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Former US Army Landing Craft Transports Generators to Aran Islands

10th August 2016
Berthed next to Kilronan Pier, Inishmore, Aran Islands in June 2009 the trawler, Iolair, coaster Stenland and roll-on roll-off cargo freight-ferry, Chateau-Thierry. The former US Army landing craft vessel recently transported electrical generators to the neighbouring islands. Berthed next to Kilronan Pier, Inishmore, Aran Islands in June 2009 the trawler, Iolair, coaster Stenland and roll-on roll-off cargo freight-ferry, Chateau-Thierry. The former US Army landing craft vessel recently transported electrical generators to the neighbouring islands. Photo: JEHAN ASHMORE

#AranCargoship - The cargsoship that transported generators to restore electricity supply to two of the Aran Islands this week, Afloat has identified as a former US Army landing craft vessel, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The generators were craned off the MV Chateau-Thierry, which among its services, Lasta Mara Teo operates a roll on / roll-off service from Rossaveel, Co. Galway.

As previously reported the subsea cable fault left almost 400 residents of Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr without power for four days, was restored at the beginning of this week. Work, however to repair the subsea cable could take up to four weeks.

The Galway registered twin-screw, Chateau-Thierry operates a Rossaveal-Aran Islands service that is mostly involved in trasnporting large cargoes, maintly trucks, excavators, heavy plant and machinery.

A prime example of moving heavy machinery, were those used in the construction to build the outer harbour of Kilronan (Cill Rónáin) on the main island of Inishmore. This was to improve ferry access to and from the mainland. During construction, vehicles were driven off the Chateau-Thierry, which is equipped with ramps that were lowered onto the beach beside Kilronan Pier.

It was during a visit to Inishmore in June, 2009, that asides observing the busy ferry traffic, trawler Iolair and coaster Stenland were also alongside Kilronan Pier. The former Norwegian vessel that traded as Beth Anja, was then tramping around carrying cargoes along the mid-west coast, between Galway and Westport. It was from the Co. Mayo port was where among the cargoes included building materials loaded for Clare Island.

Also on that Aran occasion, another Norwegian connection was that of the former Hurtigruten coastal cruise cargo-ferry, Midnatsol. The vessel converted to cruiseship, National Geographic Explorer was anchored off Kilronan Harbour. Cruise-goers took to 6,471 tonnes vessel's fleet of zodiacs to reach the island harbour.

As for the works of the new outer pier at Kilronan, this required 77,000 tonnes of large natural stone blocks sourced from Connemara, to protect the breakwater from erosion. The new harbour, twice the area in size of Croke Park, had been voted in 2012 by the public as the Best Engineering Project of the Year. 

Also engaged in the project was Irish Dredging, part of the Dutch owned Boskalis Group, which recently completed removal of spoil from Dublin Port and out to dumping grounds in the bay.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

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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