Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Similar Named Ships Highlight 30th Anniversary Closure of Irish Shipping Ltd

14th November 2014
Similar Named Ships Highlight 30th Anniversary Closure of Irish Shipping Ltd

#ArklowWillow- According to organisers of a Irish Shipping Ltd reunion this evening in Dublin, today marks the 30th anniversary of the liquidation of the former state-owned shipping company in 1984, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Following the outbreak of WWI in 1939, the Irish Goverment realised the perilous state of not having a strategic fleet under its control and so led to the formation of ISL which secured vessels to bring strategic vital food supplies to the shores of our dependent island.  

As the decades passed a deep-sea global fleet developed. These Irish flagged ships were named from a theme based on tree species, for example Irish Willow. She was a general cargo ship of some 1,700 tonnes that served a career with the company from 1956 to 1969.

It is apt that an Irish cargoship currently has almost the same name, the Arklow Willow which is berthed in Dublin Port undergoing routine maintenance. In addition that the Arklow Shipping Ltd owned drybulk cargoship should be the only vessel from a 45-strong fleet to be named after a type of tree too!

At the time of ISL's collapse this day three decades ago on 14 November 1984, the state-company had only 7 vessels in service. 

Arklow Willow is the final sister of a trio of 'W' class Japanese built vessels berthed in Dublin Graving Dock Ltd. At 14,001 dwt Arklow Willow is the largest in this class, though there are larger fleetmates also in terms of deadweight tonnes.

They are the South Korean newbuilds Arklow Spirit as previously reported (and newer sister Spray) at 34,919dwt and are also the largest Irish-flagged cargoships notably since the sad demise of ISL.

Arklow Willow had recently arrived from Corunna, north-west Spain and the 136m long vessel occupies the 200m long Graving Dock No.2. This differs to last month's double dry-docking as previously reported of the smaller Arklow Ranger and Jeanie Johnston, which shared the dry-dock located in Alexandra Basin.

Dublin Port Company have submitted plans to re-develop the basin costing €200m which would form phase one of the port's Masterplan 2040. The project would involve the re-use of the site of the drydock which as a result would face closure.


Published in Ports & Shipping
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

Email The Author

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. 

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating