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Displaying items by tag: UK Royal Visit

The Commissioners of Irish Lights were also delighted to welcome The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge yesterday to the Baily Lighthouse, Howth Peninsula (see story: Marine Institute) as part of the UK Royal couple's first official visit to Ireland which concludes today.

According to CIL, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met with Kieran Crowley, Chairman and Yvonne Shields O’Connor, CEO, Irish Lights at the Baily Lighthouse (marking the northern approaches to Dublin Bay). They discussed the long-standing historic relationship between Irish Lights and their General Lighthouse Authority (GLA) partners in the United Kingdom, Trinity House and Northern Lighthouse Board. 

This active partnership sees the three authorities co-operating on a daily basis to deliver a range of services to ensure safe navigation around the Irish and UK coasts, meeting the Irish and UK governments’ obligations under the Safety of Life at Sea Convention.

Yvonne Shields O’Connor, CEO, Irish Lights said: "It is an honour to welcome Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and to acknowledge the close working partnership that exists between Irish Lights and our colleagues in Trinity House and the Northern Lighthouse Board. For over 150 years we have worked in close collaboration to ensure safety at sea for mariners through our network of lighthouses, buoys and electronic aids to navigation. We recognise the hugely valuable work Their Royal Highnesses are doing in relation to climate change and marine conservation, which is very relevant to the service that we provide.”

Afloat adds the visit follows less than a year ago when Princess Anne in April 2019 also visited the Baily Lighthouse in addition to CIL's headquarters in Dun Laoghaire Harbour and boarded the ILV Granuaile (named after the 16th century Irish Pirate Queen from Mayo). Grace O'Malley who was regarded as a rebel, pirate and had 'disloyal' activities sailed to London to meet Queen Elizabeth I at Greenwich Palace in 1593.

Role on to the present day as Princess Anne, The Princess Royal is Master of The Corporation of Trinity House, a position held since May 2011. It was in that same month and year when Queen Elizabeth II made a historic first visit to Ireland.

Trinity House as one of the trio of GLA partners is responsble for the waters off England, Wales, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar, while Northern Lighthouse Board has the seas off Scotland and the Isle of Man. As for the remaining partner, Irish Lights whose mission is the safe navigation at sea and as a maritime organisation delivering essential 24/7 safety and navigation services around the coast to include N. Ireland. 

Published in Lighthouses

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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