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Displaying items by tag: Galway ferry

13th January 2011

Buzzing Across Galway Bay?

A new ferry route has been proposed for Galway Bay, between Ballyvaghan at the north end of the Burren in County Clare, and Galway City in the famous Bay's northeast corner writes WM Nixon. The Clare village is at the head of its own bay within the shelter of Black Head, Galway Bay's southwest headland. A pretty place, Ballyvaghan is heavily reliant on providing hospitality for visitors drawn to the unique attractions of the Burren region, but the locals feel that the traffic holdups in the 50 km drive around from Galway can act as a disincentive for tourists.

Then too, the proposed 12-seater fast ferry – which could make the eleven mile crossing in 30 minutes or less – would be an attraction in itself. Having savoured the convenient waterfront charms of Galway City – from which they can already take popular boat trips on Lough Corrib – it's easy to believe that visitors would enjoy a quick sea voyage to somewhere entirely different.

Galway Bay Hop spokeswoman Gwen Ryan of Ballyvaghan claims that the ferry would also be useful for commuters travelling daily to work in the thriving commercial hub around the city. Then too, the fact that the ferry is of a manageable size means that it could also be used for group hire to visit many of the other small tidal ports around Galway Bay such as Kinvara and Barna, and perhaps even take in the legendary oyster pub Moran's of the Weir near Kilcolgan.

The idea first emerged from a Community Think-in at Ballyvaghan in the Spring of 2010, and if a feasibility study gives the right signals, the service could be operational by next year.

Published in Galway Harbour

Galway Port & Harbour

Galway Bay is a large bay on the west coast of Ireland, between County Galway in the province of Connacht to the north and the Burren in County Clare in the province of Munster to the south. Galway city and port is located on the northeast side of the bay. The bay is about 50 kilometres (31 miles) long and from 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) to 30 kilometres (19 miles) in breadth.

The Aran Islands are to the west across the entrance and there are numerous small islands within the bay.

Galway Port FAQs

Galway was founded in the 13th century by the de Burgo family, and became an important seaport with sailing ships bearing wine imports and exports of fish, hides and wool.

Not as old as previously thought. Galway bay was once a series of lagoons, known as Loch Lurgan, plied by people in log canoes. Ancient tree stumps exposed by storms in 2010 have been dated back about 7,500 years.

It is about 660,000 tonnes as it is a tidal port.

Capt Brian Sheridan, who succeeded his late father, Capt Frank Sheridan

The dock gates open approximately two hours before high water and close at high water subject to ship movements on each tide.

The typical ship sizes are in the region of 4,000 to 6,000 tonnes

Turbines for about 14 wind projects have been imported in recent years, but the tonnage of these cargoes is light. A European industry report calculates that each turbine generates €10 million in locally generated revenue during construction and logistics/transport.

Yes, Iceland has selected Galway as European landing location for international telecommunications cables. Farice, a company wholly owned by the Icelandic Government, currently owns and operates two submarine cables linking Iceland to Northern Europe.

It is "very much a live project", Harbourmaster Capt Sheridan says, and the Port of Galway board is "awaiting the outcome of a Bord Pleanála determination", he says.

90% of the scrap steel is exported to Spain with the balance being shipped to Portugal. Since the pandemic, scrap steel is shipped to the Liverpool where it is either transhipped to larger ships bound for China.

It might look like silage, but in fact, its bales domestic and municipal waste, exported to Denmark where the waste is incinerated, and the heat is used in district heating of homes and schools. It is called RDF or Refuse Derived Fuel and has been exported out of Galway since 2013.

The new ferry is arriving at Galway Bay onboard the cargo ship SVENJA. The vessel is currently on passage to Belem, Brazil before making her way across the Atlantic to Galway.

Two Volvo round world races have selected Galway for the prestigious yacht race route. Some 10,000 people welcomed the boats in during its first stopover in 2009, when a festival was marked by stunning weather. It was also selected for the race finish in 2012. The Volvo has changed its name and is now known as the "Ocean Race". Capt Sheridan says that once port expansion and the re-urbanisation of the docklands is complete, the port will welcome the "ocean race, Clipper race, Tall Ships race, Small Ships Regatta and maybe the America's Cup right into the city centre...".

The pandemic was the reason why Seafest did not go ahead in Cork in 2020. Galway will welcome Seafest back after it calls to Waterford and Limerick, thus having been to all the Port cities.

© Afloat 2020

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