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Displaying items by tag: Falklands Islands Task Force

Diplomat, the original ferry that started operations for Celtic Link Ferries in 2005 has been sold to Indian ship-breakers after serving a spell on charter in the Caribbean, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Since leaving the Rosslare-Cherbourg port route in late 2009, the Diplomat has run between Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) and San Juan (Peurto Rico) for Marine Express. For more click HERE. The freight-ferry was built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan, South Korea in 1978 and she was the final 'Searunner' class of 11 ordered by the Stena Rederi.

Launched as the Stena Tranporter, the career of the 16,000 tonnes has spanned over three decades in which the 151m vessel changed through several owners and subsequent vessel renamings.

It was when she served under the name Baltic Ferry, that her most notable career took place in 1982 during her wartime deployment as part of the
Falklands Islands Task Force. The 151m vessel was requisitioned by the British Ministry of Defence which saw the ship engaged in military operations when RAF Harrier Jump-Jet aircraft transferred store supplies from the deck of the ship as part of the war-effort in the South Atlantic Ocean.

In 2001 the vessel undertook ferry operations to Ireland as the European Diplomat on the Dublin-Liverpool route for the P&O (Irish Sea) route network. The following year she was transferred on the direct route to France until P&O pulled the plug on the continental service in December 2004, leaving Irish Ferries as the sole operator.

It was not until February 2005 that the route resumed service but this time under new owners Celtic Link Ferries. The O'Flaherty brothers, owners of a large fishing fleet in Kilmore Quay purchased the vessel and renamed her Diplomat. See PHOTO.

For the next four years she built up a steady customer loyalty between freight-hauliers drivers and car-only accompanying passengers who were accommodated in the ship which had a limited passenger certificate for 114 passengers. In addition she had a license to transport livestock.

Currently Celtic Link Ferries operate the ferry Norman Voyager but the 800-passenger / 200-car ro-pax vessel will only remain on the route until an October debut of a larger sistership the Cartour Beta.

The vessel is running this season between Italy and Sicily and with an added deck the 27,552 tonnes vessel has an increased capacity for passengers, cars and enhanced range of facilities. Recently the company had run a competition to name the new vessel which is to begin a five-year charter on the service between Wexford and Normandy.

Published in Ferry

About Warrenpoint Port

The Original Port of Warrenpoint was constructed in the late 1770s and acted as a lightering port for the much larger Port of Newry.

Following the demise of Newry Port Warrenpoint Harbour Authority was created as a Trust Port by legislation in 1971. The modern Port was completed in 1974 when it covered 28 acres. Since then the port has expanded to its current size of approximately 53 Acres. The Authority has just completed a £22 Million capital infrastructure project (under the terms of a Service of General Economic Interest with the Department for Regional Development) that includes, the construction of a 300 Metres of Deep Water Quay (7.5 Metres C.D), new Ro-Ro berthing facilities, additional lands and covered storage facilities and a new 100 Tonne mobile crane.

  • Warrenpoint Port is the second largest port in Northern Ireland and the fifth-biggest on the island of Ireland.
  • Warrenpoint Harbour Authority was created as a Trust Port by legislation in 1971.
  • In 2018, the value of goods moving through Warrenpoint Port was £6.5 billion. The Port handled 3.56 million tonnes in 2017, increasing to 3.6m in 2018.
  • The port employs 70 staff directly and supports over 1,500 in the local economy.
  • In addition to serving the markets in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland, the Port deals with imports and exports from countries and regions across the world including to Spain, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Ukraine and the Americas.