiography 'One Voice': It was my first time to become directly involved in a political campaign, and I was to meet many people who became lifelong friends and a few who became somewhat less than that. The festival was a huge success and opened my eyes to the potential of people power. It was a wonderful collective and to this day I still try to carry the message of Carnsore Point in my everyday life.

Carnsore Point's wind farm today
Image: Michael Foley via CC BY-NC 2.0

Today Carne is a very quiet location where a few lobstermen ply their trade from the pier. The harbour’s safe sandy beach, adjoining St Margaret’s Strand, brings good custom to the local caravan park. During a sunny summer spell, the beaches can get busy with kite surfers, families paddling and sea kayakers, but come evening time there will only be the odd local dog-walker about.

Remains of Our Lady's Island monastery
Image: David Brookes

For those interested in striding out, Carnsore Point is a 4 km, or about a 50-minute walk. Slightly further afield is Our Lady's Island Lake which takes about an hour. This is the site of a monastery dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, on what was formerly a sea inlet. The brackish lake is technically a back-barrier seepage lagoon, one of only two in Ireland with the other being the nearby Tacumshin Lake. It has no outlet, but is separated from the Atlantic Ocean at the southern end by a sand and gravel bar 200 metres wide. Saltwater seeps through the barrier, while freshwater flows into the lake from run-off from the land. The lake is an important wildfowl reserve particularly attractive to bird watchers of unique birds that only breed here. The popular Lobster Pot restaurant, about 2 km from the pier, is passed on the way and it may provide an opportunity for those keen to sample some of Carne Pier’s harvest in a nice atmosphere.

Sunset over Our Lady's Island Lake
Image: Emmet & Kathy

From a boating perspective, Carne is a handy bolthole to wait out a tide for a few hours and a comfortable berth in a northwesterly to which Rosslare is exposed. Likewise, it is an ideal place to swing on anchor for a few nights in a nice quiet tranquil location. The Carne locals are very welcoming and with a pub plus a shop nearby, the cruising necessities are a short stroll up from the pier.

What facilities are available?
Carne is a quiet little anchorage with very little else apart from the pier and a pub. There is a public toilet on the pier itself and the pub is a short stroll to the north of the pier. Continuing beyond the pub there is a small shop that caters to the caravan park in the summertime. Rosslare Harbour with trains and bus services to Dublin is only a 10 to 15 fifteen minutes’ drive from Carne and Wexford town is 30 minutes away.

Any security concerns?
Never known an issue to have occurred in Carne. Unusually for such a small harbour it has 4 x 7 CCTV

With thanks to:
Phil Murphy, Kilmore Quay Harbour Master. Photography with thanks to Burke Corbett and Michael Harpur.

Christy Moore, Nuke Power

Carne Pier in the wintertime to the soundtrack of Christy Moore

A photograph is worth a thousand words. We are always looking for bright sunny photographs that show this haven and its identifiable features at its best. If you have some images that we could use please upload them here. All we need to know is how you would like to be credited for your work and a brief description of the image if it is not readily apparent. If you would like us to add a hyperlink from the image that goes back to your site please include the desired link and we will be delighted to that for you.

Add your review or comment:

William Wheatley wrote this review on May 23rd 2015:

In the fourth paragraph, below the picture of Carnsore Point wind-farm, it states that Fundale rock is situated 600 mtrs west northwest of Carnsore point. This should be corrected to read 600 mtrs to northeast x north or Carnsore Point. Apart from this minor mistake I think that "Footsteps" is a brilliant tool to use for trip planning around Ireland. Many thanks. William.

Average Rating: Unrated

Unknown wrote this review on Mar 9th 2016:

Thanks William Please feel free to mention any detail like this that you see. We love to be told where we have got it wrong so we can quickly get it right. I had corrected it some time back and was wondering if we should add a special corrections process. As it happens we thought the comments field would be the most transparent forum and hence my late response. Thank you for your kind words. You will probably see many new innovations as we look at footsteps every day and ask, one simple question, how can this be better?

Average Rating: Unrated

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