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Review of National Ports Policy - Closing Date For Submissions 15th January, 2024

10th January 2024
The Department of Transport’s ‘Review of the National Ports Policy' consists of a two-part consultation process, noting final submissions from stakeholders will close on 15th January, 2024. Above a bulk-carrier berthed at an Irish Port.
The Department of Transport’s ‘Review of the National Ports Policy' consists of a two-part consultation process, noting final submissions from stakeholders will close on 15th January, 2024. Above a bulk-carrier berthed at an Irish Port. Credit: Jehan Ashmore

The Department of Transport back in October launched 'A review of the National Ports Policy' which consists of a two-part consultation process, noting that final submissions from stakeholders will close on 15th January, 2024.

Part 1 will involve the publication of an Issues Paper, inviting submissions from stakeholders. Part 2 will be a shorter public consultation on the Draft Policy document. The objective is to present a new draft policy to the Government in 2025 following a thorough and inclusive consultation.

As an island nation on the periphery of Europe, the maritime transport sector plays a crucial role in the functioning of our economy.

Approximately 90% of all goods traded by Ireland pass through our commercial port network, underscoring the importance of a resilient and efficient maritime transport industry for our economic success.

The importance of our ports is not just economic. Located, as many ports are, in the heart of urban centres and areas of environmental significance, how our ports interact with both the communities that provide their social licence to operate, and the marine environment is something in which we all have a vested interest. This revised policy will provide the vision for how our ports will meet these challenges.


The consultation period remains open until 15 January 2024. Stakeholders and interested parties will now have the opportunity to respond to the issues raised in the Issues Paper as well as put forward any other relevant issues for consideration.

The Department asks that submissions be completed online with reference to the questions outlined in the link provided in the National Ports Policy section on page 4 in the 2023 Public Consultation Paper (click here to access). However, should an online submission not be feasible, submissions are welcomed via email to [email protected] or send by post to Maritime Transport Division, Department of Transport, Leeson Lane, Dublin, D02 TR60

Closing date for receipt of submissions is close of business is 15 January 2024 at 6pm.

In 2023, the Irish Ports Capacity Study was completed.This study evaluates the capacity of the port system to address both current and future demands up to 2040.

The Executive Summary of this report, which outlines the study's methodology, conclusions, and recommendations, is available alongside the National Ports Policy Issues Paper for your reference.

Published in Irish Ports
Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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As an island economy, a healthy maritime sector is key to our national competitiveness. Virtually all our imports and exports pass through Irish ports.

Ireland is dependent on ports and shipping services to transport goods and 90% of our trade is moved though Irish ports. Shipping and maritime transport services make a significant contribution to Ireland’s ocean economy, with the sector generating €2.3 billion in turnover and employing over 5,000 people in 2018.

Ireland’s maritime industry continues to grow and progress each year with Irish ports and shipping companies making significant investments. The ports sector in Ireland is currently undergoing a number of expansions and developments with Dublin Port’s Alexandra Basin development, the development of Ringaskiddy in Cork by Port of Cork and the development of Shannon Foynes Port. Along with these major investments, shipping companies are also investing heavily in new tonnage, with Irish Ferries, CLdN and Stena leading new build programmes.

These pages cover the following sectoral areas: shipowners, harbour authorities, shipbrokers, freight forwarders and contractors, cruise liner operators, port users, seamen, merchants, academic institutions, shipyards and repair facilities, naval architects, navy and defence personnel.

Our pages are covering some of the most notable arrivals around our coast and reporting too on port development and shipping news.

This section of the site deals with Port and Shipping News on our largest ports Dublin Port, Port of Cork, the Shannon Estuary, Galway Harbour and Belfast Lough.

A recent study carried out for the Irish Ports Association (IPA) totalled 75.7 billion during 2004 and their net economic impact was some 5.5 billion supporting around 57, 500 full time employees.

Liam Lacey, Director of the Marine Institute’s Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) said, “The Irish maritime industry can look to the future with confidence. It has shown itself to be resilient and agile in responding to challenges. Over the past decade, it has had to respond to the challenges of the financial crisis of 2008, the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and recent challenges. Ireland’s maritime sector has continued to underpin our economy by maintaining vital shipping links for both trade and tourism.”