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Dublin Port Company has today reported its third-quarter trading figures for 2020. The latest figures show an increase in overall port tonnage of 1.2% for Q3. After nine months, volumes are down by -6.9% compared to the same period last year. 

Having seen a decline of -4.8% in Q1 (which had been attributed to Brexit stockpiling in the first quarter of last year), there was a further and steeper decline in Q2 of -17.0% as Covid-19 impacted the country. Since then, monthly trade volumes have been comparatively strong culminating in growth of 1.2% in the third quarter from July to September.

The growth of 1.2% in Q3 has been export led. Exports for the three months grew by 6.6%, more than offsetting the -2.4% decline in imports.

Unitised trade (trailers and containers combined) grew by 3.1% to 384,000 units during Q3 with Ro-Ro growing by 4.1% to 276,000 units and Lo-Lo by 0.2% to 192,000 TEU.

Imports of new trade vehicles through Dublin Port in Q3 decreased marginally by -0.6% to 12,400 units. For the nine months to September, 53,000 new trade vehicles have been imported through Dublin Port, a decline of -29.3% compared to last year.

Bulk liquid volumes, primarily petroleum products, declined by -20.4% to 972,000 tonnes during the quarter and are down by almost the same level (-18.4%) year to date.

Bulk solid commodities (including animal feed, ore concentrates from Tara Mines, bulk cement products and scrap metals) grew by 56.0% to 515,000 tonnes 

Ferry passenger numbers decreased by -66.2% to 264,000. This figure includes HGV drivers. The number of tourist vehicles fell by -64.6% to 79,000.

There were no cruise ship calls to Dublin Port in Q3 and none is anticipated for the remainder of the year.

Commenting on the Q3 figures, Dublin Port’s Chief Executive, Eamonn O’Reilly, said:

“We had a weak start to the year with volumes down in the first quarter by -4.8% because last year began so strongly due to Brexit stock-piling. The second quarter was very poor with volumes down by -17.0% as Covid-19 hit. To see growth of 1.2% in the third quarter is remarkable and the outlook for the full year is nowhere near as bad as we had feared it might be just a few months ago.

“At the rate we are going, we could end the year down by not much more than -6.0%. By comparison, after the peak of 2007, we saw declines of -4.4% in 2008 followed by -10.4% in 2009. Importantly, our monthly volumes during this recession are a million tonnes ahead of where they were at the corresponding point in the previous recession. 

“We have seen growth in export volumes in each of the last four months and strong growth in unitised volumes (Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo combined) of 3.1% in the last three months.

“The most dramatic impact from the recession has been the decline of one-fifth in petroleum imports both in the third quarter and year to date. One-third of all of the country’s energy requirements are met by petroleum imports through Dublin Port. We now have planning consents in place to redevelop what is, today, nationally critical energy infrastructure for other cargo handling purposes as the country moves away from hydrocarbons. Covid-19 has given us an insight into the coming energy transition, and we have prepared for it 

“While the impact of Covid-19 is a continuing challenge, we are now also facing into the uncertainty and unknowns of Brexit in less than three months’ time. On the plus side, there has been a significant addition of new services and capacity on direct routes to Continental Europe in recent months - including to Rotterdam, Zeebrugge, Santander and Leixões - giving more options to the landbridge route for shippers who can cope with longer transit times. In addition, we have been working intensively over the last two years with the OPW to provide infrastructure for border control and inspection services by State agencies and very substantial facilities are now in place and ready to go. 

“However, Brexit, and how it will impact trade flows and port volumes, remains a major unknown. Like everyone else, we hope that a trade deal is done which obviates the need for much of the infrastructure that has had to be provided to mitigate this risk. Dublin Port Company alone has invested €30m to prepare for Brexit.”

Published in Dublin Bay
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If you were asked to name the real centre point of modern Dublin, you'd probably dodge the question by saying that it's somewhere along a line through O'Connell Bridge and Trinity College, and on up Grafton Street or Dawson Street. Either way, that would definitely be locating the city's contemporary focus. Yet four hundred years ago, this modern central axis would have been regarded as being out in the sticks, down in the marshy inner edges of Dublin Bay.

When Trinity College was founded in 1592, its official title described it as being "Near Dublin". It was clearly eastward of the significant mediaeval city walls by slightly less than a mile, and eastward too of the main port area on the River Liffey, which was still centred around what had been the Dubh Linn, the "black pool" much favoured as a berth by the Viking's ships when they set up the makings of a settlement which first achieved some sort of civic status in 841.

Herman Moll's map of 1714Dublin as it was when the book begins, as recorded by Herman Moll's map of 1714. Trinity College is shown as "near Dublin", while building on the north side of the new St Stephens Green has only recently begun. When development of the south side of what was to become Merrion Square was started close to the east of Stephen's Green, a selling point for the new Georgian houses was their "refreshing sea view".

The central location around what had become Dublin Castle remained the heart of town for centuries. But while there was gradual expansion in every direction with the northsider/southsider psychological divide across the Liffey seeming to arise almost immediately – basically it was the Ostmen (the Eastmen or Danes) to the Northside, Normans on the Southside - the real engine of the city's power was always inclined to move eastward.

In his mighty yet very readable tome Dublin Moving East 1708-1844 – How the City took over the Sea, sailor/historian Michael Branagan has set in context the process whereby Trinity College and its environs have become the heart of the city through the machination of urban and port development, such that the main port area has undergone a major shift over the centuries, and is now well to the east of the College. So much so, in fact, that the entire estate of Dublin Port – one of the sponsors of this book - is on land which simply didn't exist when the "College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity" came into being.

The word that is generally used for this land is "reclaimed", as though the nefarious sea had originally pinched it from the decent people of Dublin while they were asleep. Nowadays, with global sea levels rising, how it's described may well become academic. But there is no doubt that - back in the era on which the book focuses - there was some extraordinarily effective land-grabbing going on in Dublin at the sea's expense.

The outcome is the shape of the city as we know it today, much of which results from buccaneering land "reclamation" and inspired development by some extremely determined and occasionally roughshod people whose wealthy descendants became the very souls of civic respectability.

Michael Branagan is a real terrier when it comes to research, and the numerous footnotes to each chapter will lead the enquiring reader along many fascinating pathways of unusual information. Thus it makes for ideal lockdown reading, and if you permit yourself one chapter every two days, there's a month of absorbing and informative reading here. At the end of it, Dublin and its port will never seem quite the same again, and it will certainly seem even more interesting.

Dublin as it was around 1850A city transformed in 140 years - Dublin as it was around 1850. It was still much smaller than it is today, but the basic work had been done – often with very primate equipment – to create the basic structure for a city moving east.

In fact, those who care about Dublin remaining a vibrant port should see this book as required reading, and clearly one of those who care about the port beyond the call of duty is Eamonn O'Reilly, Chief Executive of Dublin Port Company, whose thoughtful foreword is much more than the usual politely token introduction, as it gives us further insights into an extraordinary and pioneering city/port system.

In its entirety, the book gives a sense of deeper understanding of why Dublin should continue to embrace its commercial port, rather than becoming some sort of synthetic skyscraper city, with the real working maritime heart torn out of it for re-location to some soul-less container terminal landing pier in the middle of nowhere.

It has taken a lot to make Dublin the special and unique place it is. Suggesting that the port activities should be moved elsewhere "because that's what they do in other capital cities" is a very lame argument indeed. Dublin is Dublin, and rightly or wrongly in this remarkable place beside its bay between the mountains and the sea, we do things our own way - and our way includes having ships and city in dynamic interaction. Michael Branagan has done everyone a great service in detailing the key years in which a primitive river haven was launched – with the use of some very primitive equipment – towards the transformed situation where it was ready to become the fascinating port city that we know today.

Dublin and its port and bay todayDublin and its port and bay today. While much of the channelled River Liffey in the port has been planned, a very welcome unintended consequence of the building of the South Bull Wall - accelerated by the addition of the North Bull – has been the natural development of the extensive nature reserve of Bull Island in the north of Dublin Bay, created by wind-driven sand augmented by tide-carried silt. This photo also emphasizes the very special role of Dun Laoghaire as virtually the sole access point to Dublin Bay as a waterborne sports and leisure amenity for the large population of South Dublin

Dublin Moving East 1708-1844

By Michael Branagan
320 pp, fully illustrated
Published by Wordwell, €35.

Published in Book Review
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Dublin Port Company has turned its landmark Port Centre building and The Diving Bell on Sir John Rogerson's Quay red to support National Fire Safety Week 2020, which runs until October 12th.

More than 60 of the city's iconic buildings will be illuminated red to raise awareness of fire safety, particularly in the home.

Two Dublin Port landmarks, “Port Centre” designed by Scott Tallon Walker and the Diving Bell on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, were illuminated in red last night as more than 60 of the city’s iconic buildings turned red for National Fire Safety Week 2020.

National Fire Safety Week is an awareness initiative of the Fire Service in Ireland, run jointly with the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service to help enhance fire safety, particularly in the home. This marks the first time that Dublin Port has been an active partner in the event. The landmarks will remain illuminated until October 12th.

The theme of this year’s Fire Safety Week is “Smoke Alarms Save Lives”. The campaign not only encourages people to have smoke alarms and test them, but also calls on the wider community to look out for each other, especially those most vulnerable and at risk.

“I would like to thank the operators of all these buildings for their support in helping to raise awareness of fire safety. We have had to be a bit more creative this year with our campaign and I am delighted that so many landmark buildings are taking part by turning red to highlight the fire safety awareness message and provide a visual reminder and cue for Fire Safety Week.” said Dennis Keeley Chief Fire Officer, Dublin Fire Brigade.

John Fairley, Dublin Port’s Land Operations Manager, said; “Dublin Port and Dublin Fire Brigade have enjoyed a close working relationship that goes back years, and it is an honour to stand side by side with our friends and colleagues in the Fire Service this October in support of Fire Safety Week. It’s a brilliant initiative coming into the winter months that reminds us of the simple steps we can all take to help stop fire, and I hope the message reaches as many as possible in our home and work communities.”

Published in Dublin Bay
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Afloat has noted that the Dublin Port Company is currently recruiting for roles at sea and those ashore as part of efforts to achieve the port's Masterplan: 2012-2040, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The objectives of such job roles, requires skilled, dedicated and motivated staff and DPC invites applications for Tug Master and Marine Operatives.

For further information visit the port's website careers page by clicking this link for full job specifications.

Closing date for applications is Friday 21st August 2020. For much more details consult the links given throughout. 

Afloat adds the port operates its own pair of custom-built tugs, the Irish flagged Beaufort and Shackleton introduced just over a decade go in early 2010 as part of a port related work-boat upgrade of its fleet. A Spanish shipyard built the pair and costing €6m apiece. 

The Voith Schneider propelled tugs each have a 53t bollard pull capacity and formed Phase 2 of an upgrade programme to modernise by replacing ageing tonnage. The then new tugs along with other port work related craft were introduced a decade ago in an overall €16m investment by the port company.

More on the tug newbuilds were featured in Ships Monthly, June 2010 issue as part of the publication's 'Waterfront' column. 

In addition Beaufort featured in 'Maritime' Dalkey series of the Dalkey Community Council Newsletter (Feb) 2016, see: p.13.

Published in Jobs

Dublin Port Company has today reported its second-quarter trading figures for 2020. The latest figures show a decline in overall port tonnage of -10.9% in the first six months of 2020.

As Afloat reported previously, having seen a decline of -4.8% in Q1 (which had been attributed to Brexit stockpiling in the first quarter of last year), there was a further and steeper decline in Q2 of -17.0% as the Covid-19 pandemic impacted on the country.

The Q2 decline of -17.0% was less than had been feared following a decline in the month of April of -26.2%. This was followed by a smaller decline of -20.5% in May and by a decline of just -5.5% in June.

Unitised trade (trailers and containers combined) fell by -13.5% to 321,000 units during Q2 with Ro-Ro declining by -13.0% to 225,000 units and Lo-Lo by -14.0% to 173,000 TEU.

Imports of new trade vehicles through Dublin Port in the April to June period decreased by -64.9% to 9,900 and a significant decline appears inevitable for the rest of the year.

Bulk liquid volumes, primarily petroleum products, declined by -37.8% to 715,000 tonnes. Aviation fuel accounts for more than one-fifth of all petroleum imports in Dublin Port and the impact of Covid-19 on air travel has greatly reduced demand. Likewise, reduced car traffic during the lockdown has greatly diminished demand for petrol and diesel.

Bulk solid commodities declined by -20.6% to 388,000 tonnes.

Ferry passenger numbers decreased by -78.2% to 120,000, the great majority of whom were HGV drivers, critical supply chain workers. The number of tourist vehicles fell even further, by -84.2% to 24,000.

There were no cruise ship calls to Dublin Port in Q2 and none is anticipated for the remainder of the year.

Elsewhere, An Bord Pleanála has granted permission for the MP2 Project, the second of three Strategic Infrastructure Development projects required to deliver Masterplan 2040, the development programme designed to bring Dublin Port to its ultimate capacity by 2040.

This permission will allow the construction of two berths with an overall length of 545 metres for Lo-Lo container ships and two berths with a combined length of 572 metres for Ro-Ro ferries. The MP2 Project also provides for the development of a heritage zone overlooking Dublin Bay at the eastern end of Dublin Port as the termination point for the 3.2 kilometre cycle and pedestrian greenway to be built along the northern fringe of the port overlooking the Tolka Estuary. Construction of this greenway will start next year.

Between the ABR Project, which is under construction, and the MP2 Project, Dublin Port Company has now secured all of the planning permissions required for the major development works planned on the northern side of the port under Masterplan 2040.

Commenting on the results, Dublin Port’s Chief Executive, Eamonn O’Reilly, said:

On the Q2 trading results:

“The Q2 decline of 17.0% in cargo volumes was less than we had feared it might be. After the first six months of the year, our volumes are down by 10.9%. At this level, our throughput for the full year would be back to where it was in 2016.

“We saw after the 2008 recession how rapidly the Irish economy can recover from a deep recession and we seem to be seeing some evidence of this resilience in recent months where a 26.2% fall-off in April was followed by a smaller decline of 20.5% in May and by a decline of just 5.5% in June.

“Even during the rapid and deep downturn during Q2, we have seen new unitised services - both Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo - introduced on routes to Rotterdam, Santander and Liverpool and additional capacity added on existing services to Liverpool. We are able to accommodate these because we have been systematically adding to port capacity in recent years.”

On the MP2 Project

“We recently received a 15-year planning permission for the MP2 Project. This will allow us to accommodate the future needs of Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo lines in the years ahead. Given that we have been playing catch-up over the past decade to provide additional port infrastructure for future growth, the drop back in volumes this year gives us some breathing space and it is important that we do not waste the opportunity this gives us to make counter-cyclical investment in port infrastructure.

“The MP2 Project planning permission is for 937 metres of new berths, including an extension to an existing berth. This will allow us to develop 1,117 metres of berths for unitised trade at the eastern end of the port, split 50 / 50 between Lo-Lo and Ro-Ro.

“Dublin Port has two oil jetties through which almost one third of the country’s total energy requirements are imported in the form of petrol, diesel, kerosene and aviation fuel. The MP2 Project planning permission allows for the redevelopment of one of these jetties to provide an additional berth for container ships as and when the demand for fossil fuels permanently reduces in response to national climate change policies.

“The MP2 Project is the second of three Strategic Infrastructure Development projects needed to realise the vision of Masterplan 2040. Work on the first of these – the ABR Project – is well underway. The additional port capacity which these projects will give contributes substantially to the Masterplan’s objective to provide additional port capacity to bring Dublin Port to its ultimate capacity by 2040.

“A second but equally important objective of the Masterplan is to re-integrate Dublin Port with Dublin City and the MP2 Project gives us planning permission to create a heritage area at the eastern end of the port as the destination point for the 3.2 kilometre cycle and pedestrian greenway which we will build along the northern fringe of the port overlooking the Tolka Estuary. Work on the greenway will start next year.

“We are now only 20 years away from the Masterplan’s target date of 2040. Delivering new port infrastructure takes a long time and we need now, already in 2020, to be looking to see how port capacity requirements will be met after 2040. We will shortly publish a series of papers as part of the Dublin Port Post 2040 Dialogue to ensure we have early and comprehensive consultation on this nationally important issue. Long-term planning of large infrastructure is very challenging and cannot start too early.”

Published in Dublin Port
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As an island nation, 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.

The importance of Ireland’s ports and shipping services is the focus of this week’s Oceans of Learning series, with resources from the Marine Institute and Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO).

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.

IMDO director Liam Lacey 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.”

Oceans of Learning offers downloadable resource such as fact sheets, a quiz and posters on Ireland's shipping sector. To access the resources for this week’s series, visit Port of the Future.

For more information on Oceans of Learning, visit www.marine.ie and follow the Marine Institute on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Published in Ports & Shipping

Dublin Port Company today delivered the first of 500 care packs to international seafarers as a thank you for their frontline service during the coronavirus crisis. Due to the pandemic, many members of ships’ crews have had lengthy enforced extensions to their time on board cargo vessels. Crews can typically spend up to 6 months at sea at a time, away from family and home.

Some 300 of the care packs will be distributed amongst the crews of 27 individual vessels which are scheduled to arrive into Dublin Port in the next two weeks. The packs contain essential toiletries, including disposable razors, soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand cream, hand soap, lip balm and a nail brush.

Today, the first care packs were given to the crew members of the Victorine, which docked in Dublin Port this morning having completed a voyage between Rotterdam and Dublin as part of a service operated by CLdN.

The remaining 200 care packs will be held by the Dublin Port Seafarers’ Centre and given to the sailors who avail of its services in the weeks and months ahead. The Seafarers’ Centre was opened in 2016 following a €500,000 investment from Dublin Port Company as a vital resource for ships’ crews. It provides amenities such as access to free Wi-Fi, a vital commodity so that seafarers can easily contact family and loved ones while ashore. The Centre supports over 7,500 visiting seafarers a year arriving from all over the world, typically from countries such as India, China, Ukraine, Russia and the Philippines.

Harbour Master Michael McKenna said; “We are delighted to get our Seafarer Care Pack initiative underway today. We at Dublin Port felt like these crew members needed to be acknowledged. They have gone above and beyond in recent months, working during this public health emergency and being confined to their vessels and these packs are a token of our appreciation for the essential service they provide. It’s because of them that we have food on our table, and other essentials at this time.”

Reverend William Black, Port Chaplin from the Mission to Seafarers said; “Looking after seafarers and their basic needs is a huge part of what we do at the centre and we are blessed to be given the opportunity to assist them. They are the essential worker that we all rely on, but not everyone gets the opportunity to see. Today, we wish them well on their homeward journeys and thank them for their service after what has been a difficult time for so many.”

Rose Kearney, manager of the Seafarers’ Centre said; “It is our pleasure to look after these crew members in any way we can. It is a tough world for seafarers, and they have now been away from their families and loved ones for even longer than expected because of the coronavirus. Anything we can do to make their lives a little easier is no problem at all, we are very grateful to them. We hope the packs can give them a bit of comfort before they make their way home.”

Published in Dublin Port
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The ferryport of Rosslare Europort will undergo a €30m transformation over the next five years and is the ideal port to alleviate traffic congestion and lessen pollution in Dublin, according to manager Glenn Carr.

As the New Ross Standard reports, Mr Carr said there are 100 acres of land waiting to be developed within a five kilometre radius of the port, an unrivalled landbank in the country, adding that it makes perfect sense for Dublin Port ships and shipping activity to be moved to Rosslare. Planning permission to develop a new access road and entrance has been submitted, with works due to commence this winter - and combined with major plans by the OPW to develop a customs unit at the port - Rosslare Europort is able to take over 20 per cent of activity from Dublin in the coming years.

Mr Carr said: 'Both outside Dublin Port on the M50 and inside, there is congestion. The current situation is not the norm. The norm prior to Covid saw lorries delayed outside the port and even in the port tunnel. With Brexit approaching we do believe that Rosslare has a very strong role to play as geographically it is the closest port to mainland Europe. Companies can save seven hours, (three and a half hours each way) on the Irish Sea on direct services going to Europe.'

He said the Enniscorthy Bypass has saved hauliers 25 minutes on their journey, adding that the opening of the New Ross Bypass has also strengthened the case for the port. For hauliers travelling to distribution centres along the outer M50 in Dublin, Rosslare is now a lot easier to get to. 'The time you would lose on the ship, you'd gain on the road. The New Ross Bypass provides improved connectivity to Cork, Waterford and Limerick, which are main arteries that a lot of product is moved to. We have seen that with the new Brittany Ferries [Bilbao] service, which moved here from Cork. The biggest factor [behind the move] was that the industry wanted the route in Rosslare because it was easier and quicker to get to so there is already evidence that Rosslare is a real alternative to Dublin.

Presently around 84 per cent of roll-on, roll-off shipping activity occurs in Dublin Port, the remaining 16 per cent falling to Rosslare.

For Carr, there is no other port in Ireland better suited to roll-on, roll-off. because of the better access in and out of the port.

For much more on this ferry development click here.

Afloat adds Brittany Ferries were to have launched a second new route out of Rosslare to Roscoff, but due to Covid-19 the start date has been rescheduled to this month. The inaugural sailing is in a fortnight's time, Monday 15th June.

In the meantime Kerry maintains the year-round Spanish service albeit in a freight-only mode until sailings open to passengers return on Wednesday 17th June.

Published in Ferry

Dublin Port Company has today reported its first-quarter trading figures for 2020. The latest figures show a decline in overall port tonnage of -4.8% compared to the first quarter of 2019.

The first three months of 2019 were dominated by the original Brexit departure date of 31st March 2019 and volumes through Dublin were very high due to stockpiling. (Q1 2019 imports were 8.0% ahead of imports in Q1 2018).

Against this base, significant growth in Q1 2020 was always unlikely but the impact of the coronavirus, particularly in March, combined with significant shipping disruptions due to bad weather in February caused volumes to decline by 470,000 tonnes or -4.8% in the first quarter of 2020.

Unitised trade (trailers and containers combined) fell by -4.4% to 360,000 units with Ro-Ro declining by -5.3% to 256,000 units and Lo-Lo by -2.2% to 187,000 TEU.

Imports of new trade vehicles

Imports of new trade vehicles through Dublin Port decreased by -10.3% to 30,000 in the first quarter and a significant continuing decline seems inevitable for the rest of the year.

Bulk liquid volumes, primarily petroleum products, grew by +4.4% to 1.1m tonnes. Aviation fuel accounts for more than one-fifth of all petroleum imports in Dublin Port and the impact of the coronavirus on air travel will lead to a large decline in imports of aviation fuel and in overall petroleum imports into Dublin Port in the months ahead.

Dublin Port Cargo decline

Bulk solid commodities declined by -13.2% to 468,000 tonnes.

Ferry Passengers

Ferry passenger volumes decreased by -17.8% to 224,000. Similarly, the number of tourist vehicles fell by -18.0% to 67,000. One cruise ship called to Dublin Port in Q1 2020 and the outlook for this sector everywhere for the remainder of the cruise season to end-September is bleak.

Commenting on the results, Dublin Port’s Chief Executive, Eamonn O’Reilly, said:

“Against the background of an exceptionally buoyant first quarter in 2019 because of Brexit, we did not expect to see continued strong growth in Q1 2020. However, the combination of exceptionally bad weather in February and the rapid impact of the coronavirus during March has caused port throughput to decline by 470,000 tonnes or 4.8% in the first three months of the year. Although our throughput was behind that of 2019, volumes in Q1 2020 were still ahead of Q1 2018 by 1.9%.

“The not too disappointing figures for Q1 2020 are irrelevant, however, as we look ahead to the second quarter during which we will see a very significant decline in volumes across all cargo modes and in passenger traffic.

“While work on long-term Masterplan development projects will continue once work restrictions are lifted, we will focus determinedly over the next three months on keeping day to day port operations going in order to maintain critical trade flows particularly of foodstuffs, essential consumer goods and medicines. It is at times like this that we see the importance of the supply chains we can normally take for granted in our daily lives.

Keeping Dublin Port open

“Keeping Dublin Port open depends on a small number of critical marine operations, maintenance, security and fire warden staff working 24 / 7. We have adapted normal working arrangements to protect staff and their families to ensure that key functions remain manned at all times and ships can enter and leave Dublin Port safely. We are also delighted to welcome back two recently retired pilots to service to provide additional manpower resilience for this essential function.

“Outside of our own operations, all of the cargo terminals in Dublin Port continue to operate normally and hauliers are maintaining the flow of goods in and out of these terminals. The contribution of port workers, of hauliers and of the anonymous ships' crews who maintain our supply chains is immense.

Dublin Port voluntary redundancy scheme

“In advance of finalising debt facilities of €300m in December 2019, we had been reducing the company’s cost base in recent years notably by way of a voluntary redundancy scheme which is reducing employee numbers by 11% and we are in a good position now to absorb the shock of reduced volumes as a result of the coronavirus in anticipation of economic recovery whenever that might happen. In particular, we are well placed to continue the long lead time challenge of providing additional port capacity for long-term growth”.

Published in Dublin Port
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Operators of Dublin and Cork ports have said imports of food and other essential items have increased since the Covid-19 outbreak here over a month ago.

According to RTE News, the ports said contingencies are in place to ensure ports stay open and supply chains remain intact.

Their trading figures indicate the Covid-19 outbreak has seen increased demand for food and other essential items.

This is backed up by evidence of panic buying and empty supermarket shelves.

The Port of Cork insists that trade is up and supply chains have been unaffected by the coronavirus outbreak.

At Cork's deep water terminal in Ringaskiddy, unloading of a Portuguese cargo ship, AS Petronia, began at 5am.

The ship left Costa Rica in Central America a fortnight ago, and tied up in Ringaskiddy in the early hours of this morning.

Ireland is its first port of call. The ship is carrying more than 2,000 shipping containers which are destined for ports all over Europe.

There were around 100 shipping containers for Ireland on board, carrying mangos, melons and pineapples, along with four million bananas - a mere week's supply to keep this country going.

More on this story by clicking here.

Published in Irish Ports
Page 1 of 49

About the Irish Navy

The Navy maintains a constant presence 24 hours a day, 365 days a year throughout Ireland’s enormous and rich maritime jurisdiction, upholding Ireland’s sovereign rights. The Naval Service is tasked with a variety of roles including defending territorial seas, deterring intrusive or aggressive acts, conducting maritime surveillance, maintaining an armed naval presence, ensuring right of passage, protecting marine assets, countering port blockades; people or arms smuggling, illegal drugs interdiction, and providing the primary diving team in the State.

The Service supports Army operations in the littoral and by sealift, has undertaken supply and reconnaissance missions to overseas peace support operations and participates in foreign visits all over the world in support of Irish Trade and Diplomacy.  The eight ships of the Naval Service are flexible and adaptable State assets. Although relatively small when compared to their international counterparts and the environment within which they operate, their patrol outputs have outperformed international norms.

The Irish Naval Service Fleet

The Naval Service is the State's principal seagoing agency. The Naval Service operates jointly with the Army and Air Corps.

The fleet comprises one Helicopter Patrol Vessel (HPV), three Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV), two Large Patrol Vessel (LPV) and two Coastal Patrol Vessels (CPV). Each vessel is equipped with state of the art machinery, weapons, communications and navigation systems.

LÉ EITHNE P31

LE Eithne was built in Verlome Dockyard in Cork and was commissioned into service in 1984. She patrols the Irish EEZ and over the years she has completed numerous foreign deployments.

Type Helicopter Patrol Vessel
Length 80.0m
Beam 12m
Draught 4.3m
Main Engines 2 X Ruston 12RKC Diesels6, 800 HP2 Shafts
Speed 18 knots
Range 7000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 55 (6 Officers)
Commissioned 7 December 1984

LÉ ORLA P41

L.É. Orla was formerly the HMS SWIFT a British Royal Navy patrol vessel stationed in the waters of Hong Kong. She was purchased by the Irish State in 1988. She scored a notable operational success in 1993 when she conducted the biggest drug seizure in the history of the state at the time, with her interception and boarding at sea of the 65ft ketch, Brime.

Type Coastal Patrol Vessel
Length 62.6m
Beam 10m
Draught 2.7m
Main Engines 2 X Crossley SEMT- Pielstick Diesels 14,400 HP 2 Shafts
Speed 25 + Knots
Range 2500 Nautical Miles @ 17 knots
Crew 39 (5 Officers)

LÉ CIARA P42

L.É. Ciara was formerly the HMS SWALLOW a British Royal Navy patrol vessel stationed in the waters of Hong Kong. She was purchased by the Irish State in 1988. She scored a notable operational success in Nov 1999 when she conducted the second biggest drug seizure in the history of the state at that time, with her interception and boarding at sea of MV POSIDONIA of the south-west coast of Ireland.

Type Coastal Patrol Vessel
Length 62.6m
Beam 10m
Draught 2.7m
Main Engines 2 X Crossley SEMT- Pielstick Diesels 14,400 HP 2 Shafts
Speed 25 + Knots
Range 2500 Nautical Miles @ 17 knots
Crew 39 (5 Officers)

LÉ ROISIN P51

L.É. Roisin (the first of the Roisín class of vessel) was built in Appledore Shipyards in the UK for the Naval Service in 2001. She was built to a design that optimises her patrol performance in Irish waters (which are some of the roughest in the world), all year round. For that reason a greater length overall (78.8m) was chosen, giving her a long sleek appearance and allowing the opportunity to improve the conditions on board for her crew.

Type Long Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 78.84m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 X Twin 16 cly V26 Wartsila 26 medium speed Diesels
5000 KW at 1,000 RPM 2 Shafts
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)
Commissioned 18 September 2001

LÉ NIAMH P52

L.É. Niamh (the second of the Róisín class) was built in Appledore Shipyard in the UK for the Naval Service in 2001. She is an improved version of her sister ship, L.É.Roisin

Type Long Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 78.84m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 X Twin 16 cly V26 Wartsila 26 medium speed Diesels
5000 KW at 1,000 RPM 2 Shafts
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)
Commissioned 18 September 2001

LÉ SAMUEL BECKETT P61

LÉ Samuel Beckett is an Offshore Patrol Vessel built and fitted out to the highest international standards in terms of safety, equipment fit, technological innovation and crew comfort. She is also designed to cope with the rigours of the North-East Atlantic.

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)

LÉ JAMES JOYCE P62

LÉ James Joyce is an Offshore Patrol Vessel and represents an updated and lengthened version of the original RÓISÍN Class OPVs which were also designed and built to the Irish Navy specifications by Babcock Marine Appledore and she is truly a state of the art ship. She was commissioned into the naval fleet in September 2015. Since then she has been constantly engaged in Maritime Security and Defence patrolling of the Irish coast. She has also deployed to the Defence Forces mission in the Mediterranean from July to end of September 2016, rescuing 2491 persons and recovering the bodies of 21 deceased

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)

LÉ WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS P63

L.É. William Butler Yeats was commissioned into the naval fleet in October 2016. Since then she has been constantly engaged in Maritime Security and Defence patrolling of the Irish coast. She has also deployed to the Defence Forces mission in the Mediterranean from July to October 2017, rescuing 704 persons and recovering the bodies of three deceased.

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)

LÉ GEORGE BERNARD SHAW P64

LÉ George Bernard Shaw (pennant number P64) is the fourth and final ship of the P60 class vessels built for the Naval Service in Babcock Marine Appledore, Devon. The ship was accepted into State service in October 2018, and, following a military fit-out, commenced Maritime Defence and Security Operations at sea.

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)

Ship information courtesy of the Defence Forces

Irish Navy FAQs

The Naval Service is the Irish State's principal seagoing agency with "a general responsibility to meet contingent and actual maritime defence requirements". It is tasked with a variety of defence and other roles.

The Naval Service is based in Ringaskiddy, Cork harbour, with headquarters in the Defence Forces headquarters in Dublin.

The Naval Service provides the maritime component of the Irish State's defence capabilities and is the State's principal seagoing agency. It "protects Ireland's interests at and from the sea, including lines of communication, fisheries and offshore resources" within the Irish exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The Naval Service operates jointly with the Army and Air Corps as part of the Irish defence forces.

The Naval Service was established in 1946, replacing the Marine and Coastwatching Service set up in 1939. It had replaced the Coastal and Marine Service, the State's first marine service after independence, which was disbanded after a year. Its only ship was the Muirchú, formerly the British armed steam yacht Helga, which had been used by the Royal Navy to shell Dublin during the 1916 Rising. In 1938, Britain handed over the three "treaty" ports of Cork harbour, Bere haven and Lough Swilly.

The Naval Service has nine ships - one Helicopter Patrol Vessel (HPV), three Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV), two Large Patrol Vessel (LPV) and two Coastal Patrol Vessels (CPV). Each vessel is equipped with State of the art machinery, weapons, communications and navigation systems.

The ships' names are prefaced with the title of Irish ship or "long Éireannach" (LE). The older ships bear Irish female names - LÉ Eithne, LÉ Orla, LÉ Ciara, LÉ Roisín, and LÉ Niamh. The newer ships, named after male Irish literary figures, are LÉ Samuel Beckett, LÉ James Joyce, LÉ William Butler Yeats and LÉ George Bernard Shaw.

Yes. The 76mm Oto Melara medium calibre naval armament is the most powerful weapon in the Naval Services arsenal. The 76mm is "capable of engaging naval targets at a range of up to 17km with a high level of precision, ensuring that the Naval Service can maintain a range advantage over all close-range naval armaments and man-portable weapon systems", according to the Defence Forces.

The Fleet Operational Readiness Standards and Training (FORST) unit is responsible for the coordination of the fleet needs. Ships are maintained at the Mechanical Engineering and Naval Dockyard Unit at Ringaskiddy, Cork harbour.

The helicopters are designated as airborne from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours, and 45 minutes at night. The aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, on inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains and cover the 32 counties. They can also assist in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and can transport offshore firefighters and ambulance teams. The Irish Coast Guard volunteers units are expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time of departing from the station house in ten minutes from notification during daylight and 20 minutes at night. They are also expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time to the scene of the incident in less than 60 minutes from notification by day and 75 minutes at night, subject to geographical limitations.

The Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service (FOCNS) is Commodore Michael Malone. The head of the Defence Forces is a former Naval Service flag officer, now Vice-Admiral Mark Mellett – appointed in 2015 and the first Naval Service flag officer to hold this senior position. The Flag Officer oversees Naval Operations Command, which is tasked with the conduct of all operations afloat and ashore by the Naval Service including the operations of Naval Service ships. The Naval Operations Command is split into different sections, including Operations HQ and Intelligence and Fishery Section.

The Intelligence and Fishery Section is responsible for Naval Intelligence, the Specialist Navigation centre, the Fishery Protection supervisory and information centre, and the Naval Computer Centre. The Naval Intelligence Cell is responsible for the collection, collation and dissemination of naval intelligence. The Navigation Cell is the naval centre for navigational expertise.

The Fishery Monitoring Centre provides for fishery data collection, collation, analysis and dissemination to the Naval Service and client agencies, including the State's Sea Fisheries Protection Agency. The centre also supervises fishery efforts in the Irish EEZ and provides data for the enhanced effectiveness of fishery protection operations, as part of the EU Common Fisheries Policy. The Naval Computer Centre provides information technology (IT) support service to the Naval Service ashore and afloat.

This headquarters includes specific responsibility for the Executive/Operations Branch duties. The Naval Service Operations Room is a coordination centre for all NS current Operations. The Naval Service Reserve Staff Officer is responsible for the supervision, regulation and training of the reserve. The Diving section is responsible for all aspects of Naval diving and the provision of a diving service to the Naval Service and client agencies. The Ops Security Section is responsible for the coordination of base security and the coordination of all shore-based security parties operating away from the Naval base. The Naval Base Comcen is responsible for the running of a communications service. Boat transport is under the control of Harbour Master Naval Base, who is responsible for the supervision of berthage at the Naval Base and the provision of a boat service, including the civilian manned ferry service from Haulbowline.

Naval Service ships have undertaken trade and supply missions abroad, and personnel have served as peacekeepers with the United Nations. In 2015, Naval Service ships were sent on rotation to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean as part of a bi-lateral arrangement with Italy, known as Operation Pontus. Naval Service and Army medical staff rescued some 18,000 migrants, either pulling people from the sea or taking them off small boats, which were often close to capsizing having been towed into open water and abandoned by smugglers. Irish ships then became deployed as part of EU operations in the Mediterranean, but this ended in March 2019 amid rising anti-immigrant sentiment in the EU.

Essentially, you have to be Irish, young (less than 32), in good physical and mental health and with normal vision. You must be above 5'2″, and your weight should be in keeping with your age.

Yes, women have been recruited since 1995. One of the first two female cadets, Roberta O'Brien from the Glen of Aherlow in Co Tipperary, became its first female commander in September 2020. Sub Lieutenant Tahlia Britton from Donegal also became the first female diver in the navy's history in the summer of 2020.

A naval cadet enlists for a cadetship to become an officer in the Defence Forces. After successfully completing training at the Naval Service College, a cadet is commissioned into the officer ranks of the Naval Service as a Ensign or Sub Lieutenant.

A cadet trains for approximately two years duration divided into different stages. The first year is spent in military training at the Naval Base in Haulbowline, Cork. The second-year follows a course set by the National Maritime College of Ireland course. At the end of the second year and on completion of exams, and a sea term, the cadets will be qualified for the award of a commission in the Permanent Defence Force as Ensign.

The Defence Forces say it is looking for people who have "the ability to plan, prioritise and organise", to "carefully analyse problems, in order to generate appropriate solutions, who have "clear, concise and effective communication skills", and the ability to "motivate others and work with a team". More information is on the 2020 Qualifications Information Leaflet.

When you are 18 years of age or over and under 26 years of age on the date mentioned in the notice for the current competition, the officer cadet competition is held annually and is the only way for potential candidates to join the Defence Forces to become a Naval Service officer. Candidates undergo psychometric and fitness testing, an interview and a medical exam.
The NMCI was built beside the Naval Service base at Ringaskiddy, Co Cork, and was the first third-level college in Ireland to be built under the Government's Public-Private Partnership scheme. The public partners are the Naval Service and Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and the private partner is Focus Education.
A Naval Service recruit enlists for general service in the "Other Ranks" of the Defence Forces. After successfully completing the initial recruit training course, a recruit passes out as an Ordinary Seaman and will then go onto their branch training course before becoming qualified as an Able Body sailor in the Naval Service.
No formal education qualifications are required to join the Defence Forces as a recruit. You need to satisfy the interview board and the recruiting officer that you possess a sufficient standard of education for service in the Defence Forces.
Recruit training is 18 weeks in duration and is designed to "develop a physically fit, disciplined and motivated person using basic military and naval skills" to "prepare them for further training in the service. Recruits are instilled with the Naval Service ethos and the values of "courage, respect, integrity and loyalty".
On the progression up through the various ranks, an Able Rate will have to complete a number of career courses to provide them with training to develop their skills in a number of areas, such as leadership and management, administration and naval/military skills. The first of these courses is the Naval Service Potential NCO course, followed by the Naval Service Standard NCO course and the Naval Service senior NCO course. This course qualifies successful candidates of Petty officer (or Senior Petty Officer) rank to fill the rank of Chief Petty Officer upwards. The successful candidate may also complete and graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Leadership, Management and Naval Studies in partnership with Cork Institute of Technology.
Pay has long been an issue for just the Naval Service, at just over 1,000 personnel. Cadets and recruits are required to join the single public service pension scheme, which is a defined benefit scheme, based on career-average earnings. For current rates of pay, see the Department of Defence website.

 

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