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Due to the forecasted Southerly winds issued by Met Eireann for Sunday 15th and Monday 16th November 2020 combined with approaching high spring tides of 4.3m and a possible tidal surge of 0.45m which may pose a risk to walkers Dublin Port Company will temporarily close public access to the Great South Wall from the following times:

  • Saturday, 14th November 20.30hrs – Sunday 15th November 00.45hrs
  • Sunday, 15th November 21.15hrs – Monday 16th November 01.30hrs

The Great South Wall closure is due to tide height and dangerous winds on the exposed wall surface.

High Spring Tides

Meanwhile, Dun Laoghaire Coastguard has warned that The Forty-foot and along the Dublin Bay coastline today and over the next few days, will have high Spring tides which will make it very difficult for swimmers.

"Please take heed of any warnings and don’t take risks", the Coastguard has urged. 

High Water, Dublin 

  • Sunday 15 November 11.10am
  • Monday 16 November 11.54am

See south shore, Dublin Bay webcam at Sandycove here

Published in Dublin Port
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Dublin Port has today reached an important milestone in delivering Masterplan 2040 with the appointment of Grafton Architects to design the Liffey-Tolka Project, the most important Port-City integration project to date.

The Liffey-Tolka Project will create a new public realm along a 1.4 km dedicated cycle and pedestrian route linking the River Liffey with the Tolka Estuary through Dublin Port lands on the east side of East Wall Road and along Bond Road.

The new linear space ranges from twelve metres to nine metres wide and will be an extension of the campshires on North Wall Quay.

The Liffey-Tolka Project will bring cyclists and pedestrians from the Liffey to the start of a second Port-City integration project, the Tolka Estuary Greenway.

A graphic of the Dublin Port Company Liffey/Tolka Project that will create a 1.4km cycle path through port landsA graphic of the Dublin Port Company Liffey/Tolka Project that will create a 1.4km cycle path through port lands

The Tolka Estuary Greenway is a 3.2 km route along the northern perimeter of Dublin Port overlooking the Tolka Estuary. Construction of Phase 1 (1.9 km) will start next month and works will be completed by Spring 2022. Phase 2 (1.3 km) will be constructed over the following five years as part of large port infrastructure projects to deliver additional Ro-Ro freight capacity at the eastern end of Dublin Port. 

Dublin Port Company will apply to Dublin City Council for planning permission for Grafton Architect’s design for the Liffey-Tolka Project by April 2021 with a target to commence construction by September 2021 and to complete the works by the third quarter of 2022. The new route will include a dedicated bridge for cyclists and pedestrians to safely cross over the busy Promenade Road, the key artery that links Dublin Port to the Dublin Port Tunnel and one of the most heavily trafficked roads in the country.

Construction of the new civic space will transcend the opening of the new T4 Ro-Ro freight terminal as part of the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project. As an indication of its scale, the T4 terminal will provide more Ro-Ro freight capacity than Rosslare Harbour. More importantly, the opening of T4 will allow Dublin Port Company to close one of the HGV entrances on East Wall Road and to redirect heavy goods traffic onto Dublin Port’s internal road network thereby greatly reducing heavy traffic along one of the city’s most hostile stretches of urban road.

Commenting on Grafton Architects’ appointment, Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive of Dublin Port Company said: “Delivering Masterplan 2040 is very complex and our focus to date has been on projects which deliver additional freight capacity. However, an equally important, albeit smaller part, of our Masterplan is integrating Dublin Port with Dublin City.

“We have been delivering projects such as the Diving Bell in 2015 and the Opening of Port Centre in 2017 as isolated stepping stones to integrate the Port with the City but, with today’s appointment of Grafton Architects to design the scheme to link the Liffey with the Tolka, we have cut the Gordian knot of the complex challenge to open up Dublin Port to Dubliners.

“Dublin Port is not going anywhere, and we are committed to developing nationally important port infrastructure in accordance with the principles of proper planning and sustainable development. This requires us not only to cater for the needs of cargo and commerce; we must also create real gain for the citizens of Dublin.

“Within two years, we will have completed a dedicated cycle network throughout Dublin Port and along most of the Port’s perimeter. Doing this in a small but extremely busy port requires great design and we are delighted to be working with Grafton Architects as we take on a unique challenge to integrate Dublin Port with Dublin City.

“We have been working with Grafton Architects for the past year to prepare the Flour Mill Masterplan as the blueprint for the redevelopment of the former Odlums Flour Mill on Alexandra Road. This development is an integral part of our plans to deliver the €1.6 billion of port infrastructure projects required to bring Dublin Port to its ultimate capacity by 2040 

“Developing masterplans is one thing; but turning great design into completed projects is the real challenge. We are delighted to have the empathy and expertise of Grafton Architects to help us realise our ambitions as we link the River Liffey to the Tolka Estuary. We couldn’t be in better hands.”

Commenting on Grafton Architects’ appointment by Dublin Port Company, Shelley McNamara said: “An influential and important exhibition took place at The Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2010 with the title Small Scale: Big Change. The architectural projects exhibited were transformative in their effect rather than their size and highlighted the capacity for incisive creative thinking to open up new possibilities within communities and cities 

“The Liffey-Tolka Project to connect the River Liffey to the Tolka Estuary, along East Wall Road and Bond Road is not so small but, at the scale of the City it might be considered to be. However, its transformative effect will be immense.

“The currently hostile East Wall Road will become a linear Civic Space. This will form a new sense of entry to the City when travelling from the North and from the Dublin Port Tunnel.

“The drama, scale and animation of the Port will be revealed, joining up with the life of the City. The visual barrier which currently separates these two interdependent worlds will disappear. The pavement area will increase from a two metre width to twelve metres, offering a safe pleasurable landscaped space for people to walk or cycle. This new ribbon of space, bridging over Promenade Road, will connect the East Coast Trail and Dublin Port’s Tolka Estuary Greenway to the Liffey, terminating in a sunny public space on the water's edge. This will be a new Urban Amenity for day to day use and for enjoyment in times of leisure.

“We developed a deep appreciation and understanding of Dublin Port from our work on The Flour Mill Masterplan and we are very excited now to have been appointed to bring a project as important to the City as the Liffey-Tolka Project to the consenting phase and, hopefully, to construction next year.”

Published in Dublin Port
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The annual national seafarers' remembrance ceremony in Dublin has been cancelled.

The City Quay Seafarers Memorial Service Organising Committee, consisting of the Maritime Institute of Ireland, Stella Maris Seafarers Centre and Dublin Port Company, announced that, due to the current Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions, the Annual Wreath Laying Service at the City Quay Seafarers Memorial "is regretfully cancelled for 2020."

"Last year's well-attended commemoration showed that interest in this annual memorial event remains strong which is heartening indeed. Hopefully, we will have the opportunity to convene once again next year to honour and preserve the memory of seafarers lost at sea in peacetime and in war aboard Irish merchant ships and fishing vessels," the organisers said in a statement.

Published in Dublin Bay

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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