An Irish record in cargo handling

Earlier this week Dave O’Hallorahan contacted me via Twitter – yes I know it’s got a new name, but it’s bad enough to use the platform knowing the new owner, without embracing the change- to say that an interesting ship was off Dunmore. A quick search on Vessel Finder piqued my interest, and later that afternoon I noticed a post from Philip Doherty on the Waterford Maritime History Facebook Group page with an image of the vessel and cargo. It was the BBC Citrine 153m ship which came from the port of Izmir inTurkey.

In the comments section of Philips’s post, Mike Kiely of Celtic Shipping gave more detail. Mike who was handling the freight explained that the cargo of windmill blades was 80 meters long, and as such this cargo was the longest ever imported into Ireland. Anyone passing along the roadway by Belview, Port of Waterford will have noticed the roundabouts being widened, and it is loads such as these that are being facilitated.

I kept an eye on Marine Traffic and close to high water on Tuesday 20th Feb the ship started its run into the port. Thankfully I was around and the rain held off long enough to get a short video.

From the comments online, I got the following details on their destination – a bog in Co Offaly, the Cushaling Wind Farm. I also read that there will be a second ship later this week with tower sections for the same project.

MV Celtic inbound from the Port of Marin in NW Spain on a more pleasant afternoon – 22/2/24

Whatever the merits of wind energy, there is no denying the climate emergency we face.

Waterford has been earmarked as one of the service ports for the planned offshore wind farms which have been in the planning for several years now. So I guess we will see a lot more of such cargo in the future. When these offshore wind farms go ahead, such equipment will be considered small!

Coincidentally Tom MacSweeney covered the issue of what is being called the marine spacial squeeze in his March podcast. It’s the first item discussed and makes for sobering listening…or course so too does one of the final segments which covers water temperature rises and how this is impacting negatively on fish farming and oyster growing. No easy answers to the predicament we are in.

I just hope our own bitter experience of how the government and its agencies ruined our traditional fishing communities in the harbour with zero consideration will not be replicated now for the inshore fleet off Dunmore…ironically where those who stayed in fishing after the salmon ban in the villages migrated to.

Here’s an illustration of just one of the possibly 7 companies that have plans off the Waterford coast.