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Displaying items by tag: Minister for Transport

#NewFerry - The future of the Valentia Island ferry in Co Kerry remains in doubt as God Met Ons III dating to 1963, easily the country’s oldest domestic ferry, will no longer meets marine safety requirements, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The seasonal service linking Reenard Point on the mainland to Knightstown on Valentia, last year handled an impressive 250,000 passengers and 100,000 cars. The traffic handled by the 15 car capacity ferry on the crossing takes just five minutes to complete.

Commenting to Afloat, Richard Foran of Valentia Island Ferries cited costs to avoid decommissioning the ageing ferry with modification works would be too expensive. This compared to a replacement ferry in the region of €3 million.

Mr. Foran added that they have already consulted a naval architect on the Isle of Wight for designs of a custom-built but larger 18 car capacity ferry. In addition the new ferry would be capable of transporting large coaches unlike the current ferry. He also added to Afloat that they are looking at an Irish yard to build the new ferry. 

Islanders say that without a ferry replacement funded by the Irish Government, the tourism sector would collapse. The €3 million figure is beyond the reach of the island community from which five families established Valentia Island Ferries in 1996, however the operator said they can only contribute €1 million towards the cost of the newbuild.

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross and local independent T.D. Michael Healy Rae last month travelled to Valentia to meet the board of directors of Valentia Island Ferries to discuss possible funding of the new ferry. The ferry firm had previously applied to Fáilte Ireland for €2 million but this failed. Should the newbuild be granted state funding it would be built in time for the 2018 season

Originally, God Met Ons III ran for Dutch owners on the River Maas, but was sold to Valentia Island Ferries to operate the island’s first ever car-ferry service. Previously there had been a cargo boat service on the same route until a bridge was constructed in 1970, towards the west of the island linking Portmagee on the mainland.

Despite the bridge, islanders and tourist alike benefit from the ferry service that reduces 13 miles the distance to Cahersiveen, the nearest large mainland town.

The loop created by both bridge and ferry has been a boost to tourism in recent years since the launch of the Wild Atlantic Way that includes the Skelligs.

Published in Island News

#NaomhEanna - The Minister for Transport is being urged to back a campaign to bring Naomh Eanna back to Galway, writes The Connacht Tribune.

The ship once carried passengers (and freight) between the city and Aran Islands, before being withdrawn from service in 1989. It has been lying derelict in Ringsend, Dublin for over two decades.

However, the engine room of the ship is still operational, and campaigners say if enough funds are raised, it will be possible to sail the vessel back to Galway.

Previous attempts to bring the Naomh Eanna home to Galway suggested that the ship could be a major tourist attraction for the city – by changing it into a floating museum.

The proposed project would cost in the region of half a million euro – but a recent application to Fáilte Ireland has been rejected, and campaigners feel the rejection was unfair.

The campaign group has now written to Minister Shane Ross asking him to intervene. Campaigner Sam Corbett says grant support is crucial if the Naomh Eanna is to return home to Galway.

Afloat adds that this rare surviving example of a Dublin built ship dating to 1958 had faced the prospect of been scrapped, however a campaign was launched to save her several years ago. 

The disposal of the ship was to be undertaken by Waterways Ireland in a disused Georgian graving dock. This historic dry-dock (see proposal to save) is located also in Ringsend, at the Grand Canal Dock Basin from where the veteran vessel languishes. 

Published in Historic Boats

#Downgrade - A move by the Minister for Transport Shane Ross to downgrade Galway Port by signing a ministerial order could signal the death knell for the multimillion euro harbour development – and the entire expansion of the city to the sea.

As The Conncht Tribune writes, Galway City Councillors recently voted unanimously on a proposal calling on Minister Ross not to change Galway Port’s status from a national port to a port of regional significance.

Former government minister Éamon Ó Cuív is adamant that unless Galway remains a top tier port, it could join a long list of infrastructural projects that have been scuppered in the west due to planning difficulties.

The 2013 National Ports Policy stated that Galway Port should be downgraded from a national port to a port of regional significance.

For more on the report, click here.

Published in Galway Harbour

#MinisterVisit - Minister for Transport, Shane Ross paid a visit to the Commissioners of Irish Lights headquarters in Dun Laoghaire Harbour recently.

Irish Lights operate an essential safety navigation service around the island of Ireland aimed at protecting people, property and the environment at sea. Afloat adds this involves the use of an aids to navigation tender, ILV Granuaile, the workhorse of CIL's marine operations which is based in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The facility there includes the main depot for buoy repair and maintenance. 

Minister Ross heard about the range of new technologies that are enabling better navigation services for the mariner and the provision of new services such as environmental and ocean data for improved weather forecasting and planning of commercial activities at sea.

The service ensures that over 300 general aids to navigation (physical and electronic) operate reliably and to international standards around our coast 24/7 and 365 days of the year. Irish Lights also inspects and monitors over 4000 local aids around the coast.

Irish Lights also supports the Great Lighthouses of Ireland initiative which sees almost 200,000 tourists annually visiting working lighthouses. Accommodation is available in selected lighthouses on a year-round basis. 

Published in Lighthouses

#dAmicoGroup - Minister for Transport Paschal Donohue met the owners of the D'Amico Group, Cesare d'Amico and Paolo d'Amico, along with their senior management team in Dublin earlier this week according to the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO).

The Minister welcomed d'Amico's continued commitment to investment in Ireland and interest in the development of the Irish maritime sector.

Minister Donohue stressed the Government's commitment to the growth of the Maritime Industry in Ireland, as encapsulated in the Harnessing Our Ocean's Wealth strategy.

The strategy sets out an ambitious programme of growth ultimately aiming to double the sector's contribution to Ireland's GDP and the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) is working to achieve the commercial targets laid out in the strategy.

d'Amico was one of the first international shipping companies to open up offices in Ireland after Ireland introduced a competitive Tonnage Tax regime in 2003. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, an independent report of the tax regime was launched in October.

The d'Amico Group are now part of the fabric of the Irish Maritime industry and continue to grow their presence in the market.

The IMDO were intrinsically involved in encouraging the d'Amico Group to first open up premises in Ireland in 2004 and continue to support the growth of their investment in Ireland.

D'Amico group currently employs around 40 people in their Dublin office and more than 1,500 globally. The jobs at the Dublin office are highly skilled and have been recruited directly in Ireland.

In addition d'Amico, provide training berths on their vessels to Irish cadets training at the National Maritime College in Ireland.

 

Published in Ports & Shipping

#France-Ireland - Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar has welcomed a new direct French ferry route linking Cherbourg to Dublin as good news for Irish tourism and will build on the success of The Gathering.

"This weekly ferry route from Cherbourg to Dublin will provide tourists from France and mainland Europe with a direct car link into the capital. It will help us to build on the success of The Gathering in promoting Ireland as a visitor destination.

"Ireland is well catered for in terms of aviation access, and new aviation routes are announced on a regular basis. But as an island it's important that we give visitors plenty of options to bring their cars as well. Tourists on driving holidays tend to stay longer than those who fly, and are more likely to travel around the country."

 

Published in Ferry

#Coastguard - Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has given approval for the construction of a new volunteer coastguard station in Doolin, Co Clare.

The €1.8-million project, to be overseen by the Office of Public Works, will be tendered within a matter of weeks, with construction expected to start in early April.

The Doolin unit of the Irish Coast Guard is one of the busiest in the country and operates a cliff rescue team, a boat unit and shoreline search team. The 24-member team is supported by seven additional volunteers located on nearby Inisheer.

The unit was featured on the recent RTÉ programme Ireland’s Search & Rescue conducting cliff and boat rescue operations.

Volunteers currently operate out of a temporary premises and a nearby rented farm shed. The new station will provide a garage area for the storage of boats, cliff rescue, personal equipment and transport as well as changing facilities and an operations room.

Minister Varadkar said: "I am delighted to be able to confirm funding for the new Doolin coastguard station. I am very conscious of the demands placed on the unit and I am keen to provide them with a base to so they can continue to serve their community and the many visitors to the Doolin area, including the Cliffs of Moher.

“In both 2012 and 2011 the Doolin unit responded to over 40 call-outs each year. This is a long-term investment in the Doolin area and acknowledges the efforts and service that the volunteers continue to provide.”

The Doolin coastguard unit is currently awaiting an update on long-delayed plans to redevelop the pier facilities at Doolin, which rescuers argue are "regularly over-congested" in peak tourist periods - though the current plans face opposition from local surfers who fear a negative impact on the renowned Crab Island surf break in the area.

Published in Coastguard

#Registration - Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has surprised Ireland's sailing and boating community by announcing the passing of a Vessels Registration Bill as a priority for 2013.

The proposed legislation is among five transport bills included in the minister's priorities for the year ahead, as published by his department yesterday.

Stakeholders are currently awaiting confirmation from the minister as to the contents and scope of the bill, which would be put forward for public consultation before being published at some point this year.

Legislation for the registration of vessels as been in drafting stages for a number of years, and submissions have been received by previous Governments relating to areas the bill would likely cover such as insurance, VAT avoidance and identification of vessels for search and rescue purposes.

According to a source close to Afloat.ie, among the proposals for the bill is that any vessel entering UK and Ireland waters must inform the coastguard of the names of their passengers and the port of arrival.

"Without boat registration, that is a near impossible task to manage," said the source.

Almost all other EU countries have boat registration legislation except for the UK and Ireland – and pressure is being applied in Britain to bring such registration into law through the UK Border Agency.

Among the stakeholders broadly in favour of vessel registration is the Irish Marine Federation (IMF), which has long called for a mandatory State scheme for identifying recreational vessels in Ireland.

At present all registration of vessels of all sizes, from small sailing boats to container ships, is conducted under the Register of Shipping Act 1955.

Published in News Update

#COASTGUARD - BreakingNews.ie reports that the coastguard stations at Malin Head and Valentia will remain open, following a statement to the Dáil by the Minister for Transport this evening.

Coastal communities in Donegal and Kerry had been protesting against plans to close their respective Irish Coast Guard radio stations in the wake of the 'value for money' report commissioned earlier this year by the office of Transport Minister Leo Varadkar.

Both stations were earmarked for potential closure amid concerns that the minister was allegedly looking at an "alternative technical solution" within his own constituency in Blanchardstown.

However this evening Minister Varadkar assured local communities that their coastguard centres would not be closed, while also expressing disappointment at the treatment of officials from his department at a recent joint committee meeting on the matter.

Meanwhile, the Save Our Station campaign group at Valentia has welcomed the news, telling RTÉ News that "common sense has prevailed".

Spokesperson Anthony O'Connell said that he hoped the minister's move marked the end of any threat to the future of the stations at Valentia and Malin Head.

The news comes just two weeks after an East Londonderry MLA sought the support of Northern Ireland's Minister of State to protect the Malin Head station from the chop.

Published in Coastguard

#COASTGUARD - The Irish Examiner reports today that the Irish Coast Guard has severely criticised the first draft of the 'value for money' report on the coastguard service commissioned by Transport Minister Leo Varadkar.

Senior IRCG management berated the work of the consultants Fisher Associates who were commissioned to undertake the studies into the coastguard and Marine Survey Office.

In their observation of the report's first draft, they cite "uninformed or poor analysis; lack of dialogue on matters surfaced; lack of understanding of where the IRCG has competency or control on particular matters and where they are departmental competencies; laziness in fact finding; ignorance of how coast guards function and failure to recognise command and control issues."

They also slated "sloppiness" in the report's incorrect spelling of the service as the 'Irish Coastguard', arguing that it "reflects very, very poorly on Fisher's ability or competence in these areas".

The news comes ahead of Irish Coast Guard director Chris Reynolds' appearance before the Oireachtas Transport Committee tomorrow (Wednesday 24 October) to discuss the future of the national network of coastguard stations.

Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly, who worked to bring Reynolds before the committee, claims that the coastguard head's agenda is to close the stations at Valentia and Malin Head while retaining the Dublin station and a sub-base in the Transport Minister's constituency.

Elsewhere in the Irish Examiner, Dan Buckley comments on the local campaigns to save the "vital" bases at Valentia and Malin Head.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, coastal communities in Kerry have joined with their counterparts in Donegal to protest mooted plans to close their coastguard radio stations, despite the wealth of local expertise and hundreds of thousands of euro worth of recent investment.

Published in Coastguard
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About Dublin Port 

Dublin Port Company is currently investing about €277 million on its Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR), which is due to be complete by 2021. The redevelopment will improve the port's capacity for large ships by deepening and lengthening 3km of its 7km of berths. The ABR is part of a €1bn capital programme up to 2028, which will also include initial work on the Dublin Port’s MP2 Project - a major capital development project proposal for works within the existing port lands in the northeastern part of the port.

Dublin Port has also recently secured planning approval for the development of the next phase of its inland port near Dublin Airport. The latest stage of the inland port will include a site with the capacity to store more than 2,000 shipping containers and infrastructures such as an ESB substation, an office building and gantry crane.

Dublin Port Company recently submitted a planning application for a €320 million project that aims to provide significant additional capacity at the facility within the port in order to cope with increases in trade up to 2040. The scheme will see a new roll-on/roll-off jetty built to handle ferries of up to 240 metres in length, as well as the redevelopment of an oil berth into a deep-water container berth.

Dublin Port FAQ

Dublin was little more than a monastic settlement until the Norse invasion in the 8th and 9th centuries when they selected the Liffey Estuary as their point of entry to the country as it provided relatively easy access to the central plains of Ireland. Trading with England and Europe followed which required port facilities, so the development of Dublin Port is inextricably linked to the development of Dublin City, so it is fair to say the origins of the Port go back over one thousand years. As a result, the modern organisation Dublin Port has a long and remarkable history, dating back over 300 years from 1707.

The original Port of Dublin was situated upriver, a few miles from its current location near the modern Civic Offices at Wood Quay and close to Christchurch Cathedral. The Port remained close to that area until the new Custom House opened in the 1790s. In medieval times Dublin shipped cattle hides to Britain and the continent, and the returning ships carried wine, pottery and other goods.

510 acres. The modern Dublin Port is located either side of the River Liffey, out to its mouth. On the north side of the river, the central part (205 hectares or 510 acres) of the Port lies at the end of East Wall and North Wall, from Alexandra Quay.

Dublin Port Company is a State-owned commercial company responsible for operating and developing Dublin Port.

Dublin Port Company is a self-financing, and profitable private limited company wholly-owned by the State, whose business is to manage Dublin Port, Ireland's premier Port. Established as a corporate entity in 1997, Dublin Port Company is responsible for the management, control, operation and development of the Port.

Captain William Bligh (of Mutiny of the Bounty fame) was a visitor to Dublin in 1800, and his visit to the capital had a lasting effect on the Port. Bligh's study of the currents in Dublin Bay provided the basis for the construction of the North Wall. This undertaking led to the growth of Bull Island to its present size.

Yes. Dublin Port is the largest freight and passenger port in Ireland. It handles almost 50% of all trade in the Republic of Ireland.

All cargo handling activities being carried out by private sector companies operating in intensely competitive markets within the Port. Dublin Port Company provides world-class facilities, services, accommodation and lands in the harbour for ships, goods and passengers.

Eamonn O'Reilly is the Dublin Port Chief Executive.

Capt. Michael McKenna is the Dublin Port Harbour Master

In 2019, 1,949,229 people came through the Port.

In 2019, there were 158 cruise liner visits.

In 2019, 9.4 million gross tonnes of exports were handled by Dublin Port.

In 2019, there were 7,898 ship arrivals.

In 2019, there was a gross tonnage of 38.1 million.

In 2019, there were 559,506 tourist vehicles.

There were 98,897 lorries in 2019

Boats can navigate the River Liffey into Dublin by using the navigational guidelines. Find the guidelines on this page here.

VHF channel 12. Commercial vessels using Dublin Port or Dun Laoghaire Port typically have a qualified pilot or certified master with proven local knowledge on board. They "listen out" on VHF channel 12 when in Dublin Port's jurisdiction.

A Dublin Bay webcam showing the south of the Bay at Dun Laoghaire and a distant view of Dublin Port Shipping is here
Dublin Port is creating a distributed museum on its lands in Dublin City.
 A Liffey Tolka Project cycle and pedestrian way is the key to link the elements of this distributed museum together.  The distributed museum starts at the Diving Bell and, over the course of 6.3km, will give Dubliners a real sense of the City, the Port and the Bay.  For visitors, it will be a unique eye-opening stroll and vista through and alongside one of Europe’s busiest ports:  Diving Bell along Sir John Rogerson’s Quay over the Samuel Beckett Bridge, past the Scherzer Bridge and down the North Wall Quay campshire to Berth 18 - 1.2 km.   Liffey Tolka Project - Tree-lined pedestrian and cycle route between the River Liffey and the Tolka Estuary - 1.4 km with a 300-metre spur along Alexandra Road to The Pumphouse (to be completed by Q1 2021) and another 200 metres to The Flour Mill.   Tolka Estuary Greenway - Construction of Phase 1 (1.9 km) starts in December 2020 and will be completed by Spring 2022.  Phase 2 (1.3 km) will be delivered within the following five years.  The Pumphouse is a heritage zone being created as part of the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project.  The first phase of 1.6 acres will be completed in early 2021 and will include historical port equipment and buildings and a large open space for exhibitions and performances.  It will be expanded in a subsequent phase to incorporate the Victorian Graving Dock No. 1 which will be excavated and revealed. 
 The largest component of the distributed museum will be The Flour Mill.  This involves the redevelopment of the former Odlums Flour Mill on Alexandra Road based on a masterplan completed by Grafton Architects to provide a mix of port operational uses, a National Maritime Archive, two 300 seat performance venues, working and studio spaces for artists and exhibition spaces.   The Flour Mill will be developed in stages over the remaining twenty years of Masterplan 2040 alongside major port infrastructure projects.

Source: Dublin Port Company ©Afloat 2020. 

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