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Shannon Foynes Port: The 'Aberdeen' of the Irish Atlantic Rim (PODCAST)

6th May 2021
Capt Hugh Conlon, Shannon Foynes harbourmaster
Capt Hugh Conlon, Shannon Foynes harbourmaster

The Aberdeen of the Irish Atlantic rim – that’s the potential future for Shannon Foynes, the State’s second port after Dublin.

It faces an exciting future, with ESB’s Moneypoint site in County Clare to be transformed into a green energy hub, and plans by the ESB and Norwegian partner Equinor for a floating offshore wind farm of 1,400MW off the Clare and Kerry coast.

A report published in May 2020 by renewable energy consultants Carbon Trust said that not one of 21 ports and harbours in Ireland was capable of anchoring a construction project for offshore wind.

The ESB-Equinor joint-venture is Ireland’s largest land or sea based wind-farm with an associated hydrogen plant at Moneypoint   The ESB-Equinor joint-venture is Ireland’s largest land or sea-based wind-farm with an associated hydrogen plant at Moneypoint Photo: SFPC

However, Shannon Foynes discounts that, with both space and deep water; and it believes that offshore renewable energy’s development will offer opportunities for a number of Irish ports and harbours along the west coast, including Galway and Killybegs, Co Donegal.

Last year, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan also committed to reinstating the 40 km Limerick to Foynes rail link.

Capt Hugh Conlon is Shannon Foynes harbourmaster, and as part of our occasional series on ports, he spoke to Wavelengths about his port’s future, about the past year with Covid 19, about the development of recreational activity – and the health of the estuary’s dolphins.

Listen to Wavelengths here

Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Search and Rescue: True stories of Irish Air-Sea Rescues and the Loss of R116 (2022); Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004); and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010). She is also co-producer with Sarah Blake of the Doc on One "Miracle in Galway Bay" which recently won a Celtic Media Award

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Afloat's Wavelengths Podcast with Lorna Siggins

Weekly dispatches from the Irish coast with journalist Lorna Siggins, talking to people in the maritime sphere. Topics range from marine science and research to renewable energy, fishing, aquaculture, archaeology, history, music and more...