It's strange how you can find information sometimes. Last night, I started out looking at a website for 70 MHz.....found a link for information on transverters on an OZ website...then I spotted some 'most wanted locator squares' maps...and that got me onto a page about upcoming 144 MHz DX-peditions!
The above map shows the locator squares in Ireland. Some of the squares like IO51, IO63 and IO74 have a number of amateurs in them who are pretty active so are not so rare. The other ones are not so easy to catch. The squares on the Western seaboard (IO41-44) are all pretty rare while the square in the most North Western tip of Ireland (IO55) is the rarest of all. By all accounts, it is on the EU Top 10 most wanted list!
Well, it turns out that Dirk, ON5GS is going to activate the square on 144 MHz during the Geminids meteor shower in mid-December. The information from the website reads as follows...
"I will be qrv on 2m during BCC contest in IO55 (top-10 EU most wanted) using EI/ON5GS/P with 4 x 6el DK7ZB and 200w from a citroën berlingo-shack in donegal NW-ireland from 10-20 dec 2008. All MS skeds before and after contest and/or EME skeds during the period in moonset/moonrise are welcome on dirk_reyners_AT_hotmail.com or sms ++32477677005 or 14.345 MHz during operation. I will most possibly be qrv on ON4KST chat and DX-cluster via GPRS so you will find me there for a sked also. Please no skeds during contest. My random freq is 144.384MHz good luck may the rocks be with you (...and with me HI) Dirk Reyners ON5GS."
There is a link on the post for a website in Flemish but you can see that he is obviously doing a lot of work getting ready for the trip.
IO55......When you look at a map, it may not be the easiest of squares to activate.
1) Logistics.....anyone coming from Europe will arrive in the South East/East of the country and will have to drive all the ways to the North West corner....not an easy journey.
2) Trying to find a good location in the square.
As you can see from the map, there are a lot of mountains to the South, South-East and East. Trying to find a spot with a low horizon will be tricky. It will be interesting to see the results.