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An east Cork seafood company is to invest over a million euro in an upgrade with grant-aid from a Brexit-related capital support scheme.

BalllyCotton Seafood is upgrading its production facilities and improving automation and efficiencies at its headquarters in Garryvoe.

The investment is supported by a €300,000 grant under the Brexit Processing Capital Support Scheme, implemented by Bord Iascaigh Mhara and drawn from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve.

Ballycotton Seafood employs more than 40 people at its processing activities, smokehouse, food preparation kitchen and three shops in Garryvoe, Midleton and the English Market in Cork City.

“Having improved processing capabilities and production capacity will help us move up the value chain and add value to fish through filleting, cooking, freezing and smoking,”Adrian Walsh, who runs the business with his wife, Diane, says.

Two chefs work daily in the large commercial kitchen in Garryvoe preparing a range of 25 ready-to-eat meals including chowders, seafood pies, sauces, crab, garlic mussels and breaded seafood.

“We had a healthy export business to the UK which was heavily impacted following Brexit. That was a very tough time and we had to look at different markets. We ramped up sales in Ireland and we are also doing exports to France,”Walsh said.

Adrian Walsh began working as a butcher, but 25 years ago he switched careers and joined the seafood business started by his parents Richard and Mary Walsh in 1985.

Adrian and Diane’s son Kieran is now working in the business and will eventually take it over. “We are delighted that it will be handed down to the third generation,” Walsh says.

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Aquatech businesses are urged to apply for a new mentoring programme which Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) describes as “groundbreaking”.

The sector has just attracted a €15 million investment from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), according to BIM.

Minister for Marine, Charlie McConalogue says that BIM is partnering again this year with aquaculture accelerator, Hatch Blue, for its popular “innovation studio”.

This is a free, intensive two-week programme aimed at supporting young aquatech companies in all aspects of development, including technology and investment.

BIM’s Aquatech Development Programme is supported by the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (2021 – 2027) with an investment of €380,000 in 2024.

Now in its seventh year, some 50 projects and companies have completed the “innovation studio”, and have attracted a total investment of around €15 million, creating more than 200 hi-tech jobs.

“Ireland is leading the way in the development of the aquatech sector with some 60 Irish aquatech companies turning over €200 million in 2022 with the potential for significant growth and job creation,” McConalogue said.

He welcomed the €15 million investment by ISIF in the “Blue Revolution Fund” which invests in early stage aquatech companies.

“This is a huge vote of confidence in the sector, which has enormous potential. Aquatech companies can advance the health of the oceans while providing sustainable seafood regenerative ecosystem services and community benefits,” he said.

Aquatech is described as any technology or innovation driving sustainable seafood farming, and it can be applied progressively to the breeding, raising, and harvesting of fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants.

The BIM “innovation studio” offers opportunities for companies in areas such as pharmaceuticals, marine engineering, genetics, feed additives and artificial intelligence.

Applications are open until July 19th, 2024, and the BIM “innovation studio” takes place from October 1st to 10th at the Lee Hotel, Cork City.

Several companies will then be selected to pitch at the BIM Aquatech Conference on October 11th, where the winner of the BIM Aquatech Business of the Year 2024 will also be announced.

Eight to ten successful applicants will be matched with experienced mentors to further develop their business strategy, product or service. They will also have access to a global network of aquaculture technical experts, BIM says.

For further information and to apply click here

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The Burren Smokehouse in Co Clare is expanding with a €171,000 investment in new equipment and energy efficiencies, which includes a Brexit-related grant.

The artisan food outlet has been approved for grant- aid of €76,900 under the Brexit Processing Capital Support Scheme, drawn from the EU’s Brexit Adjustment Reserve.

The scheme is administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).

Swedish-born Birgitta Curtin and her Irish husband Peter initiated the Burren Smokehouse in 1989, and its products including award-winning cold and hot smoked organic and wild salmon.

“The grant aid has allowed us to invest, be more sustainable, and to take opportunities to improve standards and reduce costs, which is critical,” Birgitta Curtin says.

The artisan food outlet has been approved for grant- aid of €76,900 under the Brexit Processing Capital Support SchemeThe artisan food outlet has been approved for grant- aid of €76,900 under the Brexit Processing Capital Support Scheme

“New digital equipment, including a digital control panel for the fish smoker, has made processing easier for staff to manage, allowing for scannable stocktaking and integration of website orders,” she says.

“The funding from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve meant we were able to take opportunities to future proof our business, and keep efficiencies high, which is essential in an environment where costs are rising,” she says.

The business is certified by Bord Bia Origin Green and Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark Burren Code of Practice.

The Burren Smokehouse employs 18 people, which rises during peak periods.

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A Co Wexford boatyard says that a €340,000 investment under the Brexit Blue Economy enterprise development scheme will allow it to work with heavier fishing and leisure vessels for dry dock and repair.

New Ross Boat Yard has taken delivery of a 60-ton hoist that will not only handle bigger vessels but is also more energy efficient, operating on reduced diesel.

The well-known marine facility extends to over four acres and has 230 metres of shoreline to the west of the River Barrow, as well as access to the rivers Nore and the Suir.

One of its key facilities is a 15-metre by 70-metre-long dry dock used for servicing large commercial fishing boats and ferries, as well as smaller leisure boats.

The boatyard has also used the funding to invest in a 10 KW wind turbine and solar panels which are reducing energy bills and the businesses carbon footprint.

The boatyard received total grant aid of €170,000 towards its €340,000 investment under the Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Development Scheme.

The scheme is funded by the European Union under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve.

Boat Yard owner Michael Kehoe said the former 25-year-old boat hoist could only lift 50 tons, was not energy efficient, and needed more and more maintenance to keep it in working order.

“We had a number of boats that we were no longer in a position to take into the yard due to the capacity of this lift,”he explained.

“The new lift has made a huge difference. It means we can take on bigger boats, and see the weights displayed on each lifting point, something which is very important and allows us to distribute weight when lifting a vessel,” he said.

At any given time, there are over 100 boats in the yard representing a mix of fishing and leisure boats in for servicing and repair, and for winter storage.

Currently, the yard is servicing two ‘mini-cruise’ ships - the Barrow Princess and Cailín Déise owned by the Three Sisters Cruise Company. The company runs mini cruises along the rivers Suir and Barrow.

The boatyard also does important maintenance work on the Dunbrody famine replica, which is based on New Ross quay front.

New Ross Boat Yard has a history dating back 50 years. At its height in the 1970s, it employed around 400 people and supported vessels that sailed all over the globe.

Michael Kehoe and his brother Stephen bought the boat yard in 2008 and they invested in the refurbishment of the dry dock as well as building a storage facility, showroom, offices and storerooms.

It offers boat sales, services, and storage facilities all on-site, and has one of only three dry docks in Ireland measuring 70 meters in length.

Before the solar panels and wind turbine were introduced, the yard's electricity bills were €2,500 a month.

“By being able to offset the cost of our electricity bills and possibly selling electricity back to the grid, we are in a position to protect ourselves against future price rises,” Kehoe said.

Published in Marine Trade

The owners of a former Dingle fish processing plant have received Brexit-related grant aid towards a 1.3 million euro visitor attraction, which recalls the harbour’s famous dolphin, Fungi.

The Keane family, owners of Ó Catháin Iasc Teo, have invested over €1,355,000 in the project, of which more than €177,000 was grant-aided under the Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Development Scheme.

The Wild Atlantic Virtual Experience (WAVE), as it is called, offers visitors an “immersive ocean experience”, telling the story of marine life through the eyes of the men and women who have fished off the Co Kerry shores for thousands of years.

The WAVE project is using what is described as Ireland’s “largest 360-degree LED screen” which includes screening of life size computer-generated images of Fungi.The project is using what is described as Ireland’s “largest 360-degree LED screen” which includes screening of life size computer-generated images of Fungi Photo: Dominick Walsh

The project is using what is described as Ireland’s “largest 360-degree LED screen” which includes screening of life size computer-generated images of Fungi.

“The experience also explores shipwrecks and uncovers the myths and legends of the sea, bringing visitors up close to majestic humpback and orca whales, seals, turtles, and other sea life,” BIM says.

It includes a virtual trip through a sunken Spanish Armada ship and German U-boats.

Michael Keane says that “climate change” has hurt the Ó Catháin fisheries business substantially in recent years.

“We were primarily a herring factory, but they have migrated further north due to climate change,”he says.

“There’s almost no stock of herring down here now. We used to work for eight months of the year, now it’s six weeks,” he said.

“We had to do something to stay in business and we knew the fish business and the culture, so we eventually hit on the idea of developing Wave in the 17,000 sq ft building in which we had our fish processing operations,”he said.

“Without the support of the Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Development Scheme and BIM, we would not have been in a position to make this investment. Since we opened, the reaction has been great,” he said.

“ We will keep developing the experience, and aim to create an iconic international and local market attraction that highlights the best of the Dingle Peninsula, accessible all year, and further enhancing Dingle as a year round destination,”he added.

WAVE can accommodate over 200 tourists per hour and is laid out in five separate rooms, each with its own experience. It aims for 70,000 visitors annually and 16 full-time employees over five years.

The project aims to be carbon neutral by 2028.

“We have installed energy efficiency lights and solar panels,”Keane says.

“There is also a cafe with sustainable packaging and offering locally supplied produce. The building has been designed to easily add further initiatives over the coming years,” he says.

Published in BIM

The Connemara farmed salmon producer Cill Chiaráin Éisc Teoranta (CCET), has completed a substantial €543,000 investment with support from Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) funding.

CCET, which is the production arm of the Irish Seafood Producers Group (ISPG), says it has transformed its operations through the investment, increasing quality and efficiency and upscaling production.

Up to €272,000 of the total investment was grant-aided under a Brexit-related scheme funded by the EU to ease the negative impact of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. The fund was administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara.

Automated portion, skinning and strapping machines have been installed, along with a new temperature control system.

Staff are processing salmon on the factory floor in Cill Chiaráin, ConnemaraStaff are processing salmon on the factory floor in Cill Chiaráin, Connemara

“We are very excited about the energy efficiencies. Everything now is geared towards being sustainable and our ambition is to cut down on our carbon footprint and to one day be carbon neutral,”Bridie Casey, CCET financial controller said.

Cill Chiaráin Éisc Teoranta (CCET) was established in Cill Chiaráin in 1988 and currently gives employment to around 30 local people, eight of those full time all year

“Our careful selection processes ensure that only fish of the highest quality is packed and distributed to our customers mainly in Switzerland and France,”Casey said.

She says supply of organic salmon has been a challenge in recent years.

Currently salmon is being supplied to CCET by three local producers, Mannin Bay Salmon Limited, Curraun Fisheries Ltd and Bradán Beo Teo.

Between them, they provide an average of 100 tonnes of salmon a week. All three companies have a 51% stake in CCET.

“Without our local salmon farmers we would not be in business. We value them and look forward to working alongside them in partnership for years to come,”she said.

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A fourth generation Kerry fishing family is expanding its seafood business with a 400,000 euro investment.

The Fish Box restaurant and takeaway, based in Dingle, is using the investment to put a food truck on the road, introduce a fresh fish counter and add solar panels as part of a drive to be more energy efficient.

Since the Flannery family opened The Fish Box in Upper Green Street in the heart of Dingle town in 2018, they have earned multiple food awards and featured in several guides.

Micheál Flannery manages the business and looking after marketing and sales, while his brother, Patrick, operates and supplies fish from the family’s boat, Cú na Mara.

Their mother Deirdre is head chef, while sister Eimear works at front of house.

Micheál and Patrick’s great grandfather started fishing back in the 1920’s, followed by their grandfather, Paddy Flannery and father Michael.

The Fish Box received €200,000 in grant aid towards its investment under the Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Development Scheme.

The scheme is funded by the European Union under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve.

The Fish Box employs around 35 people and offers both a takeaway and sit-down option outdoors, and indoors for up to 20 people. It hopes to expand to accommodate 100 customers indoors.

The investment will also see the addition of a fresh fish processing and sales area to include walk-in cold and freezer rooms, new signage and a solar panel system which will reduce energy costs.

Part of the investment includes the addition of a customised seafood truck which will spread The Fish Box brand by going on the road from January. It has already been booked for events this year.

The Fish Box kitchen offers a wide range of delicious seafood, including crispy chilli monkfish and jumbo langoustines.

“We don’t really follow trends in the Fish Box. We do our own thing, offering local food,“ said Micheál.

“We really believe that with our own trawler catching fish and supplying to our restaurant, the fresh fish counter and the truck we have a model that will work all over Ireland, and expansion from Kerry is something we will explore next year.”

"We fish from Dingle and land our catch in Dingle which then goes directly to our restaurant in Dingle. There is no travel. I know who catches the fish, who handles it, who fillets it, who cooks it and finally who eats it. We can literally offer a sea to fork experience,” he said.

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A north Dublin seafood business has benefited from a €160,000 expansion, with grant-aid from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR).

Howth-based award-winning company Kish Fish has increased its production targets significantly as part of the project.

Almost €70,000 was grant aided under the Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Development Scheme. It is administered by BIM and drawn from BAR, which is the EU fund set up to ease the negative impacts of Brexit.

“We realised a few years ago that our existing production facility, which launched Kish Fish into the area of value-added production, had served its purpose,” Tadgh O’Meara, one of two brothers running the business, says.

“We were constrained in our plans to develop and increase the volume and variety of ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat seafood products for which there was more demand after Covid,” he says.

“The new production facility includes a seafood dicing machine, which will be a game changer, allowing us to produce a higher volume of value-added products, directly appealing to food services and hospitality customers,”he says.

Kish Fish says it has increased its capacity of fish cake production by 20% a week, and has also doubled the production of seafood chowder by 50% per day.

“Building on our existing smokehouse capability, we will shift the focus away from the stalwart products such as salmon and cod to new high-value products,” he says.

“Being able to supply more prepared fresh food will help our hospitality customers overcome challenges they face, including staff and skills shortages,”he says.

The new development also means Kish Fish says its operations are more energy efficient and sustainable, with off peak power usage options and environmentally friendly packaging.

It will allow for better use of raw material, focusing on increasing the value extracted and reducing the level of waste, it says.

Kish Fish, named after the lighthouse, was founded by Tadgh O’Meara Snr and Danny Hughes in 1966 when they first began selling whole fish in the Dublin Fish-market.

Brothers Tadgh, Bill and Damian took over the business in the 1990s, but Bill passed away in 2022.

It opened its first retail shop in Bow St, Dublin, in 1989 and in 2007 a purpose-built facility was built in Coolock to meet growing demand. This was followed by a new factory shop in Coolock a year later.

The business further expanded in 2016 when it acquired a smokehouse and a third retail shop on Howth’s West Pier. A year later, in partnership with Avoca, it opened a seafood counter in Dunboyne.

The brothers run Baily & Kish smokehouse, an online shop, and the Baily Bites at Kish food truck, located on the West Pier in Howth.

“From small beginnings we are proud that today Kish Fish supplies hotels, restaurants, supermarkets and other food service outlets all over the country with top quality seafood.” Tadgh O’Meara says.

“Kish Fish also hopes to increase staff numbers recruiting new employees at all levels including specialists, operatives and chefs bringing jobs to the local economy while playing its part in carrying on the long legacy and heritage of fishing in Howth,” he says.

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The Minister for the Marine has congratulated a Donegal teenager with Down Syndrome, described as having “sea blood running through his veins,” for following his dream to work in the marine sector.

Sixteen-year-old Seán Boyle has passed his three-day Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) Basic Safety Training course, which will allow him to work on a boat or ferry.

“An incredible achievement,” according to Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, who wished Sean the best of luck with his future career.“An inclusive culture and spirit of opportunity, where everyone has the chance to contribute and achieve their dreams, is vital. Diversity and inclusion add to the richness of our society, and I am delighted for Seán.”

Séan Boyle lives on Árainn Mhór Island and is the third brother in his family to take the training. He got his love of the sea from his fisherman father, John. A Transition Year student at Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada on Árainn Mhór, he had to undergo three days of training at the BIM National Fisheries College in Greencastle to receive his safety card. The training involved tasks such as jumping into a pool with safety gear, going on a life raft on his own and doing elementary first aid. Seán excelled in everything that came his way.

Seán’s mother, Elaine, said the family couldn’t be prouder of Seán who is the youngest of five children. “He is a brilliant character and people person and doesn’t let much get in his way! Our family is steeped in fishing tradition and as soon as he could walk, Seán would put on his wellies and follow his Dad when he was going out in the boat.”

Donegal teenager Séan Boyle from Árainn Mhór has taken a step closer to following his dream to pursue a career at sea by passing his Bord Iaschaigh Mhara (BIM) Basic Safety Training course which will allow him to work on a boat or Ferry. Photo: Brian Farrell16-year-old Séan, a Transition Year student at Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada School on Árainn Mhór, has Down Syndrome and did not let his disability get in his way to achieve his maritime ambitions Photo: Brian Farrell

He learned to swim when he was younger, taking the ferry every Saturday with his mother across to the mainland to take lessons in Letterkenny Pool. It took him longer than usual to learn to swim. “It was a real commitment, but he was determined,” said Elaine.

Seán said: “If my brothers can do it why shouldn’t I? I am really looking forward to working on a boat.”

Seán’s teacher, Florence Calais, helped him apply for the BIM training, and it is hoped he will do TY work placement in the coming weeks on one of the island ferries.

Garvan Meehan, Principal of the BIM National Fisheries College of Ireland in Greencastle, said: “It was a joy to have Seán on the course in Greencastle. He completed all the tasks with no problems, and his training card is an important step forward towards achieving his goal of working at sea. He is a great example that you can achieve your dreams if you are determined and supported.”

Barry Sheridan, CEO of Down Syndrome Ireland, said: “We’re all incredibly proud of Sean and his achievement. It’s such an impressive qualification, and we know that Sean will be an asset to any vessel he serves on. We at Down Syndrome Ireland, and all our branches and members, are constantly trying to forge new opportunities for people with Down syndrome, and Sean is a real trailblazer. Sean’s Bord Iascaigh Mhara card will be the passport to a brilliant future”.

BIM is the primary training body for the seafood industry in Ireland and runs Basic Safety Training at its National Fisheries Colleges in Greencastle, Co. Donegal, Castletownbere, Co. Cork, and two mobile coastal training units around our coastlines.

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Almost 8,000 fish meals distributed by the social enterprise FoodCloud to community groups and charities have come from classes with trainee fishmongers, new figures confirm.

Over three tonnes of fresh salmon, cod, place and monkfish have been donated over the past seven years via FoodCloud in partnership with Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the State’s seafood development agency.

The fresh fish is collected at BIM’s fish filleting courses in the north Dublin fishing harbour of Howth and in Clonakilty, Co Cork. The accredited courses are run for fishmongers and those who wish to improve their fish handling skills.

More than 190 kilos of fish were transferred to charities such as Depaul, working with the homeless, this year alone (2023), and BIM calculates that the 3.2 tonnes of fish in total over seven years amounts to 7,719 meals in total.

It also estimates that the fish fillets which might otherwise have been disposed of after the classes contributed to a total of 10.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent emissions saved.

DePaul chief executive David Carroll explained that “every Friday, our chef in Sundial House in Dublin serves a hearty fish meal”.

This “not only provides much needed nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D”, but also “puts a smile on faces”, he said.

“Thanks to food donations we get, including from BIM, we can help to close the gap on food inequality for people in homelessness,”he said, noting that fresh fish is a relatively expensive food which might otherwise be out of reach of its budgets.

FoodCloud, which was established in 2013 by Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien to ensure that no good food is wasted, was awarded Irish Charity of the Year in 2022.

It connects businesses and organisations with extra food to community and voluntary groups and charities, and is currently redistributing around 1.25 million meals per week.

Since it was set up, FoodCloud says it has redistributed the equivalent of 250 million meals, amounting to over 105,000 tonnes of good surplus food to over 7,000 charities in Ireland and internationally.

It has two methods – through a technology platform, Foodiverse, and through FoodCloud hubs in Dublin, Cork and Galway, which collect and redistribute larger volumes.

The organisation’s co-founder and interim chief executive Aoibheann O’Brien has thanked BIM for its partnership and contribution to “create a world that is kinder to its people and our planet through the redistribution of surplus food.”

BIM skills development services manager Ian Mannix said the organisation is “committed to doing everything possible to build a more sustainable future, and our partnership with FoodCloud has helped us play our part”.

The surplus fish arises from a number of two-day introduction to fish handling and filleting training courses, and the QQI accredited certificate in fishmonger training programme, run in the BIM Seafood Innovation Hub in Clonakilty and at its fish filleting facility in Howth several times a year.

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Port of Cork Information

The Port of Cork is the key seaport in the south of Ireland and is one of only two Irish ports which service the requirements of all six shipping modes i.e., Lift-on Lift-off, Roll-on Roll-off, Liquid Bulk, Dry Bulk, Break Bulk and Cruise. Due to its favourable location on the south coast of Ireland and its modern deep-water facilities, the Port of Cork is ideally positioned for additional European trading as well as for yet unexploited direct deep-sea shipping services.

The Port of Cork is investing €80 million in a container terminal development in Ringaskiddy. The Cork Container Terminal will initially offer a 360-metre quay with 13-metre depth alongside and will enable larger ships to berth in the port. The development also includes the construction of a 13.5-hectare terminal and associated buildings as well as two ship to shore gantry cranes and container handling equipment.

The development of new container handling facilities at Ringaskiddy was identified in the Port of Cork’s Strategic Development Plan in 2010. It will accommodate current and future container shipping which can be serviced by modern and efficient cargo handling equipment with innovative terminal operating and vehicle booking systems. The Port of Cork anticipates that Cork Container Terminal will be operational in 2020.

The Port of Cork is the key seaport in the south of Ireland and is one of just two Irish ports which service the requirements of all shipping modes.

The Port of Cork also controls Bantry Bay Port Company and employs 150 people across all locations.

A European Designated Core Port and a Tier 1 Port of National Significance, Port of Cork’s reputation for quality service, including prompt and efficient vessel turnaround as well as the company’s investment in future growth, ensures its position as a vital link in the global supply chain.

The port has made impressive strides in recent decades, most recently with the construction of the new €80m Cork Container Terminal in Ringaskiddy which will facilitate the natural progression of the move from a river port to a deepwater port in order to future proof the Port
of Cork. This state-of-the-art terminal which will open in 2020 will be capable of berthing the largest container ships currently calling to Ireland.

The Port of Cork Company is a commercial semi-state company responsible for the commercial running of the harbour as well as responsibility for navigation and berthage in the port.  The Port is the main port serving the South of Ireland, County Cork and Cork City. 

Types of Shipping Using Port of Cork

The Port offers all six shipping modes from Lift-on Lift-off, Roll-on Roll-off, Liquid Bulk, Dry Bulk, Break Bulk and Cruise liner traffic.

Port of Cork Growth

The port has made impressive strides in recent decades. Since 2000, the Port of Cork has invested €72 million in improving Port infrastructure and facilities. Due to its favourable location and its modern deepwater facilities, the Port is ideally positioned for additional European trading as well as for yet unexploited direct deep-sea shipping services. A well-developed road infrastructure eases the flow of traffic from and to the port. The Port of Cork’s growing reputation for quality service, including prompt and efficient vessel turnaround, ensures its position as a vital link in the global supply chain. The Port of Cork Company turnover in 2018 amounted to €35.4 million, an increase of €3.9 million from €31.5 million in 2017. The combined traffic of both the Ports of Cork and Bantry increased to 10.66 million tonnes in 2018 up from 10.3 million tonnes in 2017.

History of Port of Cork

Famous at the last port of call of the Titanic, these medieval navigation and port facilities of the city and harbour were historically managed by the Cork Harbour Commissioners. Founded in 1814, the Cork Harbour Commissioners moved to the Custom House in 1904.  Following the implementation of the 1996 Harbours Act, by March 1997 all assets of the Commissioners were transferred to the Port of Cork Company.

Commercial Traffic at Port of Cork

Vessels up to 90,000 tonnes deadweight (DWT) are capable of coming through entrance to Cork Harbour. As the shipping channels get shallower the farther inland one travels, access becomes constricted, and only vessels up to 60,000 DWT can sail above Cobh. The Port of Cork provides pilotage and towage facilities for vessels entering Cork Harbour. All vessels accessing the quays in Cork City must be piloted and all vessels exceeding 130 metres in length must be piloted once they pass within 2.5 nautical miles (4.6 km) of the harbour entrance.

Berthing Facilities in Cork Harbour

The Port of Cork has berthing facilities at Cork City, Tivoli, Cobh and Ringaskiddy. The facilities in Cork City are primarily used for grain and oil transport. Tivoli provides container handling, facilities for oil, livestock and ore and a roll on-roll off (Ro-Ro) ramp. Prior to the opening of Ringaskiddy Ferry Port, car ferries sailed from here; now, the Ro-Ro ramp is used by companies importing cars into Ireland. In addition to the ferry terminal, Ringaskiddy has a deep water port.

Port of Cork Development Plans

2020 will be a significant year for the Port of Cork as it prepares to complete and open the €86 million Cork Container Terminal development in Ringaskiddy.

Once operational the new terminal will enable the port to handle up to 450,000 TEU per annum. Port of Cork already possess significant natural depth in Cork harbour, and the work in Ringaskiddy Port will enable the Port of Cork to accommodate vessels of 5500 to 6000 TEU, which will provide a great deal of additional potential for increasing container traffic.

It follows a previous plan hatched in 2006 as the port operated at full capacity the Port drew up plans for a new container facility at Ringaskiddy. This was the subject of major objections and after an Oral Planning Hearing was held in 2008 the Irish planning board Bord Pleanala rejected the plan due to inadequate rail and road links at the location.  

Further notable sustainability projects also include:

  • The Port of Cork have invested in 2 x STS cranes – Type single lift, Model P (148) L, (WS) Super. These cranes contain the most modern and energy-efficient control and monitoring systems currently available on the market and include an LED floodlight system equipped with software to facilitate remote diagnostics, a Crane Management System (CMS) and an energy chain supply on both cranes replacing the previous preferred festoon cabling installation.
  • The Port of Cork has installed High Mast Lighting Voltage Control Units at its two main cargo handling locations – Tivoli Industrial & Dock Estate and Ringaskiddy Deep-water & Ferry Terminals. This investment has led to more efficient energy use and reduced risk of light pollution. The lights can also be controlled remotely.
  • The Port of Cork’s largest electrical consumer at Tivoli Container Terminal is the handling and storage of refrigerated containers. Local data loggers were used to assess energy consumption. This provided timely intervention regarding Power Factor Correction Bank efficiency on our STS (Ship to Shore) Cranes and Substations, allowing for reduced mains demand and reducing wattless energy losses along with excess charges. The information gathered has helped us to design and build a reefer storage facility with energy management and remote monitoring included.

Bantry Port

In 2017 Bantry Bay Port Company completed a significant investment of €8.5 million in the Bantry Inner Harbour development. The development consisted of a leisure marina, widening of the town pier, dredging of the inner harbour and creation of a foreshore amenity space.

Port of Cork Cruise Liner Traffic

2019 was a record cruise season for the Port of Cork with 100 cruise liners visiting. In total over 243,000 passengers and crew visited the region with many passengers visiting Cork for the first time.

Also in 2019, the Port of Cork's Cruise line berth in Cobh was recognised as one of the best cruise destinations in the world, winning in the Top-Rated British Isles & Western Europe Cruise Destination category. 

There has been an increase in cruise ship visits to Cork Harbour in the early 21st century, with 53 such ships visiting the port in 2011, increasing to approximately 100 cruise ship visits by 2019.

These cruise ships berth at the Port of Cork's deepwater quay in Cobh, which is Ireland's only dedicated berth for cruise ships.

Passenger Ferries

Operating since the late 1970s, Brittany Ferries runs a ferry service to Roscoff in France. This operates between April and November from the Ro-Ro facilities at Ringaskiddy. Previous ferry services ran to Swansea in Wales and Santander in Spain. The former, the Swansea Cork ferry, ran initially between 1987 and 2006 and also briefly between 2010 and 2012.

The latter, a Brittany Ferries Cork–Santander service, started in 2018 but was cancelled in early 2020.

Marine Leisure

The Port of Cork has a strategy that aims to promote the harbour also as a leisure amenity. Cork’s superb natural harbour is a great place to enjoy all types of marine leisure pursuits. With lots of sailing and rowing clubs dotted throughout the harbour, excellent fishing and picturesque harbour-side paths for walking, running or cycling, there is something for everyone to enjoy in and around Cork harbour. The Port is actively involved with the promotion of Cork Harbour's annual Festival. The oldest sailing club in the world, founded in 1720, is the Royal Cork Yacht Club is located at Crosshaven in the harbour, proof positive, says the Port, that the people of Cork, and its visitors, have been enjoying this vast natural leisure resource for centuries. 

Port of Cork Executives

  • Chairman: John Mullins
  • Chief Executive: Brendan Keating
  • Secretary/Chief Finance Officer: Donal Crowley
  • Harbour Master and Chief Operations Officer: Capt. Paul O'Regan
  • Port Engineering Manager: Henry Kingston
  • Chief Commercial Officer: Conor Mowlds
  • Head of Human Resources: Peter O'Shaughnessy