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Displaying items by tag: news update

#TobaccoShipSeized – RTE reports that Customs officers at Drogheda Port have seized tobacco worth an estimated €14m.

Customs officers backed by gardaí boarded a ship in the early hours of yesterday morning and recovered 32 million cigarettes and 4,000kg of water pipe tobacco.
It is the biggest seizure of cigarettes in Europe this year.

The operation targeted an international crime gang led by Irish and UK nationals based in Europe.

The MV Shingle was loaded in Slovenia and arrived into Drogheda Port early this morning having sailed via Lisbon in Portugal.

The ship and its cargo were seized and a number of follow-up searches are under way both in Ireland and in mainland Europe.

A spokesperson for Revenue said the operation was the culmination of months of work by law enforcement agencies across the continent including Slovenia, Portugal and Ireland.

For more RTE has photos of the vessel departing Drogheda Port and arriving at Dublin Port plus TV news coverage by clicking HERE. adds the 669 tonnes built in 1982 was escorted from the Louth port to the capital by the Revenue Commissioners cutters RCC Suirbheir and RCC Faire.


Published in News Update

#D-Day70Anniversary- As reported yesterday, the Royal Navy joined by allied naval vessels formed an overnight flotilla from Portsmouth and are currently off the Normandy Beaches on this D-Day 70th anniversary, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Throughout today, major religious and commemorative services are been attended by the dwindling number of allied World War II veterans. This morning members of the British Royal Family headed by Queen Elizabeth attended a service inland at Bayeux Cathedral.

Also today the largest D-Day ceremonial commemorative event takes place in Quistreham near Caen, as allied nations will be joined by around 19 states marking the proceedings the most 'international' when held on 'Sword' beach. This beach is one of five code named beaches that are within a 50 mile stretch of the Normandy coast.

Joining the World War II veterans at Quistreham will be royalty, political leaders, heads of states and dignitaries in a mark of respect and recognition to all those who fought and lost their lives in this critical and momentous campaign on 6 June 1944.

The Royal Navy's 'flagship' HMS Bulwark (L15) which as previously reported took part in the overnight allied flotilla is anchored offshore of Arromanches, where on 'Gold' beach naval landing craft are beached presenting a mere semblance to the battle scene to liberate France. Thousands of visitors are thronging the beaches and mass-scale cemetaries.

The other two beaches to the west of Arromanches is where the US fought on 'Utah' and 'Omaha' and to the east Canada took part on 'Juno' beach. The final beach is 'Sword' at Quistreham which formed the second beach in which Britain took action as part of the allied forces. This is to be last occasion of the Normandy Veterans Association in attending D-Day commemorations due to the dwindling numbers and as such the association is to be disbanded.

Among the flotilla from Portsmouth is HMS Express (P163) a small patrol boat which visited Dun Laoghaire Harbour in April and also that month when HNLMS Johann de Witt (L801) a landing platform dockship of the Royal Netherlands Navy called to Dublin Port.

In addition to the English Channel crossing flotilla and other navies are several cruiseships making commemorative cruises and berthed in Caen are Silver Cloud and Sea Cloud II. The city quays is also where the Royal Norwegian yacht K/S Norge is paying a visit, the vessel in recent years has made two tours to Irish ports.


Published in News Update

#D-Day70anniversary -Major events are been held on both sides of the English Channel today in advance of the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Allied Invasion, writes Jehan Ashmore.

To find further details commemorating the momentous D-Day (6th June 1944) they can be found from the D-Day Museum's events programme by visiting their website.

The busy UK ferryport of Portsmouth is synominous with the Royal Navy's homeport and main naval base from where commemorations and elsewhere in the city are taking palce this week to Sunday.

During World War II the Hampshire port was one of the key strategic locations across the south coast from where thousands of Allied troops departed for Normandy.

To mark the critical and momentous event, on the UK side of the English Channel there is to be an exodus from Portsmouth today of a flotilla which will set sail overnight for France for the international commemorations on D-Day.

A flotilla of Royal Navy vessels featuring HMS Bulwark will be accompanied by allied nation naval ships. On arrival they will be in position off those Normandy beaches from where the landings took place.

The eyes of the world will be focused on the five code-named beaches of Normandy as veterans will be joined by world leaders and figures to commemorate those who served. Among those gathering at the ceremonies will be Queen Elizabeth, President Barack Obama and French president François Hollande.


Published in News Update

#Philippines – According to the Royal Navy, HMS Illustrious (RO6) the helicopter-carrier as previously reported has arrived in the Philippines today to bring a further boost in the humanitarian relief effort.

The 22,500 tons 'Invincible' class carrier will take over from HMS Daring (D32) which has been distributing aid and assisting villagers in remote communities on islands to the north east of Panay for the past week.

Onboard the flight-deck of HMS Illustrious are seven helicopters which will play a pivotal role in carrying around 500 tonnes of UK Aid to communities.

The delivery of aid includes 12,500 blankets, 20,000 candles, 30,000 rice bags, 9,800 tins of sardines, 8100 tins of vegetables, 17,000 shelter kits, 1,000 jerry cans and 1900 water carriers.

The workload in transporting the aid quickly into remote areas will be carried out by three Sea King Mark 4s, one Merlin and three Army Lynx.

The carrier was around 6000 nautical miles away in the Horn of Africa on counter-piracy operations as part of the Royal Navy's Response Force Task Group when she was re-tasked with the humanitarian aid operation.


Published in News Update

#Philippines – The Royal Navy's helicopter-carrier HMS Illustrious (R06) which visited Dublin Port in April is heading for the Philippines to bolster efforts to help those in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday ordered that the former aircraft-carrier which was on a counter-piracy patrol off Somalia to break-off and make the 4,500-mile journey to the Far East.

HMS Illustrious has around nine days to reach the stricken nations central islands. She follows destroyer HMS Daring which is just around a day away from the worst-affected area and ready to begin her relief mission.

In addition Mr. Cameron has pledged £10m in aid and dispatching two RAF C17 Globemaster transporter aircraft which will also support the relief operation, codenamed Operation Patwi.

HMS Darling had departed Singapore on a mercy dash across the South China Sea and Pacific. The 8,000 tons destroyer was five months into a nine-month global deployment that included an international naval exercise Bersama Lima.

The Portsmouth-based Type 45 destroyer has a large flight deck to accommodate helicopters (up to the size of a Chinook), which will be vital for this latest disaster relief role. The destroyer's multi-purpose role demonstrates the global capability in providing humanitarian aid after natural disasters.

She is the first of the six Type 45 destroyers, each costing £1bn and they are the most advanced warships the Royal Navy has ever had built. She was launched at BAE Systems Scotstoun shipyard on the Clyde, one of three Scottish facilities to remain as centres of naval shipbuilding in the UK, following widespread cut to jobs.


Published in News Update

#EmerNIGERIA – The former Naval Service OPV L.E. Emer took the short journey between the Naval Base on Haulbowline Island to Cork Dockyard Ltd today for upgrading work for her new owners, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 65m vessel was brought at public auction last month for €320,000 by Nigerian based Uniglobe Group and is to be used for work in the Niger Delta.

For now she is likely to remain at the dockyard into next month before finally departing from the Rushbrooke facility. She was launched in 1978 from the same site when Verolme Cork Dockyard had run the shipbuilding business that saw five patrol vessels commissioned for the Naval Service.

Her new owner Mr. Imhobio who is a resident for parts of the year in London had said the ship may call to capital. The decision to make an en-route call to the capital though remains subject to the cost of the diversion in both time and miles as part of her repositioning voyage to Nigeria.


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#QEaircraftcarriers - On Armistice Day the massive hull of the Royal Navy's newbuild 65,000 tonnes aircraft-carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, was finally completed with the 'ski-ramp' slotted into place at Rosyth Dockyard, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The facility on the Forth of Fife is one of three Scottish shipyards that despite job losses are to remain open in the UK and continue building warships for the Royal Navy, following recent plans to close the shipyard in Portsmouth in 2014.

The momentous occasion saw the installation of the 130-tonne section ski-ramp which is designed to assist the F35 Lightning IIs to get airborne off the expansive flight deck of the Royal Navy's future flagship.

Only the radar and lifts remain to be lifted into place by 'Goliath' not to be confused with the same namesake given to one of Harland & Wolff's giant yellow cranes. The Scottish 'Goliath' is superior in that the crane is the UK's largest, capable of boaring loads up to 1,000 tons.

The newbuild HMS Queen Elizabeth is the leadship of a pair "QE-Class" aircraft-carriers which is to be followed by HMS Prince of Wales. They will represent the biggest and most powerful surface warships ever constructed for the Royal Navy. HMS Queen Elizabeth after fitting-out and sea-trials is to scheduled to enter service in 2017.

The cost of new aircraft carriers is expected to be almost twice the original estimate in which the according to latest budget, the Ministry of Defence estimates the cost of the two ships at £6.2bn.

The QE –class replace the Invincible-class trio in which the 22,000 tonnes HMS Illustrious (RO6) remains the last in service albeit in the role as a converted helicopter carrier. As previously reported, HMS Illustrious paid a visit to Dublin Port in April and was illuminated in green for the Gathering.

To build the QE –class aircraft carriers which present complexity and challenges requires many skills and experience which led to the establishment of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance which is between BAE Systems, THALES and Babcock.

Of the 37 main sections that were constructed to assemble HMS Queen Elizabeth, yards including Babcock's Marine's north Devon shipyard in Appledore were involved in building sections. The sections were then transported by barge to the newbuild in Scotland.

Babcock won the €99m contract from the Irish Department of Defence to build a pair of OPV's currently under construction also in Devon for the Naval Service. The first of the enhanced 'Roisin' / OPV P90 class L.E. Samuel Beckett (P61) is due for delivery in early 2014.

Published in News Update

#UKyardClosure - Shipyard workers at BAE Systems, numbering 1,775 jobs are to lose their jobs in Scotland and England and end shipbuilding altogether at Portsmouth, writes BBC News.

The firm said 940 staff posts and 170 agency workers will go at the Portsmouth site, which will retain repairs and maintenance work.

Some 835 jobs will be lost at yards in Govan and Scotstoun, on the River Clyde in Glasgow, and Rosyth in Fife and at the firm's Filton office, near Bristol.
The cuts follow a drop in work after the end of aircraft carriers work.

BAE Systems employs a total of 4,400 people in shipbuilding in the UK, 1,200 in Portsmouth and 3,200 across Govan, Scotstoun, Rosyth and Filton.
The company said it had made the cuts because of a "significant" drop in demand.

The defence contractor and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) have together announced measures which they hope will offset the effect of the job cuts.

Among the plans are more than £100m of investment to expand the dockyard at Portsmouth.
Three new ocean-going Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Royal Navy will also be built at BAE's Govan and Scotstoun yards in Glasgow.
This could help sustain shipbuilding at the yards until work is due to begin on the Type 26 Global Combat ships.

BAE, which heads a consortium that includes Babcock and Thales UK, said it had agreed changes to the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier contract it signed with the MoD in 2009.
This would see the consortium's fee move to a 50-50 risk share arrangement which would provide greater cost performance incentives.

A statement released by BAE Systems said: "Under these proposals, shipbuilding operations at Portsmouth will cease in the second half of 2014.

For much more details on this major historic development in the British shipbuilding sector, BBC News Glasgow and West Scotland reports.


Published in News Update

#TrainForTrade- UNCTAD Candidates have successfully completed final dissertations last month for the TrainForTrade Port Training Programme in Ghana and which also includes Tanzania, as previously reported on

The dissertations were defended before panels of experts that included representatives from UNCTAD and the Port of Cork, as well as senior managers from Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA).

The graduates are middle-level managers from public and private entities operating at the ports of Tema and Takoradi.

UNCTAD's Port Training Programme supports port communities in developing countries in their efforts to provide efficient and competitive port management services.

The English-speaking network of the Port Training Programme is supported by Irish Aid, the Dublin Port Company, the Port of Cork, and the Belfast Harbour Commissioners.


Published in News Update

#UNCTADTanzania - Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Joe Costello has completed a visit to the United Republic of Tanzania at which he reviewed the impact of the UNCTAD Port Training Programme.

Ireland has provided extensive support over the years for the Port Training Programme, which is part of UNCTAD's (United Nations Conference on Trade & Development) TrainForTrade technical assistance programme.

Financial support for the training is provided by Irish Aid - the Irish Government's programme of assistance to developing countries. Supporting the programme are the Dublin Port Company and the Port of Cork in addition to the Belfast Harbour Commissioners.

During his official visit to the East African nation, the Minister, met with representatives of Tanzania Ports Authority and toured the port of Dar es Salaam. He and his delegation were received by the Acting Director General of Tanzania Ports Authority, Mr. M. J. Kipande, and his management team.

Published in News Update
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