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Heidi McIlvenny, marine conservation manager at Ulster Wildlife, inspecting one of the 24 native oyster nurseries housed underneath the pontoons
Hundreds of native oysters have returned to Belfast Lough as part of efforts to bring the ‘ocean superheroes’ back from the brink of extinction. The ambitious aquaculture restoration project, officially launched on Friday (20 May) by Ulster Wildlife to mark…
Royal Cork's Oisin Pierse leads the Optimist Munster Championships in Cork Harbour
Fresh from his IODAI Optimist Trials success at Ballyholme at Easter, Royal Cork's Oisin Pierse has taken the overall lead on home waters at the Optimist Munster Championships after four races sailed in the 46-boat senior fleet.  119 boats in three fleets are…
A scene from the 2020 RCYC Coolmore Race with dinghies under tow
Run by the Royal Cork Yacht Club for its young club members, the race starts off Coolmore House near Rabbit Island in Cork Harbour and finishes in front of the RCYC clubhouse. The Carrigaline-Crosshaven walk and cycle way runs alongside…
Donaghadee Lifeboat Station is situated on the northeast coast of County Down. Donaghadee has had a lifeboat station since 1910 and the crews have been presented with three awards for gallantry. The station now operates an all-weather Trent class lifeboat (above).
Donaghadee RNLI Lifeboat was launched on Thursday 19 May, to assist a yacht taking water onboard approximately 12 miles North East of Bangor, County Down. The volunteer crew of Donaghadee Lifeboat were requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard on Thursday…
Brian Carroll's Chancer leads off the start line in Kinsale Yacht Club's inaugural 240-mile Inishteraght Race
There were great starts for the host club's Elan 40 Chancer (Brian Carroll) and Denis Murphy's Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo from Royal Cork in the inaugural Inishtearaght Race from Kinsale this morning in the brand new Irish offshore yacht race…
Along with nine other marinas, Kinsale Yacht Club Marina in West Cork has retained its blue flag status for 2022
All ten Irish marinas awarded in 2021 have retained Blue Flag status for the coming season. 85 Beaches and 10 marinas were awarded the Blue Flag for 2022 by Malcolm Noonan TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Heritage and Electoral…
The visit Isle of Man strategy was unanimously backed by Tynwald members. Above the Isle of Man Steam Packet's fastcraft Manannan departing Dublin Port on the seasonal service to Douglas Harbour. The Steam-Packet also operate Belfast/Liverpool and Heysham (year-round) routes to the Manx capital.
Travelling costs to the Isle of Man is a "real barrier" to plans to grow annual visitor numbers to 500,000, an MHK has said. A new Visit Isle of Man strategy aims to see the sector contribute £520m to the…
Optima Seaways has returned to the Rosslare-Dunkerque route having launched in 2021 the 'Brexit' bypass alternative for freight hauliers on the direct link between Ireland and mainland Europe.
Danish operator DFDS has confirmed that a third freight ferry last week joined its Rosslare Europort – Dunkerque fleet as Afloat previously referred, with the first departure from the northern France port on Wednesday 11th May. The Rosslare – Dunkerque…
Kinsale Yacht club Marina in West Cork with a moored visiting superyacht at the facility
One of the country’s leading marinas will become unusable for keelboats unless urgent action is taken to address increasing silting in the harbour area writes David Forsythe in West Cork Kinsale-based Fine Gael councillor Kevin Murphy told the recent meeting of…
Bosses at a Scottish shipyard fear the £250m pair of ferries won't see (CalMac) service amidst spiralling series of serious faults.
A catalogue of spiralling faults with two vessels is at the centre of Scotland’s ferry fiasco under the stewardship of minister-controlled Ferguson Marine has prompted serious shipyard concerns over whether they will ever see service. A damning March internal analysis…
Dundalk Port which may change back to local ownership
Dundalk Port could come back under local ownership, after Louth County Council confirmed it hopes to be ready to begin the transfer process before the end of the year. The port has been under the auspices of Dublin Port since 2011,…
Flagship LÉ Eithne: Although completely refurbished in 2017, LÉ Eithne has been laid up since mid-2019. However, the flagship LÉ Eithne was briefly brought back into service in 2020 to provide support to the HSE’s Covid-19 operations. Above LÉ Eithne in Dun Laoghaire, is the last naval vessel  (AFLOAT adds of any ship) built in Ireland at VCD, Cork, and is seen at the East coast harbour which is the vessel's adopted homeport from where the Naval Service represented by the flagship, was in 2017 bestowed the ‘Freedom of Entry to the County’ by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. The Award in recognition of humanitarian service on behalf of the people of Ireland and EU acknowledged the duties undertaken by the Navy as part of Operation Pontus in the Mediterranean Sea to rescue refugee migrants.
In a last-ditch effort a campaign is underway to see the Naval Service flagship converted into a maritime museum, rather than sold for scrap. Cork County Council is writing to the Minister for Defence and the secretary-general of the Department…
Brian Carroll (red jacket on helm) will be racing on Chancer in Kinsale's 240-mile Inistearaght Race
The idea for the Inishtearaght Race originated because Kinsale sailors thought that the best and most scenic part of the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race is west of Kinsale. So what about a race from Kinsale around the Blaskets and…
Cameron Mitchell director of the Isle of Man Ship Registry (IOMSR) which is expanding its Greek fleet with an agreement to flag four bulk carriers, involving three of 33,044 tonnes and a larger bulker of 51,195-tonnes.
An expansion of the Isle of Man Ship Registry (IOMSR) through its Greek fleet, follows an agreement to flag four bulk carriers with Enterprises Shipping & Trading (EST). EST is IOMSR’s oldest and largest Greek client, and the latest additions…
Operator DFDS announced the introduction of a new rail freight service from Calais to Séte, the French port on the Mediterranean that has ferry services connecting Yalova, Turkey.  The new service which starts today, will shorten transport time between London and Istanbul. Another DFDS freight service is the Rosslare-Dunkirk route which AFLOAT adds last week saw the return of Optima Seaways, which launched the 'Brexit' by-pass freight hauliers route in January, 2021. The 'Optima' sees  DFDS increase to 3 ships and 6 round sailings weekly between Ireland and France, boosting capacity on the direct route to mainland Europe.
DFDS the operator of the Rosslare Europort-Dunkirk freight ferry route, has announced that they are introducing a new rail freight service from Calais to Séte which starts today. The new rail service connects London with Yalova in Turkey, will shorten transport…
€75,000 of funding was received for Coliemore Harbour repairs in 2021
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has applied to An Bord Pleanála to carry out remedial works for a pier walkway in Coliemore Harbour which is a Protected Structure, located in Dalkey, on the southern shore of Dublin Bay. The proposed development…

As an island economy, a healthy maritime sector is key to our national competitiveness. Virtually all our imports and exports pass through Irish ports.

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.

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.

These pages cover the following sectoral areas: shipowners, harbour authorities, shipbrokers, freight forwarders and contractors, cruise liner operators, port users, seamen, merchants, academic institutions, shipyards and repair facilities, naval architects, navy and defence personnel.

Our pages are covering some of the most notable arrivals around our coast and reporting too on port development and shipping news.

This section of the site deals with Port and Shipping News on our largest ports Dublin Port, Port of Cork, the Shannon Estuary, Galway Harbour and Belfast Lough.

A recent study carried out for the Irish Ports Association (IPA) totalled 75.7 billion during 2004 and their net economic impact was some 5.5 billion supporting around 57, 500 full time employees.

Liam Lacey, Director of the Marine Institute’s Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) 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.”

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