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Displaying items by tag: Drogheda Port Company

#droghedamaritime – The third annual Irish Maritime Festival took over Drogheda last weekend. The flotilla of ships sailed into Drogheda on Friday afternoon and from that moment on the sun shone. The Festival, hosted by Louth County Council and Drogheda Port Company, saw over 40,000 visitors come through the gates and enjoy all the fun.

"The 2015 Irish Maritime Festival was bigger and better than ever before. Our aim is to grow the Festival to become recognised on the national calendar of events and this year moved us ever closer to that aim." explained Mary T. Daly of Louth County Council "Working with Drogheda Port Company, we bring the structure and the organisation but the local community bring the personality, fun and action. It was just brilliant to see so many community groups involved in making the Festival such a success."

Speaking about the action on, in and above the water Chair of Drogheda Port Company Denis Moynihan continued "The Festival featured a number of epic battles including the Boyne Swim, The Boyne Boat Race, Howth-Drogheda Yacht Race, the Battle Over The Boyne Tug of War and The East Coast Chowder Championship. We were delighted to welcome athletes and vessels from all over the country to compete here at the Festival. The victories were hard won and well done to one and all."

All weekend the kids laughed, the pirates battled, the chefs cooked and the huge ferris wheel spun.

Karen Healy, event organiser continued "There was a wonderful atmosphere all weekend. We loved seeing so many visitors from near and far enjoying all that Drogheda has to offer. The music stages were a huge hit with bands, singers and dancers from all over the North East creating a soundtrack for the Festival. The beautiful ships were the focal point and, as always, the pirates brought action and adventure to the water."

The Irish Maritime Festival, in association with Maxol, is a massive undertaking but the outcome of all the plans was a fun, lively festival that was enjoyed by so many. "The support of sponsors, both local and national, is of vital importance in helping us grow The Irish Maritime Festival. We are so grateful to sponsors, media and event partners who helped us to deliver this huge event. And of course, the event wouldn't exist without the support of the public who make all the months of planning and hard work so worthwhile. Roll on The Irish Maritime Festival 2016 ..." concluded Louth County Council's Mary T. Daly.


Arrival of the Morgenster


Arrival of the RNLI


Boats on the Boyne


Dueting Pirates


Iron Man in Action


Piper leads Sailors to Maritime Blessing in St. Peters



Published in Maritime Festivals

#sailtraining – The Drogheda Sail Training Bursary Scheme for 2015 in conjunction with the Irish Maritime Festival has been announced. On Tuesday last (18th November) the Drogheda Port Company and Sail Training Ireland hosted an information evening for school principals and local leaders in the education and youth work sectors on the scheme.

The main objective of the evening was to bring the scheme to the attention of the various schools and groups and to encourage them to nominate trainees for the programme for 2015 and beyond.

The scheme was established in 2013 by Drogheda Port Company and Sail Training Ireland in conjunction with the inaugural Maritime Festival and it is kindly sponsored by a number of local and international businesses. It is designed to potentially change lives by providing access to sea-going voyages for young people from all backgrounds aged between 16-17yrs.

Although Sail Training involves participants undertaking voyages on tall ships as part of the working crew; it is not all about sailing. The purpose is to allow them the opportunity to develop as individuals and gain a real sense of confidence, resilience, adventure, and in most cases this will have a profound effect on their lives. The unique training programme on board the ship is carefully designed by Sail Training Ireland, the national sail training organisation. There is a lot of passion and effort put into ensuring the selected trainees have an experience they will take with them through life.

This quote was taken from Carolanna Foley, a trainee on the inward voyage in June 2014. 'Now we stand here, not only as shipmates but as friends, capable of tying at least three important knots with our eyes closed, navigating by point, wind and compass, and enlightened by the knowledge that the only rope on a ship called a rope is in fact the bell rope!'

Speakers on the night included Michael Byrne, manager of Sail Training Ireland and Jonathan O'Brien, programme co-ordinator, Spirit of Oysterhaven.

The voyages next year will take place during the Irish maritime Festival in June and will again be on board the only Irish sail training vessel Spirit of Oysterhaven. Information packs are available in local secondary schools and youth group organisations. 

Sail Training Ireland is also currently seeking leaders with experience in residential youth work or similar. If this opportunity interests you or indeed you would like to be involved as a sponsor of the scheme.

Published in Tall Ships

#DredgingDrogheda - Most ships serve a career spanning three-four decades, however Hebble Sand still remains in service more than half a century later and in the same role since 1963, as a dredger carrying out her latest work at Drogheda Port, writes Jehan Ashmore.

As previously reported on, the 757 tonnes Hebble Sand was sold to Abco Marine in 2012 following her sale by Dublin Port Company, has been working along the banks of the Boyne between the town quays and out to the mouth of the river. In recent years Londonderry Harbour Commissioners suction-dredger Lough Foyle has been contracted to carry out this work. 

When sold to Abco Marine, the veteran grab-hopper dredger headed for Campbeltown on the Mull of Kintyre, however during her previous career with Dundalk Port Company until she and company assets were transferred to Dublin Port Company, the dredger worked in other Irish ports, harbours and for marine infrastructure projects such as the Samuel Beckett swing-bridge in Dublin.

Remarkably despite serving a career over five decades, she still retains her original name since her launch from Richard (Shipbuilders) of Lowestoft who built her for British Dredging.

So with less than two months to go, Drogheda's town quays will be hosting The Irish Maritime Festival (13, 14 and 15 June) and which is to welcome six tallships, among them the 110 year old, Bessie Ellen. She is only one of three remaining classic West Country trading ketches from over 600 such traditional sail cargoships that traded in Irish Sea and also to Scandinavia.

By coincidence, Bessie Ellen and Hebble Sand participated at the last Dublin Docklands Maritime Festival held in 2010, where the vessel which was kept in very good condition was open to the public.

Her presence along the Liffey was a most unusual vessel to have welcoming visitors during that tallships festival and such efforts should be encouraged to broaden the mix of vessels for the public to experience.


Published in Drogheda Port

#maritimefestivals – A pirate battle on the Boyne will kick off The Irish Maritime Festival – a spectacular celebration of all things seafaring which takes place in Drogheda from June 13 to 15.

A feast of maritime fun including the Boyne Boat Race, show-stopping water sports, a Boyne swim, a maritime pavilion plus a host of cultural and family entertainment will accompany the arrival of six classic sailing ships of a bygone era to Drogheda port.

The majestic sail-powered vessels visiting the port include three ketches – the Bessie Ellen, built in 1904, the Irene, which dates from 1907, and the Keewaydin, built in 1913.
They will be joined by the 80-year-old schooner Soteria, the Baltic trader Ruth and the sail schooner Vilma.
"The Irish Maritime Festival is going to be even bigger and better than the very successful tall ships event last year which attracted over 45,000 visitors to the town," said Joan Martin, Director of Services at Drogheda Borough Council.

The event will start with a bang when a horde of buccaneering pirates re-enact a full-scale battle complete with real cannon fire, following a maritime sail parade up the Boyne.

Festivalgoers will be spoiled for choice with funfairs on the quays, boat and canoe trips on the river, stunning watersports displays, boat-building workshops, stand-up paddle boarding races and a maritime pavilion packed full of food, art, culture and kiddies fun zones.

Saturday sees another Battle of the Boyne take place as swimmers take to the river for the inaugural Boyne Swim, a 2.7 km course starting in Mell and finishing south of the Viaduct.

That day also features the Boyne Boat Race with rowing clubs from around the country taking part.

Watersport fans are in for a treat with regular world-class displays of jet skiing, water skiing, and wakeboarding plus expert demonstrations of jet-powered flyboarding.

"The festival is about giving people the chance to really enjoy the river," said Paul Fleming, CEO of Drogheda Port Company.

Onshore at Drogheda Port a revamped warehouse will be transformed into the maritime pavilion, featuring a temporary beach area and a real food village celebrating local artisan food producers, along with art, photography, maritime history and kids play zones.

The Irish Navy will be in attendance at the maritime enterprise, education and careers zone.

The Festival sees the return of the Drogheda Tall Ships bursary scheme by Drogheda Port Company and Sail Training Ireland with local young people given the chance to be part of a once-in-a-lifetime on-board sailing experience for a week.

Hosted by Drogheda Port and organised by Drogheda Borough Council, The Irish Maritime Festival has been kindly sponsored by Coca-Cola, Aura Leisure Centre, Flogas and Irish Rail.

Published in Maritime Festivals

#LongestShip - At over 420ft long, the Russian cargship Pycny-5 (Rusich-5) became the longest ever vessel to pass under the Dublin-Belfast railway viaduct that looms high above the River Boyne at the town quays of Drogheda Port, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 4,970 tonnes vessel berthed in the port last Friday along the town's Ballast Quay and was assisted by the ports environmental launch Boyne Protector.

The cargoship was 45ft longer than the previous longest vessel, understood to be a sister of Rusich-5, which a few years ago had the accolade of the longest vessel to berth at the port's downriver facility at the Tom Roe Container Terminal. The terminal is located on the north bank of the Co. Meath port.

Due to the extreme length of Rusich-5, she had to navigate astern when entering the mouth of the Boyne as it was longer than the width of the historic river when at the town quays and was unable from turning.

Rusich-5 departed on Saturday with an export cargo of refuse-derived fuel (RDF) which was bound for the Danish port of Koge south of Copenhagen.

Her homeport is St. Petersburg and she is one 12 sisters designed also for inland navigation along Russian waterways.


Published in Drogheda Port

#TallShips -Funding will be made available for 20 young people from Drogheda to sail at reduced rates during the Tall Ship Sailing Voyages which is to involve six tall ships sailing from Liverpool to the Irish port.

As previously reported on, the event is part of the Drogheda Fringe and Maritime Tall Ships Festival (4-6 May), when the tall ships sail from Merseyside to the Co. Louth port between 28 April-3 May.

The vessels will be open to the public open during the festival Bank Holiday Weekend. On the following day of 6 May, a 'Parade of Sail' is to see the tallships depart the Boyne.

Sail Training Ireland and Drogheda Port Company have worked together to raise sponsorship from local businesses in Drogheda to part-fund voyages for young people aged 16-30 to sail across the Irish Sea.

Bursary's of €250 are being allocated through local organisations that work with young people, community, charity and voluntary organisations.

This brings the voyage cost to €135 per person. Any organisations such as youth groups, sports-clubs, schools, charities etc that are interested in nominating their members should contact Sail Training Ireland. Bursaries will be administered on a case by case basis.

The voyages are also available in general to anyone aged 16-99. Visit for information these and other voyages.

If you are interested in taking part in this voyage please contact Sail Training Ireland at: [email protected] or (01) 8876046 / 086 0346038


Published in Tall Ships

#BusyPort – Within the last 48 hours, Drogheda Port will have had nine cargoships that have either docked or lay at anchor, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The busy shipping scene is just a snapshot taken so far in early 2013 and follows the ports handling of more than 1m tonnes of cargo last year.

Export volumes and product types continue to increase as Irish companies seek to export and rely less on the home market. A number of specialist machine and metal fabrication products have recently been shipped from the port.

These nine cargoships have sailed across the Bay of Biscay and as far as the Baltic Sea and carrying a diverse range of imports and exports as outlined below.

Merle which arrived from Passajes, northern Spain with steel, Sergey Kuznetsov, a Russian flagged vessel berthed with bulk-cargo and Amazon Diep laden with timber.

A further three vessels, each loaded with bulk-cargos are the Sagabank, having sailed from Hamburg, Wilson Reef, owned by Norwegian owners and sailed from Rotterdam, while Nephrite had come from further afield having departed Klipeda in Lithuania.

The remaining trio of vessels all with export cargoes are Richelieu, which sailed from Liverpool to load machinery, Arklow Ruler, having transitted the Manchester ship canal, to load bulk cargo and Hohe Bank from Ayr to load fabricated units.

As demonstrated the shipping industry sector involves many ports, varying routes distances and variety of cargoes, not to mention the national backround of the ships themselves.


Published in Drogheda Port

#DroghedaTALLSHIPS – Drogheda Port is to welcome an inaugural gathering of tallships during the Drogheda Fringe Festival in May, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The sight of these tallships heading up the Boyne and to berth along the town's quay's, will be eagerly awaited and with the sense of adventure that goes with it.

The public will be able to board the six tallships along the Ballast and Deepwater Quays, on the Bank Holiday weekend of (4-5 May), before the flotilla head for Liverpool.
In fact, Drogheda, is the first port of call for these vessels which are also to visit Dublin, Belfast, Cobh, Gloucester, Liverpool, Whitehaven and Warrenpoint during May and June.

The visit of the tallships to the Co. Louth port, as previously reported on, is part of Sail Training Ireland's programme of sail training voyages in 2013, where there are more than 500 berths available, for details visit this LINK. It will also be possible to book a passage from Liverpool to Drogheda on one of these traditional sailing ships, just as it was in the 1800's!

Paul Fleming CEO said "Drogheda Port Company is delighted to be hosting the inaugural Tall Ships event. The port has a commercial heritage going back to 1790 and a historical one much further. The soft values of seaports are incredibly important to their local area, and the port community is fully supportive to the opening up of the town to tourism and recreation through the river and our port.

Following on from the first ever cruise ship to call to Drogheda Port, with the arrival of the 122 passenger 'Clipper Adventurer' last year, port officials are pro-actively engaged with tourism interests with a view to developing maritime tourism infrastructure side by side with our important commercial activities.

"Port towns and cities stand apart, and by their nature tend to be more cosmopolitan and welcoming with a unique selling point for tourism. This year will be a significant maritime year for Drogheda, and the Boyne will continue to surprise and demonstrate its true value to the locality".

Local TD Gerald Nash said "the Tall Ships will give us a visual reminder of the past but also a glimpse into the future. We need to maximise the potential of our river in terms of tourism and leisure facilities." It will provide a huge boost to Drogheda not only in terms of visitor numbers and the knock on effect to the local economy, but also in terms of the sheer pleasure it will bring to the people.

Published in Tall Ships

#DroghedaPort – Over 1m tonnes of cargo was handled in 2012 by the Drogheda Port Company.

According to the Co. Louth port, this level of cargo outperformed the Irish port sector in terms of year on year throughput growth.

Throughputs increased by 95% on last years volumes and it is the first time since 2007 that the port handled over one million tonnes of cargo.

The latest national volumes indicate that the volume of port and shipping traffic through the Republic of Ireland showed little growth in the third quarter of 2012 according to the figures released by the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO).

The latest analysis of national traffic data indicates that two of the five principal freight segments returned to growth in the third quarter, two declined and one remained unchanged.

Against this backdrop Drogheda Port's volume growth is particularly impressive. Export volumes performed well with minerals, construction bulks and agri-trades all increasing.

The company is continuing to provide a competitive operational base to its many customers and attract new business with increased flexibility and facilities.

Nationally the outlook for the sector in 2013 remains challenging as continued uncertainty in the European and wider Global Economy continues to weaken market demand and impact on consumer confidence.

Commenting on the ports performance CEO Mr Paul Fleming said "The company is pleased to report that trade volumes increased significantly in 2012 and we will continue to grow volumes in 2013 in specific market sectors. It is also noteworthy that the port is playing a central role in facilitating the national export lead recovery."

He also noted "The company continues to support the local tourist economy with the first ever cruise call (as previously reported on of the Clipper Adventurer) in 2012. A number of new maritime tourism initiatives will be announced in 2013 to support and stimulate the local economy."

Published in Drogheda Port

#DREDGING- Since the weekend dredging operations at the entrance to Drogheda Port on the River Boyne have begun and will continue for approximately four weeks, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Drogheda Port Company have contracted Londonderry Port & Harbour Commissioners trailer suction dredger 'Lough Foyle' to carry out dredging maintenance work at the river mouth and seaward approaches to the Boyne estuary.

The dredging operations will be carried out twice daily, approximately 4 hours before high water to 2 hours after high water. For further details of operations, the port has issued a marine notice which can be viewed under the heading 'marine' on the homepage

Lough Foyle is a 848 gross tonnes vessel which has served in Dutch waters as the former Saeftinge and was built in 1979. The 75m vessel has a hopper capacity of 850m3 /1,300 tons.

She is no stranger to the east coast port, for example in 2010 she undertook work which involved removal of sand accumulating at Drogheda Bar following a spate of south-easterly gales.

Published in Drogheda Port
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Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.