#AranFreighters - Ireland’s Iargest domestic coastal cargoship finally returned to Galway-Aran Islands service following more than one month of maintenance carried out in the mid-west port, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The 330 gross tonnage Bláth na Mara operated by Lasta Mara Teoranta, had beforehand had hull works carried out in March at Mooney Boats. The ship was hoisted out of the water at the facility in Killybegs Co. Donegal and transferred by rail away from the quayside for the works.
Afloat had monitored the 36m vessel’s resumption yesterday in bringing essential supplies to all three Aran Islands: Inishmore, Inis Meain and Inis Oirr. This saw a sailing head first for the main island of Inishmore. On completion of discharging cargo in Kilronan Harbour, it was then an anti-clockwise route taken to the smaller isles before returning across Galway Bay.
Also operating these services until this morning was fleetmate Chateau Thierry, a roll on / roll-off vessel that carried out relief cover while the larger vessel received further attention.
As there is no slipway facilities in Galway Port, cargo loading of the ro-ro Chateau Thierry instead required use of its deck-mounted crane to load cargo from the harbour’s outer pier.
Chateau Thierry is to resume routine sailings to the Aran Islands based out of Rossaveel.