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Numerous new ferry routes avoiding Welsh ports have been established between Ireland and mainland Europe over the past year because of Brexit, Ireland's foreign affairs minister has said.

Simon Coveney said there were 44 direct routes between Ireland and the EU.

"That figure would have been less than a dozen this time last year," he said.

The UK government said the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic meant it was too early to judge the new trading relationship with the EU.

The use of a so-called land-bridge from Holyhead to Dover had been a vital part of supply chains in and out of Ireland, Mr Coveney told BBC Radio Wales' Sunday Supplement programme .

Land-bridge movements refer to lorries from Ireland crossing Wales and England en route to other EU countries.

BBC News has more including direct sea routes linking Ireland and France. 

Published in Ferry

William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago